5. Like it or not, you will learn the meaning of forgiveness. With the certainty of being wounded, comes the reality that you will need to learn forgiveness. But the biggest lesson to learn, is that true forgiveness comes not because the person standing before you is deserving, rather, it comes out of a heart that understands how much we’ve been forgiven though we, too, were undeserving.

6. Marriage will cost you. I’m not even talking about the cost of the wedding. That’s nothing in comparison to the emotional costs that come with becoming one. The truth is, you lose a part of yourself within the glory of marriage. You exchange a little bit of who you are, for a little bit of who they are. You learn to give and take, and then you learn to let go of the things that don’t really matter. And in the end, you realize that what you’ve given is far, far less than what you’ve ultimately received. Love is good like that.

7. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a series of decisions. Talk about a reality check. Before marriage you can never comprehend the strong feelings going anywhere but higher. Then one day you realize that feelings can’t really be trusted, because some days you feel you may not even like each other. Feelings come, but feelings also go. They are a compass, and sometimes a guide, but they are never to be followed. Loving is easy when you feel like it, but when you don’t, that’s the test of real love. It’s choosing to love, to give, and to serve because of the commitment you have made. It’s choosing the other instead of choosing yourself. That’s the very definition of love in it’s truest form.

8. Marriage will require you to learn how to communicate. Like to talk? Don’t like to talk? Well, it doesn’t really matter. No matter what your communication bent, marriage will force you to bring your insides out. It will require you to take a good hard look at your opinions, beliefs, ideas, and feelings and share them with another. It will cause you to answer the hard questions, and speak the difficult truths, because communication is the lifeline between two people. There’s no way around it. It will cause you to take responsibility for not just what you say, but how you say it- tone, body language, sarcasm and all.

9. Marriage is not the end of your destination. Before you’re married it’s easy to see marriage as the grande finale. It’s the thing we dream of and live for. It’s the force propelling us forward into this destination we call life. And then it finally comes! Now what? There’s this strange moment when you realize that this relationship that God has blessed you with is a fraction of the grand scheme He has for your life. Your purpose and passions will extend far beyond the reach of your relationship with your spouse. Even more exciting, is seeing God at work because of this relationship that He’s given you as the love between you and your spouse is reflected to the world around. Marriage is not the end, it’s only the beginning. God’s got so much more up His sleeve.

10. Marriage gives you a glimpse of so much more. On that same note, man do you learn a lot about God when you are rubbing up against someone day in and day out. There’s a reason that God uses the analogy of marriage to describe His love for His church, because no relationship will ever compare to the intimacy that is exchanged within this earthly connection. Not only is God’s love for us magnified through the lens of a healthy marriage, but He uses this marriage to shape us, refine us, and put us through the fire - making us more and more like Him along the way. Reflecting Jesus is the greatest honor that we can partake in when it comes to marriage, but more so, it’s the one and only thing that will keep our marriage alive.