Marriage is work!
I’ve heard married people say these three words more than I can count: marriage is work! My happily married friends, magazine articles, noted authors, my grandparents and biblical Scriptures confirm marriage is indeed work, and should not be entered into thoughtlessly.
So, why aren’t more singles taking heed to these words of warning and wisdom?
I know I’m not the only one receiving “free advice” to see marriage as more than Cinderella, butterflies and getaways. Are we pretending not to hear or playing dumb to these three profound words? Do we think we know more than them? Do we think our marriage will be “different” and divorce-proof? What do we really think about marriage?
This article on the Huffington Post is an example of how important it is to define what marriage means to you. Click here to read it.
As I sit in the kitchen of my happily married friends (of several years), I can see, I’m not blind: marriage is work!
Not because there’s drama spilling from the seams or they’re on the verge of another argument. No, I can see how gloriously challenging it is to merge the lives of two people. Two people who grew up in separate households, separate environments, coming together to form their own family is work!
And, they have a lovely three-year-old daughter, even MORE work!
What do you really think marriage is? What is marriage about for you?
I’ve come to learn, marriage is a covenant.
A beautiful three way union, between you, your spouse and God. A promise you make to have and to hold, to love one another, as you both grow and work to build a new life together, while birthing something beyond yourselves. I’m not talking about (just) birthing children.
If your marriage is connected to God, it is intended to birth something purposeful.
Through your union something is meant to be created. More love, more peace, more grace, more compassion, more service, something that you couldn’t do on your own.
That means, who you marry matters and how you show up to the marriage matters too. Now, you wanting to be happily married without the willingness to invest in your future as a wife is unwise.
“…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…” ~Proverbs 1:5 NIV
If you’re interested in having a marriage that is fruitful and prosperous, here are 4 things to check before you even think about saying yes to that dress!
1. Do you dig you?
Do you like you? Do you enjoy being who you are as a woman? It’s crucial to like aspects of who you are as a woman before you give the gift of you to another. Buy it or not, what you like or dislike about you attracts men (people) to you. You definitely want to err on the side of attracting what you like about you to yourself, not what you hate!
It royally sucks to not dig how fearfully and wonderfully made you are! Don’t settle for that. Make the necessary adjustments to get right with you, so you can draw the man who’ll love you and not pick at your places of insecurity.
2. Do you have a life?
What are you into? Who or what makes your heart smile? What can you do for hours and hours?
I’m single. I desire to be married and I have some bummer days when I really want to go on a date with someone I really enjoy, BUT if the date doesn’t happen, I also have a beautiful life to live. I’ve identified experiences and things that bring me joy, mainly God’s sustaining presence keeps me lifted. I also can zone out for hours doing work I love and when I feel a deficit in my love life, I make a tea date or take a flight to reconnect with those I adore.
[ Currently, I’m in Charlotte refueling on love with friends, then off to Atlanta to work and suck up some more loving vibes with family. ]
When you have experiences and things that bring you joy, you can eventually introduce those experiences and things into your marriage.
3. Do you secretly think all men are cheaters or untrustworthy?
You can’t take these huge doubts and fears into your relationship. You have to do the work to rethink how you see men. For some of you, it’s just that one guy that did you wrong or misled you, who you have to release, forgive and move on. Then there are some of you who may have been raised around men who didn’t keep their word, failed to show up and were just plain womanizers. Your context has taught you to BEWARE of all men.
In both cases, you can pray for God’s healing power to give you a renewed heart and spirit to see men differently (Psalm 51:10). You can read books that specifically address forgiveness, trust issues and eventually how to love a man. Henry Cloud has great books on personal growth. And, lastly you can hire a spiritual life coach or counselor who will help you move past the hurts of your past.
4. Do you have a wise circle of associates, advisors or friends who want to see you win at love and life?
As a single woman, who you spend time with now will greatly impact who you entertain and eventually marry. Do you hang out with women who are jaded? They only have negative things to say about dating, men, marriage, and love.
How can you get prepared and positioned for love when your squad is stuck.
How are you being enhanced or sharpened by being in their company? This doesn’t have to be a deep thing! Do they dim your light or help you to shine all the more? Make a decision to improve your squad to those who can lift you up and onto the love and life you desire most.
Did any of this article hit home for you? What are you doing now to be the woman your future husband will be thanking God for? Let’s talk about it! Comment below and share this article.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. If you’d like to join an online community where you can be equipped and enriched as a woman in the areas of faith, relationships and marriage readiness, join the Inner Circle! April 30 – June 30, CLICK HERE for details. Early bird registration ends April 16!