Today is our 10th year marriage anniversary! Ten years ago on the 1st of September 2012, we stood on the green lawns of Brackenhurst in Tigoni and exchanged our vows. As we start counting double-digit revolutions around the sun, we thought to share 10 things we would have loved to hear a decade ago as newlyweds. We sat down yesterday evening and decided to come up with three lists. One by Ernest to the husbands. A second one by Waturi to the wives. And the third one from us to both husbands and wives. We are certain the list will also benefit those who have been married for a few years. Here are ten things we would say to ourselves ten years ago as we entered marriage.
Ernest’s list: 10 things I would tell newlywed husbands in the faith
- Don’t stop dreaming. Envision the dream template of your family (spiritually, socially and financially). Fill it slowly over the years and remind yourself of the endgame. When a husband stops dreaming, the family adventure begins to end.
- Be masculine. Unsubscribe from two forms of worldly masculinity- the toxic overbearing kind that oppresses women and the simping emasculated woke kind that worships women. Christ is the masculine balance- tender without being weak, strong without being coarse, lowly without being servile, brave without being brazen. Love women- neither oppress nor worship them.
- Belittle and degrade your wife if you desire the enmity of God (see 1 Peter 3:7).
- Non-sexual touch is king to her as a woman. Touch your wife and show tenderness without always intending to go to the sexual slaughterhouse. See the magic work.
- Some of her problems require your counsel and intervention while some of them need your empathetic ear, not your problem-solving expertise. Study her; you will know which is which.
- Apologise when you are wrong.
- Do not underestimate the power of your presence as a man. Being home early communicates your loyalty to her. Arriving at the family event with her communicates unity. Be present.
- Submit yourself to the teaching of older, godly, married men. You will save a lot of time and money.
- Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.
- A woman must be wooed if she is to bloom. Let your compliments to her be unrivalled.
Waturi’s list: 10 things I would tell newlywed wives in the faith
- Your husband is the priest of the home but He is not your High Priest; Christ is. Remember to invest in your personal walk with God.
- Christ desires femininity and not feminism. You are not in competition with your husband. Use all your strengths and gifts to complement him. A wife is a strong helper (ezer in biblical Hebrew).
- Invest in your personal development. Be rich spiritually, be whole emotionally, be sharp mentally and be attractive physically.
- Remember to verbally praise your husband’s good decisions- this is his emotional fuel to dream.
- Our intuition as women can at times be wrong. Take time to listen to his insights. And when wrong, apologise.
- Create warmth in your home.
- Disagree with him in private.
- Celebrate the milestones of your peer wives. Avoid the comparison trap. Envy is ugly. Stay clear from gossiping women.
- Sit at the feet of older, godly women to gain wisdom, insight, and strength.
- Ladies, this may make you blush and giggle- initiate sex often- book the date, prepare the room and …finish him.
Ernest and Waturi: 10 things to both newlywed husbands and wives in the faith
- Forgive swiftly. As Christ forgave you, forgive.
- Marriage is hard when you are self-centered. Outdo one another in showing honour.
- Christ is not just a means to a good relationship with your spouse. Your spouse is also a means to a good relationship with Christ. Marriage is beautifully sanctifying.
- Develop a muscular prayer life.
- Some cultural advice can be biblically wrong. Discern through the scriptures.
- Discipline your children. The vainglory of children looks cute when they are young; it breeds destructors of empires when they are older.
- Build your children’s character and confidence early; take advantage of the formative years.
- Your sex life is like a seedling on your honeymoon. Nurture it over the years. Grow it into a beautiful and sturdy oak tree. Sexual purity is not just for singles. It is also for married folks. Just as Christ implores singles to abstain and wait purely until marriage, Christ implores you married folks to explore and engage purely within marriage. Don’t imbibe impure media in the name of entertainment, even as married persons.
- Invest in friends who share your core values. The proof that they share your core values is their uncompromising character. Do not befriend people who mock you for your values. Do not be afraid to sever connections with those who do.
- Build memories together (we are on the way to the coast to celebrate as we are posting this).