How to Have the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted: Get a Marriage Expert

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. –1 Corinthians 11:3

Being in the bridal industry for over seven years, you would think I’d be an expert when it came time for me to get married. I had helped dozens upon dozens of brides find their dresses, secure their venues and ease their nerves leading up to the aisle, but I soon realized that was only one tiny piece of the puzzle. Outside of that one day, I heard the excitement is finally moving in together, receiving new household registry items and day dreaming about the future. But, they seemed to leave out the really hard stuff, like the reality of marriage and the necessary prep work leading up to this big commitment.

Wanting to dig deeper, I began to ask questions of these nearly newlyweds, like, “who’s the leader in your relationship?” “what are your finance goals?” and “are you both of the same faith?” Every single time, the same response would follow. “Ah, I don’t know.” It was clear that there was a lack of communication among these couples, especially when it came to anything past the wedding day.

When I got engaged, I knew I wanted to have a better grip on these deep conversations. I wanted to be able to answer those hard questions and be better prepared for this giant commitment I was about to make. With all of this on my brain, I had my to-be-hubby and I sign up for pre-marital classes through our church to better understand what this thing called marriage was all about.

We would go to pre-marital class, digging into hard questions, situations and real life scenarios together. Week after week, the pastor hit us hard with questions like, “What roles will you take on in your household?” “Who will be responsible for disciplining your future children?” “How often do you want sex?” Though my fiance and I would always walk out bickering, I was so grateful for those conversations. I learned more about the man I was about to marry more in those six weeks than I learned in years of time together. As a team, we were learning how to work through those questions and scenarios that we would inevitably face. Being on the same page before being married was a game changer for us, one where we really got to see each other in the light of a spouse. But more than that, we learned that God orchestrated this three person union; my spouse, myself and God.

Now as a newlywed, a new problem arose that I wasn’t prepared for and certainly didn’t hear talked about. Combining two lives into one, giving up my single nature, making space for him; those were easy. Sharing, though, was my kryptonite. Sharing the last piece of pizza? Yeah, right. Slice up my salary? No, don’t make me. Deciding between seeing his family or mine for holidays? Obviously mine. It was hard. I didn’t want to share these thoughts with my new husband because I was sure that it would prove I was a terrible wife, so I turned to the One person I knew would understand. I ran to God, the third person in this relationship. By pouring it all out to Him, God softened my heart to become a better version of myself and a better wife.

Fast forward three years, I can honestly say that with God in my marriage, everything is easier. He helps walk me through difficult situations. He helps ground me. He helps me be the wife that I want to be. Sure, I still give myself bigger helpings of guacamole because it is my favorite but when it comes to the big stuff, I can see the bigger picture of our Holy union. The gift of marriage is one of the best blessings God has ever given me and I’m grateful that I get to spend this life, sometimes selfishly, alongside my patient husband. But remembering that this union involves God is key. He is the ever-dependable marriage expert whom we can always rely on. Isn’t He the One who created even this beautiful institution? If I didn’t reach out to Him while I was dating my husband, throughout the pre-martial process and through those sticky moments, we would be sitting in a very different place right now. 

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EB2-2 - Erica BarretoErica is a native Minnesotan now living in NYC with her husband and kitty baby. She is a vegan, gluten free and Christian blogger with aspirations to publish her own non-fiction Christian book in 2020. Always light hearted, Erica enjoys reading, inspiring and when time allows, snowboarding. You can visit her website or connect with her on Instagram

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