Most marriage ceremonies speak of joining "this man and this woman" in holy matrimony. As my husband points out, you are not marrying a generic man. You are marrying this man. In A Wife and Life Manual, I emphasized that the Bible should guide a future pastor's wife. Now, I suggest that knowing your man goes hand-in-hand with knowledge of the Bible.
Knowing this man is a life-long pursuit. I have been married 38 years, and, at times, applying the Bible to my marriage to Brad seems like trying to figure out those complicated assembly instructions that come with IKEA furniture. It is a useful exercise with a positive outcome, but it takes as much energy as learning Swedish and mechanical engineering at the same time.
Men and women are different. Volumes are written about this, but you don't understand how profound the difference is until you get married. This difference is God's design and the reason you are attracted to each other. I urge you to rejoice in this fact. Don't buy into our cultural norms that say a man is at his best when he is thinking and acting like a woman. As I have learned, "Why can't you be more like me?" is unanswerable.
Differences can be fascinating. Use observation and conversation to get to know your man. Do you remember a time when you met an interesting person from another country and asked her lots of questions about what she did and thought? You observed her style of dressing and way of speaking. Keep that type of fascination with your husband alive. Don't let your only questions be of the "Who is picking up milk after work?" genre.
Participation has value. I once heard that men relate shoulder-to-shoulder by being involved in activities while women relate face-to-face by sitting and talking. So, I work diligently at being interested in some aspect of the activities that Brad loves so that I can participate with him. I am not passionately against the use of the American League designated hitter like he is, but I do have fun watching the pierogi mascots race between innings. And, I try not to talk the whole time I am shoulder-to-shoulder.
Learning about your husband saves you stress. You may think that, as a wife, you need to excel in every way. Once you find out your husband's values and priorities, you may be pleasantly surprised that some things that you thought you really needed to do to please him are a non-issue. For instance, even though my mother taught me otherwise, I do not make our bed. (People in my congregation: This is where you gasp!) The best part... my husband does not care one bit.
"A prudent wife is from the Lord." I want to be that prudent wife by knowing my man. May these observations help you to be married to your man with prudence.