One Year Later: Reflections From My First Year of Marriage

Thursday 31 August 2023


Just a little over a year ago, I stood facing the man who would become my husband and, with misty eyes, read the vows I had written. We had looked forward to this day for seven months, and it was every bit as magical as we'd hoped it would be. And in the blink of an eye, it was over. Thankfully, we did not have to return to real life just yet and were blessed to go on a short honeymoon the following day. We had such a good time that we even decided to extend the trip, but eventually the day came when we had to travel back home. And on that day, I was misty eyed for a different reason.

My husband and I had just had an argument, one that we didn't get to resolve before going to the airport. As we boarded the plane, I remember praying and telling God, "This is hard." And in that moment, He reminded me that marriage is a covenant. Not only that, but He also has a covenant with me through Christ - one that I struggle to hold up on my end, which is exactly why I need Jesus to hold it up for me. I thought of how many times I've failed Him, yet He has continued to love, forgive, and pursue me. This is what the covenant of marriage is all about. 

And the truth is, it is hard. Marriage is a hard but holy thing. It's holy because the love and unity between a husband and wife is meant to mirror Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:31-32). This is by no means a perfect reflection, but through it, we see the eternal commitment of Jesus Christ to the sanctification of His Bride, the Church (vv. 25-27). More than anything, God has taught me over the past year that His greatest purpose for those who follow Him is to make them more like Jesus (Romans 8:29), and marriage is one way that He is accomplishing that purpose in my life. Each day, I become more aware of my sinful tendencies, my pride, and my selfishness - the parts of me that prevent me from loving my husband well. It's a realization that has driven me to my knees, to a deeper dependence on the Holy Spirit, and for that, I am thankful. And through it all, God has shown me His love and grace through the gracious response of my husband and his faithful pursuit of me - even in my stubborn pride.

Over 365 days have passed since we exchanged vows on that beautiful August day and walked into this new adventure called marriage. In that time, I've learned a lot - a lot about myself, my husband, about marriage and God's plan in it all. I have learned and I am still learning. Learning to listen, to be gentle and compassionate, and to say "I'm sorry"; learning to encourage, to be vulnerable, and to leave fear and self-sufficiency behind. Each day, by God's grace, I am learning to live out the vows I made to my husband as I embrace the beautiful calling of being his wife. And as I trade my weakness for God's perfect strength, surely and steadily the sweet fruit of faithfulness grows.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
- John 15:5

"Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? ...[the one] who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind." 
- Psalm 15:1, 4b

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