Do you believe you can prepare for marriage?
Relationship expert, Ed Wheat says,
As a family physician for almost four decades, I have observed that marriage with its tremendous significance often turns out to be the least prepared for event of life.
Many people will say that you can’t, but what I think they’re really saying is that you can’t prepare for what will happen in marriage, or what life will bring your way. No one can know what challenges and joys will come weeks, months, or years down the road. I do not believe that you can predict everything that will happen in your marriage or your life, but I do believe that you can prepare for marriage.
You can prepare to be the wife that you desire to be. You can plan who does what chores or makes which decisions in the family. You can prepare for how you will spend or save your finances. You can prepare for a lot of things for marriage.
I know this because I’ve lived it.
When Gordon and I began dating we knew that it was intended for marriage. We decided to become nothing but intentional while dating, and thus began our preparation for marriage. Our reasoning: get on the same page as quickly as possible on the big stuff instead of wasting precious time, energy, and emotions on something that may not work out. The little things would work themselves out over time.
During this season of dating, we talked about our dreams and our goals in life. What we aspire to achieve and do in life. It was important to us that these things matched to some degree, and that we could see ourselves supportive of one another’s dreams and goals after marriage as well. We talked about our downfalls and our struggles as imperfect people. We shed a few tears here. We talked about our families, friends, and backgrounds and intentionally got to know each other’s families and friends instead of isolating ourselves.
And most importantly, I think, we read a lot of books together. Books that helped us talk about these things and have discussions about the most random thoughts and ideas! If you aren’t reading you aren’t growing in wisdom and understanding. Reading opens doors to countless conversations. Some of our favorite books are “For Men Only” & “For Women Only,” which we read together because we’re rebels.
I have seen too many people give up on their marriages because they just didn’t know each other. They didn’t have a common pursuit in life. They got sucked into the excitement and newness and romance of dating and forgot to prepare for the family they wanted to create, which was the two of them as husband and wife. Preparing the best that we could for marriage is the best thing that we chose to do. Marriage is about serving your spouse. That’s what Jesus does for us and he gave us the picture of marriage that we should be following.
Marriage is a covenant relationship with one another for life. We need to expect that life means for as long as we both shall live, until death do us part. Right? That is usually a pretty long time! And so often we rush our relationships to get married without adequate preparation. If we hadn’t given ourselves that season of preparing for a covenant relationship with one another in marriage for life, we might have doubts that this marriage would work.
Seattle Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson says, in reference to football, that “the separation is in the preparation.” He is a great player because he prepares. He is the first player on the practice field; he never misses a practice; and one season when he had 2 major injuries to the knee and ankle, he woke up every 3 hours to ice – all night long. He prepares because it makes a difference in his game. Preparation is not only true for football, it matters in pre-marriage as well.
I had a friend of mine tell me once as she was getting married, “Take as much premarital counseling as you can!” And she was right! It makes all the difference.
If you are engaged, I highly suggest (as my friend suggested to me) you take as much time as you can to learn and grow in your relationship with your fiancé. Read a lot together, answer tough questions, understand each other’s background and the way you grew up. Talk about who will do what chores (it’s amazing the arguments that arise in marriage over the little things), how you’ll spend and save your money, etc.
It will be worth the effort.
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I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below,
Which longing is the deepest for you in this season of your life?
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