Maybe so many marriages suck today because they started wrong. I can’t think of a single married couple that I have been close to that didn’t start the same way. Newlyweds. Get as much house as we can get. Get a car, no, two cars. Both husband and wife (or at least one of them) working as many hours as they can get. Grab a movie here, dinner there. If this isn’t you, please comment below and share your experience.

Consider this alternative: For the first year of your marriage, get the cheapest possible place to live together. Try not to own a car if you can avoid it. If you can’t avoid it, only have one car. Work as little as you possibly can. Focus the first year on your marriage.

Consider this passage: When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken. Deuteronomy 24: 5 NASB

What Newlyweds Can Expect If They Decide To Do It.

If you decide to make this commitment, you can expect naysayers. They will sound something like, “you guys can be married and have a real life” or “you shouldn’t have to give up your life for your marriage.” Of course, that is the mindset we are setting ourselves against, right? So, the naysayer is no big surprise. To them I would quote Chris Guillebea, “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” (To learn more about living a remarkable life in a conventional world, read Chris’ Remarkable Life In a Conventional World.

Also, there is the church naysayer that may tell you that Deuteronomy is in the old testament and so it isn’t valid anymore. The response to this is beyond the scope of this blog, but consider in response, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So What Do We Do For A Year?

Well, the authority says the husband should “give happiness to his wife….” But how?

A meeting of two: eye to eye, face to face. And when you are near, I will tear your eyes out and place them inside of mine, and you will tear my eyes out and will place them inside of yours, then I will look at you with your eyes and you will look at me with mine. -J.L. Moreno

How do I see with her eyes? How does she see with mine? It certainly starts with talking, listening. It is certainly accomplished over the long term with a plan. Plan to read a book together, take a trip together. Plan whatever, but plan something.

A special note to men: I’ve noticed that when men are interested in a new hobby, they have a certain method they follow. Each man is a bit different, but there are some consistencies in their method. It usually starts with talking about the hobby with somebody that knows a little more than they do. It might involve buying (or at least reading) a magazine about the hobby. Google might get involved and at some point there will be a YouTube video. If there any tools that support the hobby, somehow the money is found to buy them. Why wouldn’t you use the same method in your marriage?

Whatever you do to learn or improve a new job, hobby or craft  —  use that same method to learn or improve your marriage.


© 2014 Donnalee and Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham