We moved to Austin mid-June 2013 and didn’t know too many people. We were introduced to a church before we moved, and we attended there every time we visited. We knew how important it was to meet new people, but we didn’t realize how important it was to build a community.
A couple hubs knew from high school moved to Austin 6 months prior to us and also attended that church. We met up with them one morning service and had brunch. They highly encouraged us to join the newlywed classes that started in the fall. We figured we needed to meet new people, so we signed up. We didn’t realize how much that class and that group of couples would highly impact our first year of marriage and the rest of our life.
It was nice to have other couples in the same life stage as us going through similar things. We met every Sunday before church and every Wednesday night at our group leaders’ house. We told stories about how we came to Jesus and where our walk is now. We spoke intimately about issues in our marriage; financial, sexual, in-laws, communication. We also learned the biblical foundation of marriage, how to resolve conflict, and what our roles and responsibilities are. It was uncomfortable to be raw and real with people we just met and even with our spouse.
I realized how important having a community and fellowship is to our marriage. Everyone told us how hard the first year of marriage is; we also were moving to a new city, new jobs, new roles and responsibilities. We didn’t only survive our first year of marriage, but we flourished in it. Sure, we argued, yelled, and I was still trying to find my identity in Christ.But we were married and loving it. We owe all the glory to God. Without His grace, our first year of marriage could have been very stressful. We also owe it to the Newlywed Class. The tools we learned and how to apply them to our marriage were key. The life-long friends we made were so important to our mental and spiritual well-being.
Follow my newlywed series going through what we learned during our classes! Try having the intimate conversations with your spouse and/or small group of friends in the same life stage as you.