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Saturday, February 7, 2009

How To Prepare For Marriage Without Expecting It


How do I prepare for marriage and at the same time guard my heart? As women, this is an incredibly difficult task because we were specifically created out of man for man. However, if we trust Jesus, we can trust that He has the best for us - whether that be a life of singleness or marriage. I think it is wise to prepare to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. If we stay single, these skills will serve us and others well - our families, our communities, and any domain that God grants us ministry in. Set your heart before Him, guarding it in purity, but keeping it tender in hope.



Five “Rules” For Women:



Don’t...



Assume



Expect



Initiate



Manipulate



(And if it’s from God) Don’t fight



What are some ways I can prepare to be my husband’s helper/completer?



There are so many things I wish I would have known to learn or areas I needed to grow in before I was married. It is with this hindsight that I offer to you my list of “to do’s” before you become married (remember, these will also serve you and others well as a single woman living for God):



Know Jesus Christ.



You will not be able to fully love and give yourself to a man until you have let Jesus into your heart to change it, heal it, and nurture it. Love Him above all else.



Purity.



If you have struggles with attachments to men, sexual addictions, past abortions, sexual abuse, commitment issues, etc., deal with these now. Do not let a day go by that you hold onto any brokenness or sin that needs dealt with. Submit yourself humbly to God and He will help you. Get help from others as well. Remember, Jesus heals the broken-hearted.



Deal with your “core” lies.



We all have lies we believe about ourselves and Satan wants to use them to tear us and others apart. To determine your “core lies,” watch for things that make you angry, anxious, or depressed. The core lies are usually under there. Whatever goals we’ve created because of our core lies have to go. For example, one of my core was “I am not good enough.” If I felt threatened in a situation that hit on my lie (”why did you let the kids watch T.V. today?) and I would get very angry and defensive. I had to let go of that lie because it would affect how I treated my husband. I also had to learn the truth - that Jesus loves me so much that He died for me and He is the ONLY one who has the authority to tell me who I am.



Choose now to let your future husband be who he is and that “he is enough for me."



Men struggle with feeling that they are not enough. Be a refuge and place where he can experience freedom and grace. Be his biggest fan.



Become a wise steward of your finances.



Learn how to balance a checkbook, budget (and stick to it), and save. If you have debt, work diligently now to pay it off.



Learn a few “domestic” skills...



such as sewing, canning, knitting, painting, crafting, etc. (These come in handy if you have to live frugally and when you have kiddos).



Let go of your independence.



I cannot tell you how much you holding onto your own “rights” or independence will harm your marriage. Here is an excerpt my friend Laura wrote regarding this:



"Perhaps the most significant thing you will sacrifice is the spirit of independence which is destroying women. There is no room for the independent spirit in a woman’s life: we simply cannot love a man, children, or others well if we are entangled in this popular mentality that we are the center of the universe and we should have everything our way and we should be able to accomplish everything we desire and we shouldn’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves.
If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.
In the world’s eyes, you will be sacrificing so much, but in God’s eyes, you will be the lifeblood of His next generation, a generation who will praise His name."



Recommended Resources:



Five Aspects of Woman Bible Study by Barbara Mouser.



Preparing To Be Homemakers, by Lindsey at Passionate Homemaking



15 comments:

Debbie said...

AWESOME post! I can testify to so many of these things - areas I've been blessed because God prepared me, and areas I'm still fighting to let go. Independence means NOTHING in the realm of eternity. It is the worst lie for me...

Homesteader in Training said...

Even in today's Christian society it is looked down upon if a young ladies desire is to be a wife and mother. What they say? You can do that later. Go to college sew some oats! Live!
I can't tell you how irritating that is to hear from another believer. My daughter who is 15 longs to be a good wife and mother. So you know what? That's what I'm teaching her to be. She isn't taking prep classes at a local college she isn't taking physics in homeschooling, she is learning the traits and talents of a woman who will one day hold the greatest position in the world. Wife and Mother!! Now please don't send me hate mail if you read this and you're a Christian and your kids are going to college. All I'm saying is it isn't for everyone and one shouldn't down another for wanting the high calling of Motherhood as their final course.
Sarah I have loved this series and I love the way you embrace being a wife and mother. Thank you! It's good to know we aren't alone.
Hugs.
Kim

Miss Jocelyn said...

Beautiful!

I think too often ladies are worried they won't get married so try to focus on other things rather than preparing to fulfill the role of the Biblcal-woman, a helpmeet.

Miss Jocelyn
aponderingheart.com
feelinfeminine.com

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Sarah Mae,
These are wonderful, wise words and great advice to those who are in this season of their lives.
Thanks for sharing and thanks for your comments and encouragement at my blog this week.
You are a blessing!
Joy

Sherry said...

Great points that young ladies should take to heart. One truth I realized is that the more Christlike you are, the better prepared to be a spouse you are. Becoming the person Christ wants you to be is the best prep for marriage there is!

christinnjon said...

oooh-weee! Good stuff!

I love and whole-heartidly agree with letting go of your independance. That cannot be stressed enough!

Vanessa said...

This is a beautiful summary of what every unmarried woman should spend their time doing. Thanks!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Such wonderful advice for women!! I wish that I had known these things growing up and before I got married - would have done many things differently and it would have made married life easier. Of course, I still can use these lessons now! :)

MaMa K said...

I love your blog and have been following for a while now. Thank you for this post. I have never thought about "core lies" before. I find myself being so angry with my husband when he wants to spend time with his friends. I finally realized the lie I tell myself is he doesn't really want me. But he so totally does. He is an amazing man. I would also like your input on being "to needy" in marriage. How do we overcome this?

HeathahLee said...

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO far behind reading your posts! Where does the time go? Sure did miss you this weekend! Think of all the fun you and Kat and I could have had! : )

Like you said on someone's post...next year, baby, next year!

Morgan said...

Sarah Mae...I have less than 2 months to go until I am married!!! I have tried to prepare my self on many of these levels you speak of! I appreciate all your courage and wisdom and the TRUTH in all your words (godly words). I have really enjoyed ready your blogs and being apart of them. I am taking pieces of your witnessing and applying to my life and am glorifying my life with it. Thank you Sarah Mae! Sisters in Christ~Morgan

the paper handmaiden said...

My husband and I have a little plaque which says "Nice wedding, now invite me to the marriage"...It is unfortunate that so much time an effort goes into planning a wedding extravaganza, but little if any actually goes into preparing for marriage.

Lakita said...

This is great! I am currently single and care greatly for the things of the LORD. I am VERY independent and know that is something that I will have to work on. I realized this just last week when someone was asking me where I was...in the back of my head I was frustrated that someone asked me...a grown woman, to account for my time and whereabouts! :)

I found this through the "HOW TO" blog carnival and I look forward to reading more of your writings!

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