Written by Jessica Bayus of Winnipeg, MB

I’m 24, my husband is 25, and “newlyweds” is what they call us. On May 21, 2016 we said I do to the promise of doing all parts of life together. That’s a big promise at such a young age, and it sounds a little daunting. Although sometimes it honestly is, as I think of having someone who I can always cheer on and who constantly embraces me even in all my mistakes, I can’t imagine anything more wonderful. And it shows me how much God believes in me.

Marriage is a friendship that grows from spending time together, just like you can grow closer with friends in your youth group at a weekend retreat.

You learn surprising things about one another. For example, I’ve learned movies are much more fun to watch with my husband, Michael, because we love to talk about what we learn from the story. These experiences are a special part of any friendship, but the cool thing about marriage is that you always have a close friend to come home to.

Home may look different to him than it does to me. I come from a bigger Mennonite family, and he comes from a smaller Italian family. I grew up in the country, he grew up in the city. These differences mean we need to appreciate where the other came from. To do this, Michael and I each choose a family tradition we love from our personal experience and share it with one another, like the way a quilt is made from patchworks of various fabrics or a delicious dish made from a variety of spices.

The differences in our individual family traditions can create a beautiful home when we are open with one another and love each other. I love what Proverbs 24:3-4 says about this: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” When we listen to one another, we grow to understand. And as we grow to understand, we know better how to love the person God has placed in our lives.

This person may be a significant other, but if you’re not called to be married at a young age like we were, the person could also be a friend or family member. Under your own roof is the best place to start learning how to help others feel at home.

Give the gift of a listening ear today so you can cultivate a heart of understanding. This is a beautiful treasure in marriage and creates a place where the other feels safe.

As you do, remember to pray and always ask God for help. Be prepare to be amazed at what you will learn about those people around you!

I’d love to hear what you learned! Post it at belovedtoday247.blogspot.ca