The Rookie Mistakes of Marriage
By Janel Breitenstein
It was my new husband’s birthday. I responded with new-wife exuberance by creating his favorite raspberry cake.
Still being a college student, I left for class. Normally, this is a good thing.
It is less good when you leave a cake in the oven during a two-and-a-half-hour class period.
Nothing says “Happy birthday! Aren’t you glad we get to spend our lives together?” like a raspberry-colored, oversized hockey puck, and a 500-square foot apartment smelling like near-missed disaster.
Of course, one can craft another birthday cake. But other rookie mistakes of marriage might take longer to rectify.
Here’s what not to do to your spouse if you like a happy one.
- Imitating them: The high-pitched wife. The out-of-touch, I’m-a-stupid-dude voice. These are no-no’s.
- Making your spouse feel dumb. He doesn’t do math in his head like you do. She pointed the wrong direction to a nearby gas station.
It’s low fruit on the tree when it comes to mocking. But by all means, resist.
- Generalizing their gender. Gah! Men are so… Or, Women. Can’t live with ‘em...
- Dredging up past mistakes. You’re paying extra insurance because she blew that red light. He told his mother about your sex life.
God mentions throwing our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19) in His willingness to forget our offenses.
No, we don’t hand a gambling addict a new credit card. But in accountability, loving restoration is the goal.
- Mentioning your spouse’s weakness in public or on social media. (Sarcasm counts.) You might think this gives the upper hand, but adding shame to his porn problem or the way she forgets to pick up the kids ultimately changes your spouse through fear, rather than kindness leading to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Bottom line: No matter how long you’ve been married—don’t let carelessness incinerate your spouse.
The good stuff: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Action points: If you asked your spouse, what would they say is your most belittling or annoying behavior problem? Are you allowing its weight to impact you as much as it impacts your spouse? Take time to truly understand why this stings—and ask God for the capacity to care and change.
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