“Beck, take this first year of marriage and really focus on your marriage.” Those were words of biblical counsel given to me by my late mentor, Billy Hornsby, as I approached my upcoming marriage with Jodi nearly 13 years ago. Unfortunately, those were words I did not heed as I should have during that first newlywed year. Yes, I wanted to have a godly marriage, but my focus may have been more zeroed in on other responsibilities and dreams such as entering “full-time ministry.” I, excuse me, WE paid a dear price our first year of marriage simply because I didn’t take the time to make marriage my main earthly, relational priority.
“A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.” (Deuteronomy 24:5)
Here are 3 ways for a newlywed husband to “bring happiness” to his bride:
#1 Get to know her
NO, I mean REALLY spend time studying her and getting to know her. Watch her, listen to her, watch her, and listen to her! Hear her heart, her likes and dislikes. Listen to her dreams, hopes, and yes– her fears.
You may say, “Beck, I did all of that while we were courting or dating.” I’ve got news for you. You don’t truly get to know your spouse until she actually becomes your spouse. Don’t kid yourself; you are on your best behavior before marriage. After marriage, all of your humanity, quirks, and “warts” will surface! As with any meaningful relationship, there is truly no way to get to know someone unless you spend time intentionally getting to know them. So, spend your first year of marriage truly getting to know your spouse by spending time with her. Watch, listen, and learn. Take some time to read, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Smalley and start learning to speak the love language of your spouse.
#2 Provide vision for her
Most every woman wants to know “where you are going” as a couple. Dream together; share your vision with her for your marriage, family, and future so that it becomes “ours,” not “mine.” Don’t keep her guessing about the future. Put together a 1, 5, and even a 10-year plan together, as a couple.
#3 Have fun
Yes, have fun. Laugh together. Finances, relationships, jobs, and other things are sure to bring enough stress to your relationship as it is. Life will become serious enough as your responsibilities begin to increase. So, learn to do things as a couple that are fun! Learn to laugh and learn to have fun!
So, there you have it men. Why not go ahead and put into practice these three things and make your marriage relationship your most important earthly relationship, because it is!