Jesus says he hates divorce and says we men need to love our wives, and wives need to respect their husbands. No sex before marriage is also clear and so wise. Let’s think how we can do better from that base by looking at Christian marriage and newlyweds.
Translating for a marriage counselor, Chinese-English-Chinese, a wise American Christian older woman said to the young Chinese woman.
“Do not give too much of yourself at the start of the marriage. Hold back till you are more solidly in the marriage in a likely two-year process for you to fall into the marriage more maturely.”
I was a young married person at the time who deeply wanted my wife to follow me. So, I was shocked but translated.
Now my own marriage was that my wife followed me a ton for the first 2 years and then started to fight with me a ton. We followed a path of hot war, cold war, and make up, then hot war, cold war, and make up on 3-6 day cycles for years with considerable ups and downs. Nothing matched the first two years in my heart, and my ability to control my wife decreased gradually.
At 14 years of marriage, we got help that broke the cycle though not completely. We have now been married 20 years. With my wife’s eyes and mine now wide open, the last 5 years have been better then the start though hard for us to get some of what the start had.
Christian Marriage and Newlyweds – The Other Half
A few years ago I reconnected with a guy I had discipled 30 years ago. He told me his sad tale of a failed marriage and then the right marriage, but how all women are the same. Complain, complain and more complaining. Criticize, criticize, and then criticize. He had asked around at church and was confident in his analysis.
He said, “Jim, where is the grace?”
I asked him if it was that way the first two years. He paused and said, “No.”
I told him, “That was your grace.”
Long pause. Then we had a deeper talk and called it quits as had family to care for. Reconnected several months later, and he said things were much better.
Now, men need to not control so much at the start and ask much, much, more often how our wives are feeling especially when we get our way. We need to quit trying to change the feelings of our wives that we do not like. Then, men need to hear what that feeling represents and not pick on their choice of words.
We need to not foolishly use up 2 years of grace in two years but spread that grace out over 50 years while we sensitively live with our wives and not just run them over for 2 years till they have little left.
Us men can do better if we start well or at least understand where we went wrong.