(Picture was taken by Becca Davis Photography.)
It is a special privilege to be able to write a letter to you in reference to, Lord-willing, your future role as a wife!
I have enjoyed almost 10 1/2 years of married life presently. I hope this is just the first of many decades that I have to spend with my husband!
Per your request, I will share some of the lessons I have learned in a decade of married life:
Be ready to forgive 70 X 7 + more. Don’t keep a record of wrongs. “Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath.”
Always honor your husband before others by how you speak of him, how you speak to him, and when you speak.
Practice the art of listening.
Respond with humor whenever appropriate.
Be willing to say “I am sorry,” without casting blame.
Avoid complaining. Seek to edify and encourage.
Make your home an environment of rest both in body, mind, and soul.
Make your husband happy to come home.
Honor your husband by how you take care of yourself. (You represent your husband.) A wife who neglects herself may speak of disrespect towards her husband or inattention on his part towards herself.
Honor your husband before any children God gives you. Show a unified front to your children.
Pray for and with your husband on a daily basis.
Frequently write your husband special notes of encouragement, putting them in his lunch or special places in your home.
Meet the physical needs of your husband. Don’t view them as an obligatory burden but as a way to minister to his needs.
Be grateful and express it.
Have devotions as a couple and eventually as a family.
Discuss Scriptural questions with your husband.
Be loyal to your husband above any other relationship outside of God.
Be willing to seek Godly counsel, if your husband is truly living in a seriously un-Biblical way.
Gain your husband’s consent before making plans that affect him or the function of the family.
Don’t be wasteful in your spending. Stick to agreed upon budgets.
Don’t compare your husband to other men.
Avoid any inappropriate interactions with anyone of the opposite gender.
Be transparent and accountable to your husband with any male friendships/acquaintances that you might have had prior to marriage. He should have full access to any communication. Make sure your husband approves of any and all communication.
Avoid any appearance of evil (e.g. flirting with others, lunches with a coworker of the opposite sex. Group situations are okay).
Dress modestly so you preserve your body as a gift for his eyes alone.
Avoid habits that are irritating to him.
Make dates a priority.
Share a mutual hobby.
Try to make meals that he finds palatable.
Create your own holiday traditions together.
Dress to please him.
Greet him with affection when he comes home from work or when he calls.
Don’t “dump” on him all the negative occurrences from your day. Wait to share until later in the evening.
Keep his tastes in mind when decorating your home – make it mutually pleasing to both of you.
Take turns picking a movie to watch together.
Play games together, but don’t be a sore loser or an arrogant winner.
Joke with your husband.
Laugh together a lot.
Flirt with your husband – especially within the privacy of your home and room.
Dress sexy when in the privacy of your room.
Don’t be overly conscious of your body when sharing it with him.
View and treat sex with honor and as a gift.
Let him comfort you during child-bearing. Don’t blame him for your pain.
Don’t use tears as a form of manipulation.
Try to avoid emotional tirades. A man doesn’t know what to do with those.
If you need your husband to be more sensitive to you, gently tell him what would mean a lot (e.g. “Right now, I just need a hug from you, honey.”)
Take off the “rose-colored glasses” before marriage. Put them on afterwards.
Only marry a man who will be compatible with these points.
Be flexible. He might want to do something different than you had planned for the day or evening.
Keep yourself pure prior to marriage. Present yourself as a gift to him on your wedding night.
Get your parents’ advice on the man you wish to marry.
Seriously consider any warnings your godly friends and family members may give.
Heed any inner cautions you have regarding a potential spouse. It is better to end a courtship or engagement then a marriage!
Before marrying, pray if this is not just the right one but the right timing. Some headaches in marriages could have been avoided if more time for maturation had been allowed.
Don’t haste to be wed. The dating/courtship time is to be savored.
Keep an engagement as short as reasonably possible to avoid undue temptation.
Make sure you have had time to pursue any ministry opportunities God has called you to prior to marriage. Once you are married, your focus will be on serving your husband rather than others. (You can serve others together, but the opportunities are different.)
Get as much applicable training as possible before marriage so that you can bring those life skills and lessons into better serving your family. Time and resources will probably be more limited once you are a new couple starting out.
Be resourceful in meeting your family’s needs.
Don’t be selfish with your time and attention in serving your family.
Serve with a cheerful attitude.
I may think of more, but this is the list I have for now. This is an impossible list in and of yourself. You and I both need the Lord’s grace and Spirit to help us actually live this in our daily lives. We will sin at times and not fulfill these guidelines. When we do, we need to humbly ask for forgiveness and then start again.
Let me leave you with this quote:
“If the manner of life under grace is superhuman, so, also, the provided enablement is supernatural, and is limitless as the infinite power of God …. Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the fact that, since God has proposed the impossible rule of life and provided the sufficient Spirit, the believer’s responsibility is thereby changed from being a struggle of the flesh to being a reliance on the Spirit. Grace thus introduces a new problem for the believer’s life which is wholly foreign to every aspect of the law. It is the problem of the adjustment of the heart to the holy presence of the Spirit, and of maintaining the unbroken attitude of dependence on Him.” ~ Lewis Sperry Chafer