I'll put it simply, marriage is either utter bliss or a trek through hell. Sure, there are happy mediums in-between but I've noticed in my own short marriage that it's constantly going up and down, up and down, up and down. I married when I was 22 and here, four years later, I laugh at the child I was back then. I'll probably think the same of myself four years from now. But, I digress.

Being in love with someone is easy, but loving them unconditionally has another connotation entirely. Unconditional love was a term well-known but not well-understood when I was a young bride, at least for me, but I quickly learned that marriage can be hard. Everyone tries to warn you of the difficulties awaiting you in marriage, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your mother, but you can't properly appreciate them until you're staring them in the face.

It's in those uncomfortable moments, the ones that make you want to curl inside yourself, that you find out what you're made of. Are you wife material or not? I'm still facing that fight, it seems like every wife worth her salt is still fighting the good fight.

After the first few years of marriage, things began to change. My comfort with my young husband became absolute and our trust in one another deepened. Young newly-weds seem to think they know everything there is to know about each other: wrong. I'm glad to say that, however. I keep uncovering new and exciting things about my husband that I didn't realize were there. On a different note, we also uncover things about each other that are difficult, frightening, or raw. But it is those things that draw us together as husband and wife. We apply solvents and bandages to wounds long-ago inflicted by others and pray that they will heal, stronger than before.

Recently, I've begun to learn what a husband's strength and a wife's courage can mean to one another. God designed men to be imposing and fiercely protective of their wife and family. My husband is no exception. However, in early marriage I don't know if I gave proper credence to my own role, my own abilities as a wife. I grew up a bit of a tomboy and didn't give feminine strength a second thought growing up. But now, compared to the strength my husband has, I've had to re-evaluate where I fit.

I've learned that one of the greatest things I can do for my husband is to offer my support and my heart, unconditionally. He's gone through several difficult things that I've been his primary support for and it's not easy on either of us. Whether or not I want to admit it, I have a soft heart, a feminine heart and it can provide him with strength that I can't wholly understand.

If I can give any young wives advise, it's simply this: love your husbands. Love them and provide them all the support you can. Be the jewels in their crowns, the shine in their smiles, and the butter to their bread. Be the best of them.