The first years of marriage should not be treated lightly. Why do they matter so much?

1. The first years of marriage were designed for your joy. God wants you to enjoy his good gift of marriage. He gets glory when you delight in him as the giver of the joys of marriage. The warmth of companionship, the thrill of intimacy, and even the comfort of shared burdens are designed by God to bless you. All these good things come from him, and he wants you to enjoy them properly. Although the first years of marriage hold challenges, there are countless opportunities to enjoy God through this gift.

2. The first years of marriage are a time when you form impactful habits. The patterns set in the first years of marriage often set the trajectory of decades of life together between a couple. Will you have a spiritual relationship? How will you spend money? How committed will you be to the local church? What is your strategy for handling conflict? How would you spend leisure time? These decisions are what make up our marriages. They are settled in the first years.

3. The first years of marriage matter because marriage matters. And marriage matters because the gospel matters. Marriage reflects the gospel. It is meant to be a display the relationship between Christ and the church (see Eph. 5:22–33). Couples entering marriage must sense the staggering opportunity they have to testify to God’s great love for his people in Jesus Christ. In the first years of marriage, there is an opportunity to grow in our knowledge of this gospel and our commitment to living in our in our daily relationship. 

4. The first years of marriage are when you enter a cultural battlefield. Biblical marriage is strange to the world. It celebrates God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman, while our culture rejects it. It joyfully submits to God’s roles for men and women in marriage, while society finds God’s call restrictive and outdated. When a couple committed to the Bible says “I do,” they enter a cultural battlefield over the very meaning of their marriage. It is crucial for couples to fortify their convictions about God’s design for marriage because our culture supports this design less and less.

5. The first years of marriage are a time to learn from others. Millions of marriages have preceded yours. The path of a God-glorifying marriage is well-worn by multitudes of Christian couples. To be sure, the first years will contain many sins and mistakes—but they don’t all have to be your own. Commit to identifying and avoiding the common pitfalls of this season. God’s Word is a light to our feet so that we can navigate this season with wisdom.

—Sean Perron & Spencer Harmon, Letters to a Romantic: First Years of Marriage