Lessons I Learned from My First Year of Marriage

The day went by in a blur. I tried my absolute best to enjoy every moment, but it went by so fast. Looking back at photos from our wedding, I wish I could go back in time and relive each moment. I loved my wedding day. I loved getting married to David Beal. I loved our ceremony. I loved our first hours together as husband and wife. God has been so gracious to David and I in blessing us with a wonderful first year of marriage. I don’t mean wonderful in the sense that everything was “perfect.” I mean wonderful in the sense that Dav and I were both committed to loving each other with a sacrificial love. I thought marriage would be good—I married my best friend after all—but I didn’t know how sweet it could be. The more Christ is at the center of our marriage, the more satisfying and sweet it will be. Early on in our marriage we adopted a few mindsets that truly set our marriage up for success. In talking with other older, wiser married couples, I realized that these mindsets are crucial in helping couples maintain a joy-filled marriage. If you desire to set your current or future marriage up for success, I want to encourage you to begin working on these simple mindsets and habits right now. You don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to practice these. Apply them to all of your relationships starting now.

Two Simple Lessons

1. Forgive Quickly.

It’s that simple. Don’t hold onto things. Don’t stew in your hurt. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Don’t get upset over every tiny thing that happens. Have a forgiving spirit. Choose to overlook the little things and forgive the big things quickly. Holding onto unforgiveness only creates a heart of resentment and bitterness. When you choose to love others like Christ loves you, you create a space where genuine love can flourish. This is an area I want to continue to grow in. I’m inviting you to join me on this journey. Let’s ask Christ to make us women who forgive quickly, women who overlook the little things, and women who realize how much we’ve been forgiven and in return extend that forgiveness to our husbands.

2. Believe the Best!

This is so much harder said than done. Believing the best in someone takes focus, intentionality, and will. It doesn’t come naturally. It’s a habit that is cultivated. I find myself regularly tempted to believe the best about myself and the worst about my husband. That’s my natural sinful tendency. I give myself the benefit of the doubt. I give myself a second chance. I extend grace to myself. My marriage is so much more enjoyable and satisfying when I choose to extend those same qualities to my husband. I know he has an amazing heart, and I trust him so much that I married him! I just need to remember to extend him grace and love even when my mind pulls me in a selfish direction. Those are the lessons. Simple, practical, and a whole lot harder to do than say. I’m committed to working on these qualities, and I want to invite you to join me. If you’re single, I promise you that cultivating these qualities in your own life will pay huge dividends once you’re married. The godly character that you develop as a single will enrich your relationships now and come with you into your marriage. What qualities would you add to my simple list of lessons?

About the Author

Bethany Beal

Bethany Beal is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries and co-author of several books, including Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through writing, speaking, and mentoring women, and you can catch her unpacking exciting and controversial topics every week on her podcast, The Girl Defined Show. Bethany is married to her best friend and husband, David, and they have one son, Davey Jr.