Thought Catalog
June 9, 2017

The Most Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Husband In Our First Year Of Marriage

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Brian Hartley

On June 10th, Carson and I will have been married for one year. Marriage has been a mixture of exactly what I expected and the exact opposite of what I expected all at once. One thing I didn’t expect was how much I would learn from my husband.

I am stubborn… like really stubborn. I have actually prided myself in my stubbornness since I was a little girl. In some instances, my headstrong spirit comes in handy–like the time when I taught myself to wakeboard and fell on my face sixty-six times before somewhat resembling so-called wakeboarding. In other instances, my stubbornness becomes a roadblock in how I respond to other people. Instead of going around it or pushing it out of the way, I hit it head on, knowing full well the harm it will cause both to myself and those around me–which brings me to the first lesson I have learned from my husband.

Humility is more effective than being stubborn

Carson is truly the most humble person I know, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his wife. Seriously, ask anybody who knows him… he is characterized and remembered by his humility. Philippians 2:3-4 describes him to a t, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Oh, how I want to live in this way; yet, I often respond with the mindset that I am better than others. I push Carson until I get my way. I blame him when I myself am at fault. My prideful, stubborn tendencies keep me from valuing others above myself–especially him. If Carson didn’t have this humble attitude, I honestly don’t know if we would have made it to our first anniversary. Or if we had, it would have been a painful year with words we would have had to work through for years to come. On a daily basis, I watch my husband put others before himself and respond to me with humility instead of vain. At first, I wasn’t sure how he did it or how he made it look so easy, but I’m slowly realizing that it’s not coming from him at all.

Don’t be afraid to ask for wisdom

A few weeks ago, Carson and I were praying together and he specifically asked God to give him wisdom. I was a little taken aback by his specificity, so I asked him about it. He told me that he had been reading from James 1 earlier in the week: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

It made sense. Carson’s ability to put others before himself is a result of wisdom from God–wisdom to hold his tongue instead of using words he will regret; wisdom to love me when I am a mess; wisdom to care for others when the world says to only care for yourself. Sometimes, I ask God for certain things, but I don’t really believe that he will give it to me… or worse: I don’t want him to give it to me. I’ll say, “God, help me to see people the way you do.” But, I don’t really want to because then I can’t elevate myself by pointing out their faults. “Lord, help me to be a wife who puts my husband first.” I want to be a loving wife, but I don’t want to put in the extra effort to get up early and make him breakfast or take time to really listen to him when he talks about his day.

If I really believe that God will give me what I ask, then I need to want to do my part. Being humble isn’t easy. It’s much easier to say you’re right even when you know you’re wrong. Being wise is not glamorous. It requires putting your own desires on hold and responding with kindness when people don’t deserve it.

Worrying is a waste of time

The last lesson I will share is a little different from the others. I am a compulsive worrier. Really, I worry about everything: what people think of me, what I look like, getting a job, the weather, the future, dying… you name it, and I am probably worrying about it. I often share (obsess) over these worries with Carson. He listens–I can’t imagine how–and always reminds me of the same thing: worrying is a waste of time. “Lauren, think of what all you could have gotten done in the amount of time you just spent worrying. Stop caring what other people think of you. Stop worrying about what may or may not happen. It’s not going to help.” I look at him–content, peaceful, happy. If I could just reduce my worry in half, I think I would be more that way.

On June 10th, we will have been married for a year–only a year, and I have already learned so much from Carson. Maybe next year I will be able to look back at this post and be a little more humble, a little more wise, and a little less worried. If I am, I know I’ll be thanking God for these lessons he has taught me through my husband. TC mark