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  • Writer's pictureMandy

what do you expect?

Kyle and I will be married three years next Tuesday, and to celebrate our anniversary, we are heading to the beach! Marriage has been on my mind lately, so I wanted to share a few posts about what I’ve learned through our short time as husband and wife.

Prior to getting married, I thought marriage was going to be really, really hard. I expected challenges to be thrown our way, and candidly, the advice people gave us was not reassuring. We frequently heard, “Your first year of marriage is the hardest.” Great, I thought. I was full of butterflies and excitement, hope and joy, and was told it wouldn’t last. Talk about a buzz kill, right?

The truth of the matter is, our first year of marriage was one of my favorite years in life. Kyle and I synced into our own rhythms; learning more about ourselves and each other daily, respecting each other, trying to give each other the benefit of the doubt, and learning how to honor the Lord in our new roles as husband and wife. Each day wasn’t always a cake walk; we had our fair share of disagreements and challenges to work through. But overall, our first year is one I'll cherish forever.

I realize every couple is different, and each pair has their own struggles and challenges to work through. Life can throw some heartbreaking curve balls, and I don’t want to belittle those punches. I don’t have this whole marriage thing figured out perfectly, but I do know every marriage is different. You (or others) can’t precisely predict how it’s going to pan out. Here is what I learned in our first year of married life: gratefully accept advice from well-meaning friends and family, but create your own rhythms. Release expectations of how you think your first year, few years or entire marriage will unfold. When you both do this, you invite in holy twists and turns that you and your spouse can navigate as one.

When I think about expectations in general, I think about a foggy, dirty glass window. The dirt and oily fingerprints are your expectations; hindering your ability to see what God has on the other side for you. When you wipe away the dirt, you begin to see more clearly. This is how our expectations relate to faith: we can’t possibly experience clarity, and the fullness of His glory in marriage if we’re stuck inside, dirtying up our window with the expectations of others or the expectations we place on people.

A heart that is willing to courageously release expectations is a heart that can grow in faith and in marriage. So, what expectations are you carrying into your future engagement, current engagement or marriage? Are you willing to begin clearing away what blocks your view of the Lord?

Love y’all and have a great weekend!


  • Single friends: what expectations are you carrying into dating, engagement or marriage?

  • Married friends: what expectations are you carrying into your marriage each day?

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Jean Snell

Beautifully written! I pray many, many, many more years of happiness, excitement and huge blessings for you both! Happy Anniversary! ❤️

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