The following was posted in Father Jay Toborowsky's blog, Young Fogeys.
Mother’s Day (taken from Judy Grubaugh)
I recently attended a bridal shower that would have fulfilled the dreams of any young woman. The home was beautiful and the conversation among friends who had watched the bride-to-be grow up was warm and welcoming. Then the hostess asked me to share a few words about marriage. As the room quieted, I shared with this young bride-to-be five things I wish I’d known before I walked down the aisle, hoping she’d learn them quicker than I did.
One: I wish I’d known my husband is human, just like me. From the time we’re little girls, we dream of the day when a knight in shining armor will whisk us away to a life of happiness ever after; but even a prince will have days when nothing goes right and he’s just plain weary. At times like these, you will be a wise wife if you rise to the occasion and encourage your husband. Ask God to give you a tongue that has words to sustain him.
Two: I wish I’d known the value of respecting my husband: In Ephesians 5:33 God’s Word says men need respect. Surveys affirm that the most important thing needed by men is the respect of their wives, even though radical feminists discredit the idea. You can show respect in a million ways, but most important is to remind him often that you believe in him. If you do, you will walk hand in hand even when you don’t see eye to eye.
Three: I wish I’d known to make God my refuge, not my husband. Your husband should be your confidant, but God alone is your refuge. Your husband was not created to understand all your emotional needs; trying to force him to do so will cause turmoil in your relationship. God wants to be your refuge. If you go to Him first with your needs and concerns, your marriage will be richer.
Four: I wish I’d known fulfillment in life comes from God, not from my husband. Expecting to find complete fulfillment from your husband is a mistake. God tells us ultimate fulfillment comes through knowledge of Him. The better you get to know God, the more fulfilled you will be. If we put Him first, He will give us everything else we need. And it is important to develop and cultivate friendships with other women - especially those who can help you grow in the faith, provide wisdom for your marriage, and act as God’s hands in your life. As God meets you through your friends, you have more to offer your marriage and family. The support of other women is invaluable.
Five: I wish I’d known that the best gift I could give my husband is to pray for him. Ask God to pour favor upon this man you love, and ask God to give him an undivided heart - a heart that hungers to know God. The more devoted your husband is to God, the more devotion he will show you. God wants you to excel as a wife. If you know and understand these five things, you will be a contented wife, and your husband will be a better man for having married you.
Thanks, Father Jay, for posting this wonderful essay. I have been married to TheDad for 16+ years and there is plenty of room for me to improve. I appreciate the inspiration that this essay provides.