Lessons from the First Year of Marriage

I’m coming up on one year of marriage and let me tell you—it has been great, but it’s also been hard. We got married during a global pandemic and spent almost our entire first year of marriage in our one-bedroom apartment. We were both working from home and quarantined from friends and family for quite some time, so we were together quite literally all. the. time. There were definite blessings to this—when else would we have gotten to spend this much time together?—but it definitely tested our brand-new marriage.

Over the past year, we’ve grown as a couple and as individuals, so I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned, with some impactful Scripture. Here are some valuable lessons that might encourage other newlyweds or be reminders for couples who have been married for a long time!


One of our wedding Scriptures was portions of Psalm 103. One of my favorite verses from that psalm is verse 10:

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
(Psalm 103:10)

I love this reminder of God’s forgiveness toward us that is completely undeserved—the whole psalm serves as a reminder of our own sinfulness and God’s mercy toward us.

One important lesson I’ve learned in our first year of marriage is about forgiveness. From seemingly small things, like forgetting to pick up more oat milk from the store after work, to bigger offenses that cut deep, apologizing and forgiving are crucial to a healthy, Christ-centered relationship.

Striving to be more like Christ in our marriages means forgiving like Christ forgives—completely, even when we think it’s undeserved.


Being patient with one another is so incredibly important—and hard. Little things, like how slowly the other person walks through the grocery store or how your spouse loads the dishwasher differently than you, can easily cause you to get frustrated.

But Scripture tells us that we should behave differently:

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2–3)

Bearing with one another includes our spouses; even though it’s hard, we are called to be patient, regardless of who is “right” or “wrong.”


One of the biggest blessings of marriage is that I have a support system with me at all times! This past year was challenging for many people personally and relationally—divorce rates hit record highs during 2020. Quarantine put our lives and marriages under a microscope, highlighting every little issue in a magnified way. From work to relationships, we were all stressed all the time.
Regardless of what’s happening in the world, I know I have a spouse who cares for me and wants what’s best for me—someone who will pray for and with me, and someone who doesn’t even have to say a word to comfort me.

God designed marriage to be this way; two become one, and two are better than one.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9–11)

I’d love to hear what lessons you’ve learned throughout your marriage and during this pandemic!

Scripture: ESV®.

To learn more about how Scripture can guide your marriage, read Your Marriage by God’s Design.

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Written by

Hannah Hansen

Hannah is a freelance writer and brand designer. She currently lives in Oceanside, California, where her husband serves as a pastor. When she’s not running along the coast, you’ll likely find her cooking new vegan recipes or browsing her local thrift store.

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