Preparing yourself for marriage
In my last article, I talked about the importance of praying for what you want in a spouse. It’s good to pray for what you want in a partner but even more important is working on yourself to become what you believe God expects a husband or a wife to be.
Think about it; if you’re a woman praying for a loving, hard-working and caring husband and there’s a man out there who is indeed loving, hard-working and caring and is also praying for the same qualities in a wife, what would draw him to you? The same applies to men. If you’re a man desiring wonderful qualities in a wife, you better make sure you’ve got wonderful qualities yourself or are at least working towards that, otherwise the kind of woman you want to marry may look elsewhere!
So, how do you prepare yourself for marriage, I hear you ask? Well, if you’re not sure where to start, surrendering your life to Christ is a good place. Any born-again child of God will be looking for someone that has the same beliefs that he or she does. Then, search the Bible. The fruit of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 v 22-23:
‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’
These are qualities we should all aspire to have. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone that is loving, full of joy, faithful and gentle? But the truth is that these qualities don’t come naturally to most of us. We need to ask God’s Spirit to produce them in us. Ephesians 4 v 17 through to chapter 5 gives us instructions for Christian living. We need to walk in love, be kind and compassionate, and submit to one another, putting others above ourselves. You don’t have to wait until you’re married to start working on these traits; you can start now.
On a personal note, when I still lived with my parents, there were times I would get really frustrated when I had to do certain things, like cooking dinner for the family when I was feeling tired or doing the laundry, or even forgoing an episode of one of my favourite television shows so that someone else could watch something they wanted to watch. One of the ways I learnt to deal with this was to see it as practice for when I got married and compromise would sometimes be necessary, on both sides. I like to think that my previous experiences all those years ago have come in handy in situations in my married life.
Seeking to develop ourselves is not something we should do just for marriage, however. As Christians, we should always be asking God to develop the fruit of His Spirit in us, so that we can be more effective for Him, and be all that He created us to be.
Can you think of other practical ways you can prepare yourself for marriage?