A Woman’s Preparation for Marriage
There's so much one can do to prepare for the idea and reality of marriage, yet so few people actually take the time to ask the question or investigate the relationship dynamic.
Here's a small list of things to possibly consider navigating the single life as a woman from a Biblical perspective.
- Be a godly woman. Become a woman of the Word, a woman of prayer and a worshipper of Jesus.
- Discover what the Word of God says about marriage.
- Find out about the integrity and character of the man you are in relationship with. It is easy to put on a "happy face" for 6-18 months in the beginning stages of the relationship. Ask tough questions, experience one another in different life scenarios, see how he deals with adversity and lastly, be patient. The “hurry spirit,” is not the “Holy Spirit.” I read recently in Sacred Marriage, "Find someone who suffers well." There are times in marriage when a husband and wife will be enduring a challenging season. Find someone who is not going to quit, but will actually thrive in such circumstances.
- Realize marriage is more than "feelings." Feelings and romance are important to any relationship and marriage is also a contract between two people who are committed to fulfilling different roles for a common goal. Think about your role, your husband's role and the vision for your marriage. If you do not have a vision currently, this might be a good time to develop one. Talk with the man in your life about developing a vision together. A great read on this subject is, “Longing for Eden, Embracing God’s Vision in Your Marriage” by Mike and Anne Rizzo.
- When exploring a long-term relationship, get advice from mature godly counselors. Women need advice from elders to protect from naivety and lack of discernment. This will help to determine if he is the real deal. Some men are not honest about who they truly are. Countless times men have communicated relationship with Jesus, only for the woman to realize, when it is too late, he does not have one. Advice from godly men and women will help the woman discern clearly the integrity and character of the man.
- Read the book of Esther. There are some gems regarding what it looks like to be a queen. Follow Queen Esther's example, not Queen Vashti's. Esther was willing to humble herself before God, seek advice from her elders and potentially lose her life for the sake of the nation. Vashti was rebellious, hard-hearted and selfish. She would have influenced an entire nation to rebel against the men in the land, putting all the relationships out of balance from how God intended in the Garden of Eden.
- Learn to let the man lead. Sadly, too many relationships have the woman "leading.” That is not the order God created or intended within the family dynamic. People long for a society where men and women understand, value and appreciate their God-given roles. When both individuals fulfill these roles, harmony and health take place. Society is upside down and inside out in regards to what a godly marriage resembles.
- Last but not least, ladies, please do yourself and your man a favor and do not flaunt all the gifts God’s blessed you with. Modesty is the best policy when it comes to the way you dress. This message is not popular in or out of the Church. Hollywood has fooled us into thinking that “skin is in.” No. It’s a trap.
Men are exceedingly visual creatures, beyond what you can comprehend. Save it for the other side of, “I do.” Revealing “the goods,” so to speak, does a couple things. If you are not in a relationship it sends the wrong message to the wrong guys. Chances are women dressing in revealing clothes will attract men who are walking in the flesh, lusting after their bodies. You might also ask yourself where this need to dress provocatively stems from (if you’re one who tends to wear revealing clothing)? Take it to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth within your heart. Secondly, for those ladies in a relationship, it may make it more challenging for the two of you to keep things pure. Looks are important to an extent, however, 1 Peter communicates what is most pleasing to the Lord. Please, please, please realize that you are more than body parts. You’re a daughter to the King of kings. You’re royalty. Keep this reality, truth and perspective in mind. You are so valued for all God made you to be.
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. – (1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV)
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:1-5 NKJV)
There's so much one can do to prepare for marriage. Taking some or all of these suggestions will definitely help develop godly perspective in the journey towards marriage.
Feel free to leave any additional comments or suggestions below. What are some things you've been able to grab onto in your journey towards marriage, holiness and following Jesus?