Preparing for Marriage: Perspectives from Three Young Christian Women

photo(1)

A funny thing happened as I drafted this post. I started writing with the intent to answer one question: How can I prepare for marriage while I’m single? I focused on this question with genuine intent to be productive. After much studying and prayer, God led me to a more mature perspective on singleness that resulted in me viewing the call to wait as a blessing and not a curse (helpful verses include Lam. 3:25, Isaiah 40:3 and Song of Solomon 8:4). Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I wanted to find ways to prepare myself for the blessing I sought from God. To answer the aforementioned question, I solicited advice from three young Christian women who recently married the men of their dreams. But while reading through their advice, I realized I still had the wrong perspective on preparing for marriage. Their advice isn’t solely applicable to the topic of marriage — it is more so about becoming a better disciple of Christ. Enter reality check: Perhaps the best way to prepare for marriage while I’m single is to not focus on marriage, but rather focus on strengthening my relationship with Christ and doing more of the work we are called to do in God’s kingdom in the form of constant praying, serving, and evangelizing.

While I think marriage is a special union that I still pray God will bless me with one day, it isn’t the wisest use of time now to prepare for the hope of marriage instead of focusing on the greatest hope I already have: Christ.

Though the intent of this post changed drastically before I even posted it, that doesn’t change the quality of the advice I received from these godly young women. So enough of my blabbing — here’s what they had to say.

photo(2)

Q: How can I prepare for marriage while I’m single?

Pray: “If marriage is something you want in life, pray to God for a righteous man. A godly, righteous man is worth any wait. Pray for God to work in you, to expose qualities in yourself that need improvement, and to mold you into the woman and wife that will be pleasing to Him and your future husband. I’m not sure if anyone is really “ready” for marriage, but we all have certain characteristics that need to be refined and polished by God. After praying to God about marriage, you need to trust. Trust that God heard you and trust that He is in control of your life.  If we lack trust, then we become anxious.  If we are anxious, we are telling God, more or less, “I don’t think You can handle this the right way.” It’s blasphemous, really.”

Strive for purity: “Make choices to flee from sexually immorality – any act of sexual immorality is a gift you take away from your husband.  Look for a man who treats you (and all other women) with all purity, NEVER pressuring you to be physical (Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Tim 5:1-2 to treat his sisters with all purity). Strive also to guard your heart and emotions until you are married. Be wise on who you trust and who you pour your heart out to.”


Q: How do you wish you prepared for marriage when you were single?

Served others more consistently: “For me, marriage calls for serving people in a certain way and frequency that I wasn’t accustomed to serving.  I wish I had been more selfless and more giving in my single life, and spent more time doing things for others.  I wish I would have realized that I won’t only be serving my husband, but others that entered my life once I bound my life to his.  That would have made my transition into marriage a lot smoother.”

Spent less time obsessing over marriage: “There was a point in my life where I probably idolized marriage.  I wasted entirely too much time thinking about boys rather than God.  It was so futile and shameful to think about now.  I could have spent that time deepening friendships and my relationship with the Lord.”

photo(3)

Q: How can I prepare for marriage while I’m single?

Learn the value of submission: “My husband and I have only been married since January 4, 2014, so we are still learning and growing – but one thing I learned early is the importance of submission. In today’s society, many are taught to be self-reliant, so the thought of being submissive to another individual sounds bizarre to some. My take on it is that many take the word “submission” as synonymous with weak or inferior. The reality is the exact opposite. In Ephesians 5:22-24 we are told to submit ourselves to our own husbands, as unto the Lord. The reality is that by us submitting to our husbands we are actually submitting to God. When we submit to our husbands it brings a sense of respect and honor into the home.”

Q: How do you wish you prepared for marriage when you were single?

Learned to rise early: “One thing that stood out to me while reading was the mention of the Proverbs 31 woman rising early. This is something I should have worked on more diligently before marriage because though I wake up early, it’s not always because I want to but more so because I have to. The days I rose early and spent time talking and listening to God were always my greatest. Getting that sense of peace and direction before getting into each day is crucial.”

photo

Q: How can I prepare for marriage while I’m single?

Focus on growing closer to God: “Here is a verse I thought a lot about before I was married: ‘She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life’ (Proverbs 31:12). For a while, this sort of became my mantra. I was not dating, had no idea who my husband would be, or if I would ever have one. In very big ways, I can do good to him before even meeting him! I can be holy! In reality, I can be who I’ve always wanted to be. I can be me, using His grace to get back to who I was created to be, when He made me in His image. THIS is really what I want and THIS is who I need to be anyway and THIS will help me to be happy whether I’m married or not.”

Q: How do you wish you prepared for marriage when you were single?

Loved more fully: “Well, only every once in a while among my yearning and almost frustration about the love I have for my husband, I think about how close this must be to the love that God has for me — a love that I will never really actually understand. God makes us promises that only He can keep and just wants us to understand. I guess while I was single I focused so much on getting ready to love that I never loved as fully (in commitment and promise-keeping) until now.”

Focused on prayer: “I have a waxing/waning relationship with my prayer life. One thing that has affected me and my prayer life is that I have no clue how to pray when someone else is in the room or apartment. I get so distracted. I feel like I need it to be perfectly dark, or perfectly quiet, or perfectly in MY control; and it has been really hindering me. I need to learn to pray my heart out no matter what the circumstance.”

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

The Comments

  • Avatar
    Barbara-Jimmy Duvall
    02/18

    Wow! this is an awesome topic, All of the young women gave powerful advice to your questions ” Just think how different the world would be if every woman held to these priorities! in preparing for marriage. great! work to all of you young ladies. Congratulations! and continued blessing in your marriages. Liz this is beautiful!

  • Avatar
    Bhoranie
    03/03

    Definitely needed to read this and stay encouraged =)

  • Avatar
    Buife
    08/22

    Lovely post. I quite agree, as singles, our priority must be becoming Christly because even in marriage, we are to continue to keep Christ at the very top.

    Here’s a post I wrote on what I’m learning about submission~~http://thegodkindoflove.blogspot.com/2014/08/osteomyelitis.html

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Buife
      08/22

      Thank you for the kind words, Buife! I wholeheartedly agree and appreciate your post — I appreciate it so much, I subscribed to your blog. 🙂 Submission in marriage is not a sign of physical or intellectual weakness, but rather the result of fully submitting to God and trusting His plan for marriage is best. Thank you for your honesty and insightful explanation of a difficult topic!

      • Avatar
        Buife
        > Elizabeth
        01/09

        Thank you Elizabeth! Happy New year! You won’t believe how I found my way back to your blog again… no, you won’t.

        Thank you for subscribing 🙂 [please, are you receiving my blog updates yet? ‘Cos the email marketing service I use (feedburner) marked your email address as “unverified” (as they did some others too). Please let me know so I can be sure of what is going on.

        Thank you, again. God bless you!
        Buife recently posted…Dare To Rise!My Profile

        • Elizabeth
          Elizabeth
          > Buife
          01/09

          Well now I’m super curious — how DID you find your way back? And thank you for the reminder! Subscription confirmed. 🙂 Happy New Year, my dear!

  • Avatar
    Elizabeth
    09/06

    This is such a good post! I don’t know if anyone here has heard of her, but Leslie Ludy has written a book called “Sacred Singleness” and I would recommend it to every single, Christian girl out there!

  • Avatar
    Vinz
    09/01

    Great post Elizabeth! Our God has to be the center of every relationship, every decision and every aspect of life. If we’re able to obey this, then I believe that God will bless the marriage and family of every relationship.