10. Try to shut your ears to all the really bad advice you get about sex right before your wedding.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]here did these people come from with such an urge to set the Happy family straight about sex? From the believer who encouraged the Happys to have sex before they were married to make sure they were “compatible” (whatever that means) to the old wife who felt a need to share just how tedious sex could be—but you gotta do it anyway, so brace yourself–Mrs. Happy felt a continual need to rinse her brain of potentially damaging misinformation. These 10 things you should know about getting married. Beware of friends and relatives who speak to you out of their bitterness, fears, failures, and disappointments. God will bless your marriage bed—believe it for yourself!–regardless of what others around you have experienced.
9. Your husband needs your respect, even if you don’t think he deserves it.
Mrs. Happy had a tough time learning to respect her husband, especially when it came to curbing her naturally nimble (um, sharp) tongue. She felt a “need” to point out his flaws and register her annoyance (check this out: Proverbs 12:16) and undoubtedly hindered her husband’s growth as a leader, businessman, and friend. Thank God, she got a clue eventually, realizing through the Word of God that her husband needs her respect in order to become the man God intended him to be. She understood that he deserves respect simply because he is made in the image of God, and not because Mrs. Happy feels particularly respectful at that moment. Marriage is about love. She also discovered that if you give respect, you get it—as well as lots of really good sex. (But she digresses.)
8. Your wife needs patient attention and kind, considerate treatment, even if you think her concerns aren’t all that significant or if you’re deeply involved in oh-so-important ministry.
Yeah, it’s true—us godly women tend to be a little more emotional. Our hormones rise and fall throughout the month, and yours don’t. So there. Deal with it. Just know that a harsh word or thoughtless action from the husband we love can make our entire day a struggle, and, ahem, disrupt said husband’s sex life, if you know what we mean.
7. Sex is really important in a healthy marriage, and sex is often a microcosm of the marriage itself.
Do you see a husband who only pleases himself and not his wife, or a wife who withholds sex to punish her husband? You can clearly discern the roots of marital dysfunction in these selfish behaviors. But husbands and wives who take the time to learn how to please each other sexually and show consideration whether they feel like it or don’t feel like it are really just living out the concept of godly love in the bedroom. Experiencing a good sexual relationship in marriage involves humility, diligence, teachability, faith, communication, and consistency—the same qualities that lead to a healthy life in Christ.
6. Most couples aren’t any good at sex at first.
Mr. and Mrs. Happy laugh at some of the dumb things they did back in the day, such as believing you needed gobs of lubricant to have sex, as many books advise (Happy hint: If your wife is fully aroused through foreplay, you will seldom need it, and if you do, use only the smallest amount necessary for penetration). But the most important thing they learned is that it’s extremely healthy to begin marriage with the assumption that you don’t know nothin’ about making love to your spouse and that you’ll need an extended period of open learning and practice, practice, practice to learn how to satisfy each other. And that it’s a lot of fun. So let the learning begin! Oh, and one other thing, which Mr. and Mrs. Happy gradually discovered: There are only three or four sex positions that actually work, meaning everyone ends up happy. The rest are for acrobats and contortionists. So put down your sexual gymnastics manual and keep it simple and effective.
5. Wonder why you’re happily married and still dealing with lots of impure sexual thoughts? It’s because of all the R-rated movies and nasty music you still indulge in. And the pornography you occasionally dip into.
Get a conviction about your media habits—then confess your sin and ask God to cleanse your mind, body, and spirit. Jettison the garbage (songs, movies, images), make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1), and watch the battle over thoughts turn in your favor.
4. Be very, very careful who you confide in concerning your marriage.
Guard your husband’s heart. Your marriage challenges should rarely be shared with others. If you must confide in someone, make sure it’s a member of the same sex who is spiritually mature and in a solid marriage relationship themselves. Be aware that even wise confidantes can have a tendency to counsel from their own experience and not the Word of God. Husbands, take the time to cultivate a godly friendship—don’t rely on your wife to engineer all of the family’s social interactions—so you have someone to talk to on those occasions when you really need to.
3. Everyone seems to have an opinion about marriage, but there is no power in man’s opinions. There is only power in the Word of God.
Find out what the Word says about marriage, and apply it simply and directly. If it says submit to your husband, figure out what that means and do it—there is irresistible wisdom in God’s ways. If it says love your wife, study that word and go all out as if your life depended on it. Because it does: Whatever you do unto her will be done unto you.
2. True submission is packed with God’s power.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first; the greatest among you is the one who serves. Submission is surrendering your will from a motive of love, and it is soft enough to melt a hard heart and forceful enough to break a rebellious man (or woman). It is never done to manipulate, and it never involves fear; you’ll know it’s real when it brings joy. Most important, it is God’s design for marriage.
1a. You have the power to make or break your husband. The way you speak, the little things you do to lift burdens, the ways you (quietly) shore up his weaknesses, the prayers you pray, the times you minister to his body through sex—you have incredible power, woman of God. Use it well and build on a foundation of love.
1b. Husbands, your wife reflects you.
How you treat her will show up on her countenance, in her health, and in her receptiveness to you in the bedroom. If you truly understand what it means to lay down your life for her (Ephesians 5:25), there is nothing she will not do for you. These are the 10 things you should be aware of before getting married.
Mrs. Happy has been married to one man for a long time. She likes Mexican food.