Update: I originally wrote this post after I was asked to do a bridal shower devotional talk. The topic I chose was “advice for the new bride” or Marriage Advice for Newlyweds. Since it is the typical “wedding month”, I thought it would be fun to bring up the topic of marriage advice in a recent Instagram post. Oh, my goodness – It got lots of people talking!!
It was so fun to read the many more marriage advice tidbits of wisdom from other ladies who’ve been married a long time. Scroll to the bottom of this post for some of their amazing and great answers!
What Marriage Advice for the Newlyweds Would you Give?
Recently, I was invited to a bridal shower. It was the type of shower where ladies sat together in the church basement, brought gifts for the bride to be, played the obligatory game, and someone gave a devotional.
I was asked to be that someone.
After flat out refusing 3 times, I finally swallowed down my terror and decided to put on my big girl pants and just do it.
It ended up being lots of fun.
Getting marriage advice input from some marriage “experts”
I had to move fast, so I quickly called on some experts for help. They fit the “expert” bill by meeting the following criteria:
- They loved Jesus.
- They had been married for at least 20 years.
- If asked, they would answer that they fit into the “happily married” category.
With a few clicks on the keyboard, I fired off some Facebook messages asking my “experts”/friends to answer this one question,
“If you were to give the newlywed couple just one piece of marriage advice, what would it be?”
I didn’t know how many would actually respond, but was shocked when almost all of them did! It was so much fun to read all their answers. In fact, I got so many good ones, I had to narrow it down to 5 (+1 bonus).
Adding visual props (that also doubled as the shower gift) added interest to the devotional talk.
Since I’m a visual learner, I always like to come armed to speaking gigs with props. This time, I decided that my “props” to illustrate each piece of advice would also be my gift to the bride. Each prop was brought out of a “secret basket” and arranged on a pretty metal tray as I talked about that piece of advice.
So, if you are ever in a similar situation desperate for a topic for a bridal shower devotional, here’s an idea:
Bridal Shower Devotional: Marriage advice for Newlyweds ~ A Platter Full of Wisdom
1.Remember you just didn’t find the perfect person to share your life with; you need to be to him the perfect person too! (And by “perfect” meaning the right match.)
You’re the sugar. He’s the cream. Together, you make a perfect pair. Each of you needs to work on being who you need to be, not trying to change the other person…
2. Communicate! About everything. (Isn’t it odd that we sometimes assume our spouse should be able to read our minds?)
No matter how long a person is married or how well a couple feels they “know” each other, your husband will never be able to read your mind. (To illustrate this, I held up my husband’s first cell phone – giant-sized and complete with a pull out antenna…) Be sure – like you need to do on your phones – that you keep up with regular updates. Help your husband understand your heart. And listen carefully so you can understand his.
3. Prepare for the “empty nest” from day one in your marriage.
I know it may be hard to believe at this point in the game, but the years of having kids at home under your feet will be short-lived compared to the years you’ll spend without them. When that last child leaves the nest, you and your spouse will turn to each other and say, “it’s just you & me”. Make sure you take steps through all the seasons to keep growing in your friendship so that when that time comes, you’ll still enjoy being with the man of your dreams.
4. Always be a student. Don’t stop growing in your marriage.
Observe other married couples. Talk with them and ask how they make their marriages work. Read about it. Understand it’s a process that’s never perfected. Keep growing and learning together.
5. Turn the page quickly
[For this one, I read directly from the friend who wrote it. I just met her a few months ago, and she and her husband have recently moved to South Africa to minister for the Salvation Army. In her words,]
“If I had to choose just one thing, it would be to turn the page quickly! Turn the page on resentment, anger, selfishness, pride, hurt, & bitterness. Don’t keep tabs. Simply, Turn The Page. Show as much grace as you would want to receive. I could go on and on about things like encourage your spouse. Laugh more. Oh, and communication! However, turning the page is top of the list. Isn’t that what God does for us? Forgive and Forget. God makes all the difference.”
and the extra Bonus~
6. Ephesians 4:32. Be ye KIND, one to another, TENDER HEARTED, FORGIVING one another…
[Also quoting from the “expert” who sent it,]
“One day many years ago, I happened to read this verse shortly after I had been dismayed by the way some people treat their spouses ~the things they say, the things they do (or don’t do,) and just the general demeanor between them. Kindness encompasses so many things: from general courtesy and politeness (please and thank you are still magic words,) to holding your tongue in some cases, to being honest but kind in that honesty, to encouraging your spouse… It just seems that even fairly small kids begin to understand the concept of “being kind” from a very young age – it’s that simple, yet it’s effects are profound. Kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. I can’t think of better qualities to cultivate if you want a relationship to be successful.
Isn’t it interesting that these words of wisdom don’t just apply to the new brides but us “old” ones, too?
Many, many thanks to my panel of expert friends. In doing this exercise, you taught me great things. Blessings to you. And blessings to you, New Brides, as you journey into this new chapter of your lives.
Update: Here are some more great marriage advice tips that were recently given as feedback from my followers on Instagram. By the way, do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you should! Click here to follow me on Instagram and join in our fun conversations!
Marriage advice for newlyweds from Instagram followers:
- Just be kind to each other. This is the person you vowed to love forever, so treat him/ her with kindness, respect, & lots of love. Yes, even when he/ she frustrates you!
- Be careful with your words.
- Read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
- Never stop dating each other.
- Put yourself in his (or her) shoes sometimes. You’ll see things differently!
- Not everything has to be a fight. Pick your battles. If you fight about every little thing, the big stuff won’t be taken as seriously.
- Never assume anything.
- Don’t try to change the person you married.
- Try to love [your spouse] for the wonderful person they are; support them as much as you can. Kisses and slow dances also help!
- Remember you’re on the same team!
- Learn your mate’s love language and fill their cup; Learn to say I’m sorry.
- Remember, you are important, too. Be sure to keep some hobbies and take self care time just for you. You both will be more interesting to each other!
- Marriage counseling! It’s humbling, but it can be SO extremely helpful. It gorws us closer to God and to each other.
- Love your spouse for who they are now.
- Be kind and respectful to one another – especially when you are not agreeing and around others.
- Never go to bed angry. He’ll fall right to sleep and you’ll be up all night stewing!;)
- Don’t embarrass your spouse in front of others. Speak kindly about/ to your spouse in front of others.
- Work out your problems together.
- Marriage is like fine wine – it gets better with time!
- Always find something to laugh about. Laugh at yourself and laugh together. It’s good for you and your relationship.
- Don’t expect your spouse to be everything you need. Make time for friends, hobbies, and your own goals. Don’t forget to work on yourself as well as your marriage.
- Be your own person and let your husband be his. Let each other breathe.
- Don’t major on minors. You fell in love despite each other’s flaws, and you both have them! Be each other’s hero, especially in front of your children and other people.
- Treat your spouse as you would a guest in your home [or maybe even better?].
- Put God and your beliefs in the center of your marriage.
More Bridal Shower Ideas:
- If you want to take a handmade gift, you could make a fun “Mr & Mrs” pillow
- You can find a list of some unique ideas for weddings and bridal showers here in my Amazon Shop
- One of these printable gift tags could be used to make your gift pretty in a hurry!
- Looking for a yummy bridal shower snack? You might want to try one of the recipes in this round up of 39+ berry recipes, or Texas Brownies are always a hit!