1st Year of Marriage: Home for the Holidays

I am so blessed to know several newly-wed couples this year, including a few that Shane and I have been blessed to stand with as they committed their vows together. This series is all about those fun things that pop up once the honeymoon has ended. I hope to encourage all newly weds, (and oldly-weds) to keep seeking Christ in their marriages.

How are you struggling to survive THRIVE in your first year of marriage? Send me a message and I’ll do my best to discuss the issue.

Today’s topic is: Redefining “Home for the Holidays”

thrive home 2

Christmas is only a few days away. If this is your first year of marriage, you are probably trying to make an all-inclusive plan to visit everyone for the holidays… and still enjoy your first Christmas with your hot hubby.

The big question is…. “Which home will we visit?”

If you live quite a distance from either set of parents, this can be difficult. As I described in my last First Year of Marriage post, it has always been a relay race since both of our families live in the same town.

One way or another, one of you will probably end up missing out on a family tradition you always looked forward to. Not feeling sentimental? Then one of your families is going to miss out on having you for their big family dinner/gift-exchange/Home-Alone reenactment [poor uncle Joe], etc.

All of these stressors can add up quickly during the season, particularly if you are traveling. Then Bing Crosby’s voice rings through the radio and you are sniffling about how you don’t feel “home for Christmas.”

There is some great advice out there—build new traditions and accept your spouse’s old ones—which I will not repeat. Rather, I would encourage you to embrace a greater perspective about your first Christmas as a married couple:

Find your “home” in your husband.

You have probably been working on your sense of “home” all year. I remember trying to make our new apartment feel like a home. And then starting over with the next place. But Christmas rolled around and I really missed my moms cookies, my dads big laugh at the newest blockbuster, and my sisters’ excitement to open Christmas presents.

It took me MORE than a few Christmases to learn that Shane is my home. And I am his home.

It is not in the lights, decorations, and traditions that give me the warm feelings of knowing I am “home.” Rather, I understand my belonging when I look into my husband’s eyes and realize what a life we are building together.

In truth, “husband-is-home” is an applicable picture of heaven: as the “bride of Christ,” our sense of home and belonging should be found in God’s heart. We must detach ourselves from the comforts and traditions we have “growing up” in this world, that we might be fully satisfied in Christ. We don’t know what our home in heaven looks like, but we know what God’s heart looks like (by studying the Word of God). His heart can be our sense of “Home,” from now till eternity.

Shane and I before we got married...
Shane and I before we got married…

When I see my husband as my “home,” I am glimpsing the heart of God’s purpose for marriage. We are to be a reflection of Christian’s relationship with Jesus (see Ephesians 5).

Christmas is perhaps the best time to truly define your sense of “home” together as a married couple. I get to spend the rest of my life with Shane. Some Christmases we will be at my parents, other’s we will be at his. Still many more to come will probably be snowed in our little house in the shadow of our favorite mountains. I can’t wait for the Christmas we get to spend on the beach in New Zealand or South Pacific (hey, a girl can dream).

Regardless of where we are… as long as we are together, I’ll be home for Christmas.

Stay tuned for more posts on how to Thrive in Your 1st Year of Marriage.

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  • Hannah Wiest

    I really appreciate your words and your sentiments expressed in this post, Becky! Last year was my first Christmas away from home as my then-boyfriend, now-fiance and I went to his parents’ house for the holiday. It went very well, and I am glad for that. This Christmas, we are headed to his folks again (because with our schedules right now, it just works better to do Thanksgiving with my folks and Christmas with his), but I’m struggling more this year than I did last year, oddly enough. Last year, it was something new and exciting. This year, I miss my parents and OUR traditions already…and it’s not even Christmas yet! It feels like I’m grieving the loss of something…instead of realizing how much I am gaining. Anyway, I will strive to remember that Justin is my home…and that, ultimately, Christ is my home, and that is enough. More than enough. Way more. Thanks, again!

    • You have such a beautiful spirit, Hannah. Thank you for sharing. And Congratulations again on your engagement! God has wonderful things in store for you two.

  • Ava

    Totally agree that being with my husband and Jesus sounds like a great Christmas. The hardest thing I find is disappointing family who doesn’t understand why I would rather be at home with my husband than traveling to see them. It’s just disappointing that they don’t often understand.

    • I agree. It is frustrating when you feel like you are not honoring your family. I try to remember that I honor my family the most by having a thriving relationship with my husband and with God. Thanks for your thoughts on this!