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Wifey Wednesday: What I Wish I Had Known Before I Was Married

Today on Wifey Wednesday I have a special guest. Christine Pembleton is a mom, an author, and a wife, and her new book "Lord, I'm Ready to Be a Wife" is now ready, too! She's come by to answer some questions for us. While her book is directed at single women, I think many of us married women need a reality check and need to keep these vital principles in mind.

So I asked her some questions, and she answered! I'm in purple, and she's in blue, because I like purple and it's my blog. Let's talk to Christine:

Christine, what’s the biggest mistake that women make about their attitudes when they get married?

The biggest mistake a woman can make, in my opinion, is to expect to automatically become one with her husband after they've taken their wedding vows. Marital bliss is a process. And building a life together takes time. Married couples who have been married for 20 years are still working towards this.

I totally agree with this! When Keith and I speak at marriage conferences, we like to say that we've been married for 17 years, and happily married for 13. The first few were really tough. But knowing that you're sticking it out for the long haul gives you the energy to keep going!

Okay, here's another one: I’ve heard it said that women get married to make themselves happy. Do you think this can backfire?

Sure this can backfire. Marriage can bring happiness to a person's life, but it can also bring heartache and disappointment. There is nothing in life that will make you happy 24-hours a day, but if we focus our need for joy to the Lord, He will be that source of unexplainable joy, through the most challenging situations of our lives, even our marriages. One note: marriage should not be miserable either. I definitely think there should be more happy moment than sad ones, but there will be tears. If you look to the Lord to help you through those times, you'll make it through them with peace.

What should we teach our children more to prepare them for marriage?

Sharing and compassion for another person's needs. Marriage really takes more compromise than people today realize. Knowing how to care for someone else's need, and to be selfless, will help any man or woman be more prepared for the requirements marriage brings to their lives.

I think having a sibling can be really helpful here! I grew up as an only child, and I had never really had to adjust to living with another person before. Seeing my own children negotiate whose turn it is to do something or whose space it is actually makes me smile, for while it seems like they're bickering, they're also learning how to share and work things out! I do think single children have a harder time with marriage, but that could just be my own bias.

How do you think women should prepare for the physical aspects of marriage?

It all depends on the life a woman has lived before she's gotten married. If a woman has had a limited or non-existent sexual life before she's gotten married, it can take time to get into the mindset of being intimate with her husband each day or week. If she has been sexual, it might be difficult not to compare her husband to the other lovers she's had before. I definitely believe we as the Body of Christ should have forums for married men and women to openly share with unmarried people their experiences of building a sexual relationship. This would help them mentally prepare for that life as a married person.

Me, too! That's what I want Wifey Wednesday to be! I think we in the church don't really have good places to talk about sexual stuff in a healthy way, and I wish we did. So I try to open up here, and let the chips fall where they may. I think we need to ask questions and ask for help.

Do you think we value marriage TOO much? Do women sometimes seek their fulfillment in their husbands rather than in God?

In the 21st century, we don't value marriage enough. Yes, women can seek fulfillment in their husbands rather than God but it only takes a few days before you realize that's not going to happen. I believe the bigger problem is that few married couples are really experiencing the benefits of oneness in marriage, and so very few people really understand how beautiful marriage can be, when you've build a marriage over time, and have come to understand your spouse. Like our relationship with God, getting to know a husband takes years, trust, and vulnerability. I believe the fruit a healthy marriage includes strength, understanding, encouragement, and exponential increase in one's ability to prosper in soul, spirit and body. Marriage does make our lives better, or at least it should. God is our source of purpose, and marriage provides us an opportunity to exercise that purpose, as we care for the life of our spouse, as unto the Lord.

Great answer! Thanks Christine! And you can find out more about her book right here.

Now, why don't you join the discussion? What one piece of advice do you wish women had given you before you were married? What's one thing that really surprised you? Leave your answer in the comments, or write your own blog post about it and join Wifey Wednesday! Just come on back here and leave the URL for your post in the Mr. Linky!

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At 8:40 AM , Blogger Susie Buetow said…

We were given two pieces of advice that still ring through my ears. 1st my DH grandma said "never go to bed angry" and she is was so right! I've gone to bed upset many times and I didnt get much sleep on those nights. It is so much better to forgive or ask for forgiveness and go to sleep in peace. The 2nd advice was from our Pastor who said that our relationship is 100%. So when your spouse is at 30% you need to be the 70% and give more. Get it? I think of these things often!


At 8:56 AM , Blogger A happy heart at home said…

You can't read each other's minds. Talk, don't 'hint'!

Also, be kindhearted to each other. Everyone goes through struggles that, many times, no one even knows about. Love, mercy, and kindness can make all the difference in your spouse's day.



At 9:00 AM , Blogger Katy-Anne Binstead said…

Where she said she doesn't believe a husband and wife don't automatically become one and that it takes time might sound good, but it's not Biblically correct. The Bible is clear that when you consummate the marriage that you are one flesh. Can't get much clearer than that.


At 9:26 AM , Blogger Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer said…

I wish I had known that it does take time to move and operate as one. Yes, the Bible does say we become one flesh. However, it still takes time to intertwine two lives, two backgrounds and two mindsets. I believe it is a myth in Christian marriages that because the Bible states we become one flesh that we automatically think as one.

Marriage is work - hard work and the benefits are wonderful when the husband and wife can come together and agree on everything from finances to lovemaking.

Sheila, thanks for this blog. I am definitely saving it as a favorite.

Christine - loved your first chapter!


At 11:02 AM , Blogger Valerie said…

Becoming one in more ways than flesh does take time. Going from single to married is a HUGE adjustment.

Our Pastor told us this: have an understanding that your spouse isn't perfect. There are going to be times you disagree and you may get your feelings hurt. Marriage requires work and sacrifice. And its totally worth it.

I would have liked to have a better understanding of this in the beginning: Submission is a big part of marriage and most times neither the husband or the wife truly understand what submission is. It's easy to say you'll submit, it's not always to actually do.

Never make your love conditional. Well, I'll love you more if. . .


At 1:57 PM , Blogger Elspeth said…

Valerie said what I was going to say. Certainly you become "one flesh" upon consummation, but to have a oneness of mind, values, and heart takes years to develop.

Many marriages fail precisely because couples (and wives in particular) expect to have the fruit of a lifelong marriage right after the honeymoon period ends. It doesn't work that way.

This is why the Scripture bothers to reveal to us the way to develop our characters and our marriages: for wives: repsect and submission, For husbands: love and dwelling with their wives according to knowledge, which the Mr. certainly doesn't have after a one week honeymoon.

I do appreciate Mrs. W's zeal for Biblical accuracy, because I think it is sorely lacking in the church today. Maybe a little more clarification on the issue of oneness was in order, though I understood what your interviewee was trying to say.


At 2:47 PM , Blogger Cheri Gregory said…

Your point about children learning to be selfless is so on target.

My heart aches for the teens I work with, many of whom have been brought up to say whatever they think, whenever they think it, however it flies out of their mouths. They treat their elders and peers with such total disrespect, I can not imagine what their marriages will be like!


At 6:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

I was young and married for the wrong reasons. I regret my choice, but after over 15 years of marriage and I became a Christian after a couple of years of marriage I wish someone would have talked to me about getting married in the first place at that time.


At 5:28 PM , Blogger Sistahs After God's Heart said…

This is AWESOME!!! As a young, single woman who would one day love to be married with a God-fering husband and a family, this book was a MUST READ!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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