Changing the Newlywed Conversation

The Church loves marriage. It’s so clear that we as a generation of believers are rooting for couples and creating resources to help them experience abundance.

I can’t help but notice, however, that there are a few patterns of conversation that don’t line up with our mission. I think if we’re aware of how they impact others, specifically those who are newly married, we can better help young couples start their partnership well.

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Assuming Trouble in New Marriage

Before we got married, I heard a lot of comments about how tough the first year of marriage would be. Rather than getting discouraged, I knew they were of good intention and meant to give us realistic expectations of married life. For that, I am grateful. I wouldn’t want to stand up on my wedding day without an accurate view!

What I find troubling, however, is the comments that have continued. Most are pretty lighthearted: “Fighting over who takes the trash out yet?” or “Have you started arguing like a real married couple?”

Dellan and I have had a blast these last 8 months. Not to say we haven’t ever argued, but overall we are so excited to be married. When these comments arise… I don’t know how to respond. I even feel guilty for enjoying this first year because it seems like we’re ‘doing it wrong.’ As though there’s this rule that if we aren’t bickering all the time, something’s not right.

And I think that’s a shame, because I’d love for others to celebrate with us as we praise God for His goodness in our new marriage! Instead, I’m left awkwardly chuckling and wanting to change the subject.

Attributing Goodness to the Honeymoon Phase

In the instances where I do share that we’re enjoying married life, I am often met with something like this: “Oh, that’s because you’re still in the newlywed phase! That’ll change.”

This is frustrating for a few reasons:

  1. It implies that the meat of married life, everything past the first year, is hard or a burden. And while I know that’s not true, and the person saying this knows that’s not true (I hope!), that’s what our conversation is conveying.
  2. It stirs up fear about what will happen after the first year. If I keep hearing that I’m experiencing the best part of marriage right now, it’s difficult to remain optimistic. There’s enough uncertainty in the early months of marriage without having added negativity spoken over the future.
  3. It discounts the work couples put into starting off marriage well. Dellan and I, as well as other couples I know, spent a lot of time preparing for marriage. Like I mentioned earlier, there are so many great resources available. It can be frustrating to be written off as still in ‘puppy love’ when we’ve put the work into building a strong foundation and leaning on the Lord.

What would be more helpful?

To sum it up: Ask, listen, and encourage.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

Instead of assuming based on past experiences, ask! Take genuine interest in how a couple is adjusting, preferably through sitting down to coffee rather than asking in passing. Couples who are enjoying married life will be happy to celebrate with you, and those who are struggling will feel supported.

And when they’ve shared, give genuine encouragement. Be honest and don’t sugarcoat, of course, but strengthen them with God’s promises. Let them know that no matter what happens, He is with them and cares about their marriage.

If there is no time to truly ask and listen, encourage anyway. A “Praise the Lord!” or “I’m so excited for you two!” in passing could go a long way.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

I’m just a young gal, I know I have a lot left to learn, and sometimes these fears keep me from using my voice. But God’s gifted me with a heart for encouraging change and a voice of discernment, so I couldn’t let fear win today.

Out of obedience and in gentleness, I’d like to spur us all to be better champions for marriage in how we speak. I know this is a small matter, but I’d love to see the Church shine through it. I’d love to see the body of Christ change the newlywed conversation, because we’re the ones who love marriage most. We’re in love with the Author of its design, amen?

Let me know your thoughts below! I’d love to continue chatting about this.


PS: I’d love if you would follow Gabrielle Ruth Blog on Pinterest!


15 thoughts on “Changing the Newlywed Conversation

  1. Gabrielle: I certainly can’t add anything to what’s been said, but wanted you to know my “heart was warmed” by your words. You two are “fun to watch” as you interact so genuinely. Keep it up, “He” is watching and smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was very encouraging and, even though I’m not married yet, I have felt similar feelings of discouagement when it comes to marriage. So many people bring up how HARD marriage is and sometimes they forget to mention the good things too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)


  3. So good! I think Nick and I felt like we were doing something wrong sometimes too because we felt like marriage was actually really easy- at least until we had a kid! Haha! It’s gotten a little harder now for sure, but it’s still something we LOVE. We don’t really fight or argue either and it’s another thing I think we almost feel bad about saying to others sometimes, even though it’s a really good thing. Not to say we are perfect or our marriage is perfect, because that’s definitely not true! But we are so thankful the Lord saw fit to bring us together because life is so good together! We’ll be having our 5th anniversary this year. So have heart – while things do change over the years, that doesn’t mean that it gets worse. I’d argue that it gets so much better. Not in a romanticized Hollywood way, but in a beautiful “No one else on earth gets me the way this person does – no one else has seen me at my very worst and very best” kind of way.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Molly! 🙂 I totally resonate with “we are so thankful the Lord saw fit to bring us together because life is so good together!” That’s exactly how I’d describe marriage so far. Thanks for reading!


  4. AMEN. Finally had time to read this and I agree 100%. Thanks for being bold and writing this, friend! I’m thankful for your wisdom and thoughts.
    One thing I would add is that it’s frustrating when people tend to approach marriage from either of two extremes: like you were describing, they assume trouble and attribute any happiness to the “honeymoon phase”, or they glamorize it. As much as marriage is good and fun and wonderful to be with your best friend, there’s nothing “magical” about it. Holy, sure, but magical? Not in my experience. 🙂
    Marriage is made up of two sinners just living life together, with no literal fireworks or perfect movie-scene dates. I’ve found that high, impossible expectations are damaging to relationships. But when God blesses and you receive his gifts with open hands, sometimes reality seems better than your wildest dreams…. especially if you didn’t have wildest dreams to begin with. 😉 Hope that makes sense! (Also just to clarify, I am not trying to make a play on words with Taylor Swift’s song title lol)


    1. Thanks, Annie! I appreciate you adding your thoughts. I think the word “glamorize” definitely describes the other side of the coin! While we can expect marriage to be a great gift and watch God work through it, having unrealistically high expectations brings disappointment and pain.

      Always down for some T. Swift. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post & I can totally relate!! My Husband & I have been married for roughly 8 months now and we’ve enjoyed every second of it so far!! Of course we bump heads every now & then like any other couple would but it never changes how we ultimately feel about each other. Marriage life is the BEST life when it’s put together by God ❤ thanks for sharing!! Keep writing and keep inspiring!!


  6. As summertime who just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, I couldn’t agree more with this post!! The only thing that was missing was the “you sure? I mean… We’re taking about the REST OF YOUR LIFE” comments we’d get all the time. Purple were joking of course, but why try to instill worry in people who are about to embark on such a holy commitment?


  7. Hey Gabrielle,

    I sought this post out after someone talked about it and it’s super encouraging – thank you. I’m getting married in July and can find myself overwhelmed with fear about being a wife. My parents don’t have a marriage that I’ve ever desired to have and so I can lean toward negativity as I look toward the future. I want to be a great wife and have fun with my future husband! I want to serve Jesus together and trust that we’re gonna love being married. (I mean you’re living with your best friend!!) So thank you for being an encouraging example when all the world says that marriage will be hard and full of anger/bitterness. I needed to know it’s normal and possible for it to be amazing ☺️


    1. Thanks so much for sharing that! It’s super encouraging to my heart that God would use my words to minister to someone entering this new stage. Marriage IS amazing! Excited for you. 🙂


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