Recently, J and I received our first wedding invitation that included a URL to a wedding website. Or, no, actually, I think it was the second or third one. Okay, it’s the first one where I decided to actually go to the website.
On the page where you RSVP, there are several different boxes where you can answer different questions. The one that caught my eye was, “Any advice for the newlyweds?”
Oh, boy. Lots. All the wisdom I’ve gained during the last half-century started flying around my head, each piece vying for attention. I could probably write a book.
But after thinking about it for a while, I realized it all boiled down to one thing.
The Golden Rule
My advice for newlyweds is the same that I would give to anyone seeking to live a better life: treat others the way you want to be treated.
Love others the way Yeshua would love them. Examples of how that might play out in a marriage:
- Get rid of any addictions or habits that you know would put even a small strain on your marriage relationship.
- Communicate respectfully.
- Give affection lavishly. Even if you don’t feel like it. Especially if you don’t feel like it.
- Keep your marriage vows. Because one day, you’re going to wake up and no longer feel “in love.” At least, not 24/7. That is not the day to file divorce papers. That’s the day to grow up and learn to selflessly care for someone who sometimes gets on your nerves or disagrees with you. Or with whom you will sometimes disagree. That’s the day to realize that the person you married could be your best friend and a true partner in life, provided you’re both willing to put in the time and effort to build the relationship.
- Be a person your spouse will never be afraid to approach with anything that’s on their mind.
- When you mess up, ‘fess up and ask for forgiveness. And forgive when asked. Or even when not asked.
Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. Ask yourself, what would God’s unconditional love do in this situation? If you can’t figure it out, ask the One who embodies that love. Because God wants to hear from you, and is ready to help.