10 Things Every Newlywed Should Know

A few notes for those just starting out that might be useful to everyone else too.

Earlier this year, my husband, Michael, and I celebrated eight years of marriage. Marriage has been everything we expected it to be, and a lot of things we didn’t expect it to be, and if I could go back to those first months, here are a few things I would tell us as newlyweds:

1. Repent and Forgive—Daily and Out Loud.

Marriage, in all of its glory, also brings up some ugly sins. When you know you have sinned against your spouse, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. Out loud. And tell your spouse you forgive him or her—out loud.

Saying “I’m sorry” is different from asking “Will you forgive me?” Asking for forgiveness requires humility before God and your spouse that builds an incredible trust in marriage. Some days, you will need to repent to each other more times than you care to admit, and on those days it’s a good idea to go just to bed early and start over the next morning.

Asking for forgiveness requires humility before God and your spouse that builds an incredible trust in marriage.

2. Lavish Your Time, Energy and Love on One Another.

There are seasons in life when you will be busier than you imagined. But if you have the time in these early months and years to spend together, take it! Enjoy one another, spend ridiculous amounts of time getting to know each other as husband and wife, laugh together, snuggle, share ideas, dream together out loud. Be one another’s biggest fans.

3. Enjoy Sex and Talk About it Together.

There’s a big learning curve in sex. It’s wonderful and difficult and fun and funny. Don’t forget that phrase your mentor told you: “there’s always an extra limb in sex that doesn’t fit anywhere!” But whatever you do, keep talking together about sex. Be gentle with the vulnerability offered from your spouse. Don’t blow anything off if your spouse brings it up; take it seriously. Satan wants to keep spouses silent in the broken places; by opening up about sex and talking through concerns and questions, you can avoid a lot of additional pain.

4. Find a Church Home and Plug In.

As important as it is to lavish on one another, ultimately, no marriage thrives well in a hermit hole. Find a community of believers and press in. Ask questions. Hang out with older married couples. Ask for help. Go to potlucks. Make friends and pursue those friendships.

Jesus loves the local church, and your marriage is a powerful part of what God is doing—in you and in the larger community you are a part of.

5. Set Aside a Date Night.

Once a week, minimum, for the rest of your lives. Build it into the budget. Intentionality equals trust and love.

6. Pick Your Battles.

Your spouse will do things that drive you crazy and vice-versa. Be patient. Don’t choose frustration. And if you do, see point No. 1.

7. Pray Together. Regularly.

Even if it feels awkward or you don’t feel like it. Pray anyway.

8. Ask for Help. Regularly.

Every marriage needs help consistently. This usually starts in your church community, but get more help when you need it. Your marriage is worth it.

Jesus loves the local church, and your marriage is a powerful part of what God is doing—in you and in the larger community you are a part of.

9. Be goofballs and Have Fun!

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Do things together just for fun. Don’t always worry about the budget or that issue you’re working through. Go on an adventure together, even if it’s just to the next town over. Celebrate one another and your marriage regularly.

10. Marriage is Worth it, Because Christ is Worth it.

You are in this for keeps, with Jesus and with each other. All of your time, your energy, your dreams, your hopes—they are all His, and now those things are getting worked out within the marriage relationship.

Don’t expect this to be easy or simple, but expect it to be worth it. This marriage thing is one of the most important things you will ever do. God is with you, and He is for your marriage. You can do this together—with Him.

Top Comments

Marcus

18

Marcus commented…

Ann, these are really good tips for newlyweds. I will be implementing them in our marriage.

I also found listening to the first year stories of other couples helps too. And this marriage podcast on iTunes has many marriage stories we can all learn from.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/first-year-marriage-show-marriage/id...

Mark Ahrens

28

Mark Ahrens commented…

We try to practice the 5 A's taught by our church ROCKHARBOR.

1) Affirmation - compliment your spouse
2) Affection - give a hug, kiss, or (use your imagination)
3) Apology - ask if you did anything that hurt their feelings, then apologize
4) Ask - is there any help or task they need done tomorrow
5) Amen - pray together

Here is a link to a PDF of a poster you can have printed. We have this hanging in our bedroom. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwskmTunUoVyNW82LVlWMmFWQ0k/view?usp=sh...

6 Comments

Mark Ahrens

28

Mark Ahrens commented…

We try to practice the 5 A's taught by our church ROCKHARBOR.

1) Affirmation - compliment your spouse
2) Affection - give a hug, kiss, or (use your imagination)
3) Apology - ask if you did anything that hurt their feelings, then apologize
4) Ask - is there any help or task they need done tomorrow
5) Amen - pray together

Here is a link to a PDF of a poster you can have printed. We have this hanging in our bedroom. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwskmTunUoVyNW82LVlWMmFWQ0k/view?usp=sh...

Lim Seonyoung

69

Lim Seonyoung replied to Mark Ahrens's comment

Love this, thanks for sharing Mark.

Michael Johnson

262

Michael Johnson commented…

Thanks for sharing, Ann. Sharing this post with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at https://www.facebook.com/FMUniversity.

Love that repentance and forgiveness is listed first, because at FMU we feel like forgiveness is the single most important relational skill.

And if YOU are struggling with forgiveness we offer a free book called Forgiveness 101. You can read a little bit about it in this post from our FMU blog: http://f-m-u.com/Blog/two-reasons-need-forgive/.

Bob Sampson

1

Bob Sampson commented…

Thanks Ann for sharing these points. My wife and I, have also found the importance in the first few years to identify patterns that cause tension or conflict in the marriage. What are the root issues you continually come back to? For example multiple issues might lead back to a common thread of wanting control. Or, multiple issues might lead back to insecurity, etc. Invest in this by Investigating together, with other couples and counselors what some of the core issues are. Finding these out early in the marriage and learning how to identify them and communicate well regarding them, will save years and years of potential marital pain.

Brett

194

Brett commented…

Ah, wow, Ann, great post - love it whenever anyone is championing marriage and this is a great list of a bunch of things that can really help a marriage - really love the idea of a Date Nite [which we try do as regularly as possible] and the comment about talking about sex [little bit harder for some reason] and of course just making time or taking opportunities to be silly..

i have been compiling some helpful posts and stories of friends of mine who have been married well for many years over here which are quite helpful: https://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/married-people-and-how-to-may...

Keep it up
love brett fish

Marcus

18

Marcus commented…

Ann, these are really good tips for newlyweds. I will be implementing them in our marriage.

I also found listening to the first year stories of other couples helps too. And this marriage podcast on iTunes has many marriage stories we can all learn from.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/first-year-marriage-show-marriage/id...

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