“There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.”- Martin Luther.
Dear Christian single, before you say I do, these are things you need to know about marriage.
1. Your Spouse Does not Complete you but rather compliments you
Often, people get into marriage with the ideology that their spouses will complete them. Maybe you have believed this ideology because of your understanding that they “two shall become one” and the “belief” that you are” better halves” A healthy marriage isn’t about two halves making a whole. The best unions are two “whole” people learning what it means to love.”
Your spouse does not complete you, but they compliment you.
Only God can make you complete. If you get into marriage, hoping that your spouse will complete you, you will feel empty in the long run. If you are waiting for people to validate you, trust me, you will be disappointed. Your spouse is a human who can’t fill in that gap. Only God can fill that vacuum. Let him do that.
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”Colossians 2:8-10 NLT Instead of looking to your spouse to complete you, look unto Jesus.
2. Know who you are (Your Identity in Christ)
Most singles get into relationships and marriage without knowing who they are. And this makes them unsatisfied with every single action of their spouse.
When I got married, I never truly understood who I was. I was unaware that I was God’s masterpiece, and I was made in the image of God. “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
It wasn’t until my marriage started bending -there were many disagreements between my husband and me; nagging became second nature. During this period in my marriage, I had to know God for me and understand what the scripture says about me. The moment I embraced who I was, I started to see changes in my life and people’s lives, especially my husband.
Listen, you are the CEO of your life. Stop looking for affirmation and seeking to be accepted by people. The truth is this if you can’t accept yourself the way you are, who do you expect to accept you? If you don’t know who you are, how can you know who your spouse is? You are the righteousness of God through Christ. Know who you are before you say: “I do.”
3. You will not always “Feel in Love.”
You know that the first few months of your meeting each other (your significant other), this little butterfly that was rumbling in your stomach, the sensation of his soft touch, which makes you think you have finally met your inseparable heartthrob. It’s a good feeling. Right?
I remember the first time my husband kissed me. We felt each other hearts. You could hear our hearts pounding from miles away because we were so” In love,” the butterflies in our stomach came flying out; we knew we were meant for each other.
We couldn’t stop thinking and imagining our lives together and how lucky we were to have found each other. The feelings were mutual. Not until we moved in after the wedding, a few months later, the feelings were gone.
We become more roommates than lovers. Researchers say that the ” “in love” feelings can last between 18 months to 3 years. Trust me, adding kids did not even make it better, but we had to fight to keep the love alive. Feelings fade. Yes, emotions are not always permanent.
“Love is not a feeling; it is a commitment.”
There are times you don’t and will not “feel” in love, but your commitment to each other will keep your love fresh.
Sometimes, we let infatuations becloud our sense of judgment when it comes to love. But you know what? When you finally get married, the veil will fall off, and you will see it more clearly.
You need to know that marriage is not dating, where you break up with anyone you like at any time.
Marriage is a lifetime journey that keeps exposing who your spouse is. Your commitment to your marriage will sustain you when the feelings of love are no longer there.
(4) Lower Your Expectations
Sometimes, we create our heartbreaks with excessive expectations. Placing expectations on people can only give you a headache. Putting too much hope for our spouse is one of the reasons why marriages fail.
You find it difficult to move from superficial friendship to experiencing the bliss of a relationship because you’ve got the baggage of unrealistic expectations you expect from your spouse.
When you get into marriage, please, by all means, lower your expectations. I am not saying you shouldn’t expect good things from your spouse.
You know that image you’ve got from Hollywood, Nollywood, Bollywood, Dollywood, etc. You have designed that your marriage must be like the ones you see in the movies.
You know the regular flowers, the cinema, the romantic adventures, the gifting of the latest car as a birthday gift, the washing of your feet daily, etc. it’s not bad anyway, but don’t create expectations from those things.
When you don’t expect much from your spouse, the things she does for you will be appreciated by you. S/he may not act exactly like those movie stars, but if you lower your expectations, you will see his unequaled qualities.
Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14
Dear single! If you want to have a blissful marriage, don’t go into it with high expectations.
Related Post: One Relationship Secret No One Ever Tells You—But Should
(5) Be Aware of the Emotional Baggage you are bringing into your Marriage
I understand that you may have been through a lot in your previous relationships. No doubt, you may have been abused physically, sexually, and emotionally. They are called baggage.
Now, when you get into marriage, do not let this baggage drag you.
My girlfriend told me about her roommate’s story: Funke, who was into five years of frustrating relationship. Her ex-boyfriend was a player and, at the same time, molested her physically. But because she was already in love with him, she found it difficult to call it a quit, even when her friends encouraged her to do so.
The fifth-year of that relationship almost took her life. She was pregnant for him, and he physically abused her that she miscarried the baby. She spent three months in the hospital after this encounter. Funke was lucky to have survived this, her doctor told her. Because of what happened, she finally let go of Ken; of course, it was a painful decision for her.
