When I was single, I remember hearing a lot of advice from married friends who would say things like, “When you find the right guy, you’ll just know.” And, “When he’s the right one, you’ll have no doubts.”
While I am sure these two statements have been true for many couples, I used to think of them with a sense of wonder and awe. Could it really be so? Will I truly have zero doubts when I meet my future spouse?
Now that I am married, I can say that, for me, the answer ought to have been no. I’m going to tell you why you should consider entering marriage with doubts, contrary to what you may have heard.
Doubt that you will be perfect
I am convinced there are few things as sin-enlightening as committing your life to another fallible human being. After you tie the knot, you find yourself completely exposed and vulnerable to another person like never before. That being said, it’s inevitable that your spouse will learn your quirks, your weaknesses and your sins.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul tells the church at Ephesus to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). Although this verse can apply to every relationship we have with those around us, it is especially true for marriage. What I have found is that, rather than try to hide my imperfections from my spouse, it’s better to be totally unveiled, completely humble and honest to a fault with him.
Doubt that your spouse will be exactly who you imagined
Growing up, I was fascinated by fairytales and love stories. Even into my twenties, I love sitting down with my girl friends and watching chick flicks. There’s just something about a romantic ending to a funny, feel-good movie.
While I am certainly not a pessimist, I will say that real love is nothing like the way it is portrayed in many movies, especially fairytales and romantic comedies. After you say, “I do,” you learn that you’re a sinner who’s married to another sinner, so you may as well accept that truth before you meet your spouse-to-be at the altar. To an extent, I failed to do that.
To be honest, one of the worst things I did before getting married was place all kinds of expectations on my now-husband. After the honeymoon was over, we began to get into arguments that resulted from me placing expectations on him that he didn’t live up to (in my mind). I believed my expectations were good and reasonable, and I couldn’t understand why his mind didn’t work the way mine did.
In retrospect, I now see how unfair that was to him. In reality, in each of those moments, he was trying to be the best husband he knew how to be. I realize now that he’s not me and doesn’t think like I do. And that’s 100% okay. In fact, it’s a blessing and I’m so fortunate to have a man who is always trying his hardest.
Doubt that sin won’t affect your marriage
It’s clear to see that entering into marriage shows us just how sinful we are by nature. Because of this, there will be many bumps in the road of lifelong matrimony. There will be good, joyful, happy times and there will be valleys that seem too hard to bear. But, I believe that if we put our faith in Christ and strive to live a life like His, He will help us to persevere when it seems impossible.
I’ve only been married four months, and I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that, regardless of what we face on this path of life we have chosen, rather than instantly get mad at each other when we feel we have been wronged, we ought to love each other unconditionally. We need to trust each other, give the benefit of the doubt and let love cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).