In the year leading up to our wedding, my fiancée and I read several marriage books recommended by our friends. One of my favorite books focused on managing our expectations as we head into marriage. It unpacked how many couples enter marriage with unrealistic expectations and set themselves up for disappointment. It was a timely read and helped me manage the surprises of the first month of manage well.

Marriage has been a pretty smooth transition for me so far. Mostly, I’m overwhelmed with the gifts of marriage. I married at 35 and wonder if I appreciate it more because I waited for it longer. But of all the blessings, there are three things I’m most thankful for a month into our marriage.

1. The Support Of Loved Ones

My wife and I have been spoiled with the support of so many friends and family through this wedding season. So many people helped us have the wedding of our dreams. But beyond that, people have helped us get set up in our new home in Colorado Springs. My wife’s sister and mom even came from their homes in San Diego to help us get our new place set up.

It might surprise you that the first gift I’d mention would be the outside help of others, but it really has made a huge difference. We know we are blessed with so many people who not only helped launch us into married life, but also are here for us along the way. I’m thankful that our new marriage is a community project and when we need help, we know where to find it.

2. The Beauty Of Friendship In Marriage

Years ago, I spent a semester studying in Ireland. Thirty students from our small college were on for the adventure of our lives. We were in a beautiful place and enjoyed beautiful community during that semester. I’ve always believed that semester was great because of the friends I shared it with. Life is just better when done with friends.

That’s why I’m so thankful for the friendship of marriage. In our first month, we’ve spent most of our free time together, and it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve gone on hikes together, run errands together, worked on household projects together, laughed together and made some pretty spectacular meals together. I’m thankful for a best friend to go through life with. I’m thankful for someone to share good news with. My wife is a great friend and I’m thankful that we’ll get to share the rest of our lives together as friends.

3. The Gift Of Physical Intimacy

The most beautiful wedding gift we received was the gift that God gives every couple. Sexuality is such a wonderful, mysterious part of being newly married. Jen and I, by the grace of God, were able to give each other the gift of inexperience. Many couples today choose to be experienced sexually as they enter into marriage, but I’m glad we waited. My wife even saved her first kiss for our wedding day.

This first month of marriage has been an exciting season of learning. We don’t begrudge our inexperience or naivety. We cherish it as we learn how to love and serve each other well. There have been several moments where we’ve reflected, “Wow! That’s the first time we’ve enjoyed that!”

If you haven’t thought much about whether you want to save physical intimacy for marriage, we recommend you do. The newness and innocence has been a great gift as we learn to enjoy this gift together without worrying about how we compare with previous lovers.

We are so thankful for so many things, but these are three that stand out. The joys we are experiencing in our marriage have truly made the days of waiting worth it.

You may also be interested in 4 Ways To Keep Jesus At The Center Of Your Marriage

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