Young Marriage: Thoughts On Merging Two Spiritual People into “One”…
Young couples. Two very young people getting married is pretty common among Hebrews. I married at 19 and have no regrets. I love being married and being a young mother.
In another post, I shared my struggles with learning to be vulnerable — one of the hardest things (for me) about marriage. Today, I’d like to dig into the challenges of two spiritual people becoming “one”.
Merging your “spiritual life” and self— your personal beliefs and theology — with someone else is tough. Lord knows, you are definitely not going to agree on everything.
The basics are easy, but chances are you didn’t get a chance to discuss and hammer out every single piece of scripture before you married. Bummer.
Identity and Family Beliefs
One of the biggest challenges for me was learning to separate my beliefs from those of my family. When you marry, you leave your parents and your family and hold fast to your spouse. You two are the family now. And yet, I found myself holding on to some of my parents beliefs just because I had grown comfortable with them. Messianic families tend to be very tight-knit and close. So when my husband challenged these beliefs or disagreed, I felt attacked.
Gideon and I grew up differently. We had different opinions on things. We both had to learn to put aside “our family’s” traditions and opinions to build those for our own marriage. We are the family now. Gideon and me. We now get to continuously work together to build a biblically based lifestyle together. Drawing from each of our families’ experiences has been a very valuable resource. But we are creating a new clan with its own traditions. Through prayer and studying, we are forming our lifestyle together. And it’s exciting!
Dying on Theological Hills
Hebrews are passionate people. We have a passion for God, his Son and his commandments. But that passion can easily become a source of contention, especially when we can’t see eye to eye on one of those things. It’s so easy to confuse Torah with our opinions about Torah. It’s also easy to be stubborn and unwilling to see a new perspective. I had to learn to fully acknowledge that my man loves and wants to serve God just as much as I do.
Opinions and theology will definitely change throughout your life. Marriage isn’t the only thing that will shake your beliefs. And you must be willing to hear another side. As I mentioned before, it’s exciting to be on this journey and get to learn and grow together. Change is a huge part of growth.
When I finally figured this out, a huge weight tumbled off my shoulders. I could finally take a breath and relax. I could pray about it and leave it alone for a bit
You don’t need to have all of your beliefs figured out, lined up in a row, and formally stated in writing right now.
There is time to study the scripture. Even now, 3 years later, there still time. It was surprising when we encountered situations, in our first year, that made us question what we believed. Sometimes, it will be unclear. Sometimes you will disagree. And that’s ok.
We don’t have everything hammered out and there are some things we still disagree on. Someday, after lots of prayer and experience we will might get things straight. But God doesn’t always reveal everything right this instant. It’s okay to not know everything. You can take a breath 🙂
Going back to the first mentioned challenge; You’re no longer just individuals. You two are a team. You always have to have each other’s backs.
I think young couples benefit when they agree to things like: no venting to your mom or friends about your partners short-comings. No calling them out in front of a crowd.
Because if one of you is failing, you both are. If one of you is hurt, you both are.
As much as I’d love to boast about how that mindset came naturally to me, it didn’t. I literally had to learn to care for someone as much as myself, because beyond the emotional feelings of love, we are all just imperfect humans. It can be hard to love someone.
During arguments, it’s so difficult to feel like you have a teammate. Shifting the focus from “how I feel or what I want” to “what is the best for both” or “how my partner feels” is still surprisingly hard for me. But focusing on finding a solution helps. Forget the snide remarks and comments and work together as a team to find a solution. Teamwork.
Being Vulnerable When It Hurts
I’ve written about this before. Vulnerability stretches your love thin. Vulnerability is such a challenge because it shows the other person your ugly part. My fear was that I couldn’t control what Gideon thought about my ugliness. It was entirely up to him.
But vulnerability and honesty also strengthens your love. Because when someone has truly seen you, in all of your goodness and in all of your ugliness, when you’ve sinned against them; and that person still want you; that’s when the warm wave of emotion hits you. That’s when you know you’re safe.
It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong or when you’ve sinned. Do it.