When there is a newly engaged couple there is a very popular piece of advice that is often offered. In every bridal shower, engagement party, and wedding many people advise newlyweds to keep God in their marriage and to always pray together. I agree that this is really great advice and should definitely be taken seriously, but the problem with this suggestion is that it ends there.
People who make this suggestion don’t say anything more. They don’t explain what to do if your spouse stops believing in God or if your spouse changes his or her mindset on prayer.
What if your spouse sees spirituality as a personal journey not meant to be shared with anyone, even a husband or a wife? What if your spouse won’t go to church? What if you constantly ask your life partner to spend time in prayer with you, but they often decline or just don’t make it a priority? Then, what do you do?
What if putting God in the center of the marriage or praying as a couple is an impossible task to accomplish? What if that exact task is the thing that causes fights and strife in your marriage instead of peace and comfort?
Instead of forcing God in the marriage, I’d say to make sure you stay close to God as much as possible. You pray every morning and night; even if your spouse does not, you attend church as often as you see necessary; even if you are going on your own, you do it yourself and try not to expect it from your spouse.
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People often give very generic suggestions to soon to be married couples without really thinking about what they’re saying. Like “happy wife, happy life” or “don’t go to sleep angry.” These sayings sound good and like something intelligent but are they really?
I actually love the saying “happy wife, happy life” because there is some truth to it. If a man’s primary goal is to make his wife happy, then she most likely will see his efforts and treat him good. Despite this idea, there is still a chance that she may not see his efforts. If someone is not happy and content with who they are then there is nothing that anyone could do to make them enjoy life.
The truth of the matter is that you have to seek happiness for yourself. No one can make you happy, but you and God.
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The best advice I think anyone can offer an engaged or newlywed couple is to figure out what works best for you and to avoid looking for happiness or spirituality in one another and find it in yourself. Learn to make yourself happy and content because that’s what will really strengthen any marriage.