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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

How Marriage Has Made Me a Better Person

Sara: As we celebrate our three month anniversary on Sunday (hint, hint, Justin), I’ve been pondering exactly how marriage has changed me for the better. Since I love lists, here we go:

1. I appreciate my parents more. Like most teenagers, I pretty much assumed if my parents said it, it must be wrong. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated their advice and witness more, but I only really realized what a gift God had given me in my parents and family after Justin and I got married. I now understand a bit better why and how they have sacrificed for me and my siblings throughout the years, and I pray Justin and I can be graced with the sacrificial hearts my parents had throughout our childhood. In addition, Justin has been blessed with wonderful parents as well.

2. I’m more considerate. After college, I felt like I spent several years in “limbo” – single people know exactly what I’m talking about. While I still was part of my “growing up” family consisting of my parents and siblings, I didn’t have to live with others on a day in and day out basis. Unfortunately, over time, that helped me become a bit selfish because I never had to think of others and I tended to live an unbalanced life – the focus was either all on work or all on play. Dishes could pile up in the sink, and I could easily get behind in housework. Now, since everything I do affects Justin, I’m more considerate in my daily actions.

Justin: It’s still a work in progress for both of us. For example, a couple of nights ago at about 2:00 am, Sara was cold so she promptly got up, pulled all the covers off the bed, and made it. THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS I WAS STILL SLEEPING IN IT! Let’s just say I had all I could do to be considerate at that moment as well.

Sara: What can I say? I still find it easier to be considerate when I am fully conscious!

3. I have more compassion. While I’m still a newbie, I understand this married life better than I ever did as a single person. I can better appreciate how other people’s lives are or can be swirling, and I have more appreciation for both the working parents and the stay at home parents than ever before. As Justin and I begin to have the conversations of how we will raise our family, God willing, I realize more fully how many choices and sacrifices families make. And I realize I need to cut others slack because I truly don’t know what I would do in the same situation.

4. The longer I’m married, the more I realize I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant, have a new baby, or be responsible for a child. I don’t know what it’s like to work to provide for my children, even when I’d rather stay at home with them. I don’t know what it’s like to stay at home with my children even if I’d rather go to work. Really, it all boils down to I don’t know anything at all about expanding a family. Thankfully, families come one step at a time, and God’s promised to never give me more than I can handle.

5. I’m more likely to admit that I’m wrong. Justin’s good at lovingly calling me out when I’m wrong, whether it’s in my actions when I tell him about my day, things I do in front of him, or housework I’ve ignored. Since I have more opportunities to see the mistakes I make throughout the day, I realize I’m not perfect and have an opportunity to work on those things I struggle with.

6. I am healthier. Justin helps me eat more fruits and veggies. Since he cooks most of the time (and cooks pretty healthy, I might add), I am less likely to eat fast, greasy food – including takeout, frozen pizza and dinners, and excessive amounts of sweets. We also try to walk after dinner, so I exercise more than I did as a single person.

7. Justin helps me pray every day, even when I don’t feel like it. Let’s face it – sometimes, after a long day at work, I don’t feel like praying. And because we’ve established a family routine, we pray together. Some days, that’s all the prayer time I have, but we pray together as a family. I pray we may continue to grow together in holiness!