The First Year of Marriage and the Spirituality Shock

Before people tie the knot, they assume that the good things their partners portray during courtship will certainly continue to be exhibited in marriage, or that their partners won’t display any character, behaviour or action that would have counted as a red flag or deal breaker during courtship.

In many marriages, however, the reality is that these behavioural expectations are often not met. Some spouses tie the knot only to get surprised at their partners’ actions, behaviour or character. In today’s post we share with you one of such surprises—the ‘spirituality shock’.

For many Christians, one of the top qualities we look for in a spouse is spirituality. On the side of Christian women, they want a man who prays and can teach them the word of God; one whose spirituality poses a challenge to theirs. They want a man who can lead the family into God’s presence.

Christian men too want a spiritual woman; someone who can give spiritual support to the family and help bring the children up in the way of the Lord. For many Christians in ministry, it is an unavoidable quality.

In the quest to marry, some persons pretend to possess the quality of being spiritual. They do everything from being active in church, leading prayer sessions, moderating bible studies, or singing in the choir just to win the heart of a young man or lady.

They even join missions, but their motive is far from winning souls for the Lord. They want to win a soul for their selfish gain. But, if they are not found to be spiritual, how are they to accomplish their goal?

So you have this fine, charismatic, prayerful gentleman expressing interest in you; or you find a lady of same qualities accepting your proposal, and you are overwhelmed with joy. They can move the crowd, they can be seen praying feverishly in the deep of the night, they even possess an anointing that speaks volumes.

You get married and within the first year you wonder if this was the same person whose spirituality you ‘fell in love with’. You realize that he or she was not as spiritual after all. That is when it dawns on you that all this while, you had got the definition of ‘spiritual’ wrong.

In our next post we shall look at what it means to be ‘spiritual’, why some Christians fall into the ‘spirituality shock’ and how one can avoid this pit.

If you are married, you can share your experiences with us by clicking this link. Your confidentiality is assured.

Photo Credit: Goodwin

This post is part of a series of lessons for the first year of marriage as part of our discipleship ministry, Mimesis Christou (find out more about this ministry here and here). The vision of Mimesis Christou is to raise young people to be effective, faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that marriage has a bearing on how faithfully Christians walk with the Lord, hence the introduction of these lessons.

Broken link updated 26/12/2016


Surprises in the First Year of Marriage

Some of the early features of the first year of marriage are the surprises one encounters. They could be behavioural, relational, cultural, physical, spiritual or health-related surprises.

It could be the first time sleeping on the same bed; he might be a heavy snorer, or you might wake up to find her legs on your head.

It could be your first time doing the chores and you might find it overwhelming. She may not know how to prepare soup.

It could be your first pregnancy, and sometimes one you were not expecting.

It might be the feeling of ‘dissociation’ of friends and family who think you should have your space as a newly married couple.

Or your spouse may hold the fear of sex and avoid your advances for weeks.

It may be a big scar on his or her body and it is your first time seeing it.

One of the biggest surprises is to be told by your partner or find out that he or she has a child somewhere.

Some of the surprises can change along the way, but others may stay with you forever and you will have to learn to live with them.

It is important to note that marriage will mostly reveal what has been covered, no matter how long, and that true knowledge of who your partner is really begins at marriage, though during friendship and courtship you will get to know many things about them.

But there are several things you won’t get to know until marriage. And sometimes during courtship, we overlook very important traits our beloveds show—traits which if we had taken seriously, may have reduced the shocks and surprises.

Some of the reasons why marriage reveals the hidden are that you are now faced with the realities and challenges of taking decisions and living together 24/7 (of course you are not always with each other 24/7, but you do get the point right?), and you decide to give up yourselves for each other—you are “naked and unashamed”.

It takes grace, faith, maturity, a desire to make marriage work, and the submission of your marriage to Christ’s Lordship to win.

Without a conscious effort to work together through the differences and surprises and accept those that can’t be changed, your marriage will be defined by conflicts. If you are not careful, these could be the breeding grounds for divorce.

Love is a decision to be charitable no matter the conditions (whether good or bad). Marriage involves a lot of work. It is not automatic to have a loving marriage. You have to work at it.

You can share your experiences with us by following the link below. Your confidentiality is assured.

For counselling, call/WhatsApp 0546134586 or 0542421707.

Photo Credit: Sárička


This is part of a series of posts on lessons for the first year of marriage as part of our discipleship ministry, Mimesis Christou (find out more about this ministry here and here). The vision of Mimesis Christou is to raise young people to be effective, faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that marriage has a bearing on how faithfully Christians walk with the Lord, hence the introduction of these lessons. 

In our next post in this series on lessons for the first year of marriage, we shall consider some of the surprises and how to manage or deal with them.


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