Jeremy and I are often asked, “So.. First year married huh? And how’s that been going..” It constantly seems assumed that our first year of marriage would be; rough, hard, challenging, work, discouraging, stressful, and brutal. But it’s actually been the exact opposite. I find myself often feeling ashamed of saying how incredible and blessed our marriage has been so far. We went to dinner with an older/wiser married couple that we are friends with last night, and they were encouraging us that our testimony of marriage is NORMAL. That it’s how it should be. That it may not be COMMON, but it’s NORMAL and we need to believe that and not be afraid of testifying to it! Now, we are by NOT perfect and have our struggles just the same as every human being on the planet..but we should view the completely-committed, joy-filled, love-based, kind of marriage as uncommon, but normal.
It’s uncommon for couples to have a “good” first year of marriage. I put “good” in quotes because it’s relative. What I basically mean is; a marriage that is thriving, fierce, passionately committed, faithful and growing. One that is marked by love and joy and peace.
It’s common for people to roll their eyes at engaged couples and say things like, “oh honey you don’t know what you’re in for.”
It’s common to fight and disagree.
It’s common to watch your spouse becoming someone else and to reject it.
It’s common to allow trails and conflict to breed bitterness and brokenness.
It’s common to turn into roommates.
It’s common to struggle with intimacy.
It’s common to bicker about their living habits.
It’s common to let their circumstances define their marriage.
It’s common to cling to your own ways and fight for your independence.
It’s common for financial decisions to create fights.
It’s common to go weeks without having sex.
It’s common to ignore and avoid honest conversations.
It’s common to loose your “inloveness” over time.
It’s common for work, iPhones, pornography, Netflix, and social media to rob you from connecting with your spouse.
It’s common to grow apart.
It’s common, but it’s NOT NORMAL.
It’s normal for people to encourage engaged couples and offer wisdom, council, and prayer.
It’s normal to seek resolve over compromise.
It’s normal to love the stranger you find yourself married to, and to let growth and change excite you.
It’s normal to have a marriage marked by forgiveness, grace, and fixing.
It’s normal to be best friends, lovers, and encouragers.
It’s normal to grow in intimacy and oneness.
It’s normal to laugh about each others living habits and learn to respond selflessly.
It’s normal to allow trust and joy to permeate the circumstances of your marriage.
It’s normal to submit to one another and surrender selfish ambition.
It’s normal to make wise financial decisions together, and to agree on ways to give generously.
It’s normal to make love regularly and enjoy sexual intimacy.
It’s normal to communicate consistently and with intention and honesty.
It’s normal to grow in love each year.
It’s normal to prioritize your marriage and set aside time to date your spouse, to play, laugh, eliminate distractions, and just be.
It’s normal to always grow in love, always more.
It’s NORMAL, but it’s not COMMON…
I want people to know that marriage is joyful, peaceful, playful, delightful, exciting, adventurous and GOOD! Culture and the “societal norm” has given year-one of marriage a bad wrap. But the problem is, culture was never intended to define normal, it is was only permitted to define common. God defines normal, and according to Him marriage is supposed to be like the normal statements that I listed above.
Jeremy and I have felt a strong sense to speak out and break the mold of common. We have had a great first year of marriage, a normal but not common marriage, and I we are not ashamed of it. Our struggles and circumstances do not define the state of our marriage, the deepening of intimacy, and the growth of our love. This post is for all those newlyweds who feel like their is something wrong with them because they love being marriage! Speak up! Let’s Inspire the next generation to get married with confident hope in the joy and love that follows. It’s normal for your first year of marriage should be good, and your 5th, and your 50th!
What’s common in your marriage? Are there things in your marriage that are “common” but you’ve always thought they where “normal?”
What lie are you believing about your marriage? Is it normal or common? Write down a list of lies (common things) that you have believed to be true of your marriage. Then write down a truth (what’s normal) next to each lie.