Getting married is one of the biggest decisions we’ll ever make and I feel that we should all work hard to be prepared and informed before we take that step.
I just started a book on the African American marriage decline and I’m sitting here thinking about the steps that I’ve taken to prepare myself for marriage. Here goes:
- I got saved. I got out of the streets and got into the church. I committed my life to Jesus and I made it a top priority to seek Him and His ways. Getting saved didn’t make me perfect, but it did make me turn from my sinful ways. Accepting Jesus into my heart gave me good desires and I began to feel uncomfortable doing things that Jesus would not approve of. Getting saved was the first step toward my preparation for marriage.
- I got purified. I’m so thankful to my church and the classes that they offered. The class “Journey to Purpose” truly changed my life! It gave me a deep understanding of myself, my name, my purpose in life, and it enlightened me and changed my ways with regards to sex. This class is the reason I began to say no to sex. I remember I was dating someone at the time and ummm we were enjoying each other a lot! I then began to feel uncomfortable during the act. Jesus was truly making me uncomfortable committing sin! I can remember sitting on the bed having a conversation with him and I told him “I can no longer have sex.” He looked at me like he saw a ghost! His reaction was priceless. I respect him though for not attempting to detour me from Christ. Our lives began to go in two different directions and we ended up breaking up. This is when I began my pure lifestyle. (The great thing, though, is that he got saved shortly afterward! Look at God!)
- I got focused. I really began to focus on what I wanted out of life. I began to dream and create very specific goals. I started thinking more about the future and I began to envision what I wanted my ideal life to look like. I created a dream board with visuals of my 4 big goals. Marriage was #1. I even went to the jewelry store picked out rings, tried them on, and I even took a picture wearing the ring that I really adored! I still look at this dream board every single day.
- I got friends. When you say no to sex you gain substance-filled relationships. I got so comfortable with myself, I learned a lot about myself, and I began to acquire friends that really helped me to see my value. They may have WANTED to do things with me, but since they weren’t, they really valued me. I had tons of deep, memorable conversations during this timeframe. Conversations that make you say ‘aha’ and not ‘oooh baby’. I began to realize the importance of friendship and I highly valued being friends first. I now believe in friends first before you even consider dating someone.
- I got patient. I began to enjoy my singleness, while at the same time praying to God for my mate. I didn’t feel insignificant because I was single because I knew that there were plenty of people that were unhappy in their relationships. I used my time wisely and I began to cut off people that I knew I would not marry. I prayed a lot in this stage and I spent a lot of quiet time alone with God.
- I got prepared. I read, I watched sermons, and I bettered myself. I believe that each partner should bring something to the table so I prepared myself to ensure that I will go to the table correct. School became a top priority and I began to make slight adjustments within my parenting style to ensure that my child would be able to easily adjust. I started making her sleep in her bed sometimes so that she wouldn’t feel booted once I got married! Preparation is critical to success!
I guess you could say that right now I’m still on step 6. I’m currently praying and preparing myself to ensure that I am truly ready for marriage. I already understand that marriage is a huge deal and will not be easy.
I’m extremely thankful for the people that God has placed in my life to help prepare me. I’m connected to godly, married women that are equipping me to be a spirit-filled wife.
I know without a doubt that there is no way that I will be able to have a happy, successful marriage without God.
I’m enjoying the journey while looking forward to a wonderful future- A future that includes a solid, successful marriage. 🙂