Now, she is married to George, two years later, and guess what? She went into marriage with that emotional baggage. She hasn’t allowed George to express his undying love for her. George has been considering divorce as he has tried everything possible to make her know that he isn’t Ken, but she has held the emotional baggage so closely to let anyone come in between them.
Let go of the baggage and embrace a new beginning if you must have a blissful marriage.
If you don’t let go, you will be stagnant in life. Let go of the hurt, the past, and embrace the present. Please don’t get into marriage with that emotional baggage; let it go. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. “Galatians 5:1
(6) Prepare More for the Marriage.
Prepare more for marriage and not for the wedding. This part worries me so much, especially among the ladies. You prepare for the wedding, spend so many resources, energy, and time just for the wedding only to get into marriage empty?
A wedding lasts only for a few hours, but your marriage lasts for a lifetime.
Dear Christian, single, invest in your marriage rather than on a mere wedding ceremony.
- First, attend a premarital education class or premarital counseling. Eighty-nine percent of married couples who participate in premarital education BEFORE marriage find it helpful down the road. Worthwhile courses will teach you communication skills and conflict management tools, along with addressing appropriate expectations.
- Find a mentor couple. Seek out an older, more experienced, happily married couple to provide wisdom and support to you as you begin your adventure together.
- Start thinking “we” instead of “me.” Marriage is a partnership. It will serve you well to remember you are on the same team. Make time to pursue activities together and explore common interests.
- Talk about your expectations for marriage. What are your goals for your marriage? How will you decide who does what around the house? Who will manage the money? Discuss your goals to help ensure a successful marriage. Unrealistic and unmet expectations often lead to resentment.
- Be committed. Since commitment is a choice, believing in your marriage’s permanence will help your relationship over the long haul.
- Talk about money. Save yourselves a lot of future headaches by discussing your spending habits and spending plans and goals. Always spend less than you make, save a little for a rainy day, and try to avoid debt.
- Talk about children. Will you have children? If so, how many children would you like to have? When would you like to have kids? Will both of you work, or will one of you stay home?
- How will work/friends/family/social activities affect your marriage? Also, discuss boundaries for your marriage.
Take time to know your spouse really, take out time to plan and manage your home. Resolve on how you both will handle issues, learn from experienced people.
Read marriage books, Study the Bible. Don’t go investing in your wedding when you have no investment in your marriage.
(7) Your Spouse will not be Perfect
I got married, believing I was perfect. While I knew I make mistakes, I never liked being corrected. I picked up the offense at every slightest mistake of my husband. That truly made me unhappy in the early years of my marriage, until I realized that I wasn’t perfect; neither was my husband.
We can only be perfect in God. Now, the realization of this made me accept my husband’s correction, and for the first time, I could quickly apologize to him each time I discover I was wrong or he was hurt.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. “Ephesians 4:32
Yes, your spouse will make mistakes, s/he will hurt you. Yes, you will have to understand that s/he isn’t perfect. Romans 3:10, as the scripture says, no one is righteous, no, not one” So you have to forgive with or without their apology, that notwithstanding, always learn to apologize. Learn to say, “I’m sorry.”
Colossians 2:14 “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
(8) Know how your Fiancée Reacts when they are angry
If you don’t know how s/he reacts when s/he gets angry, you will overreact. To avoid surprises in marriage, find out how s/he reacts when angry. It is very vital if you must have a beautiful “Marriage.” You don’t want to get surprises when it becomes too late.
While Kate was busy preparing for an exceptional wedding, she fails to notice that Frank drinks when he’s provoked. Getting into Marriage, Frank drank to stupor almost every day because he wasn’t happy. Kate lamented and clamored that he transformed after the wedding. But this was something she would have discovered earlier and found a way to manage the situation if she had taken time to study his reactions when angry. Thanks be to God that things have become better for them.
(9) Conflicts are Inevitable
Siblings of the same parents have conflicts, talk more of two different people from different backgrounds. Except you will have to pretend all through, but that can only be before marriage. Once you get married, you become authentic and real to yourselves, and of course, conflicts will inevitably set in.
Don’t enter into marriage with the mindset that there will be no conflict because your spouse is easy going. For disputes? Yes, expect them. You can’t escape from it.
Your resolution to stay faithful to each other is what will keep you both together.
(10) Marriage is a Commitment
Before you get into marriage, understand that marriage is not always a bed of roses.
It’s not what we always think. Marriage takes work; it takes commitment. If you are not committed to loving your spouse, you can’t live together.
Marriage is BEAUTIFUL, And it takes commitment to make it beautiful. Don’t let go of God in your marriage, no matter how difficult the journey might seem.
When you commit to making your marriage work, the initiator of marriage, God will see you through. Only Him can empower you on this journey even when your strength fails you.
Let him be the pilot of your flight, marriage. He alone can help you have a blissful marriage. Don’t ignore him in your marriage.