By Tanika Jones
Many women dream of that special day. You know the one, where all of the attention is on her in that gorgeous white dress. The flowers, the decorations, the fancy cars and let’s not forget, her Prince Charming.
Most women have an idea of what age they will be when Mr. Right asks her to spend the rest of her life with him. She has the colors picked out, the ideal season, the wedding party and even the guest list! To many women, the wedding day is the turning point in her life that will lead to her happily ever after. Many of us have focused (let’s be honest) so much time and thought on the wedding and the marriage that we have never spent enough time and energy on the most important part”…preparing to become a wife!
I too used to get excited about getting married, having a family and living the fairy tale princess life. But then it happened; reality hit me smack in the face. I started paying attention to women who were already wives. I quickly noticed that marriage takes work! I am talking about 24/7/365 work! The great thing about the marital covenant is that when you give it your all, you can live “happily ever after”!
As a woman involved in a courtship, I have obtained the counsel of women that have been married for 10+ years. I ask two questions that I believe will help prepare me to be the best wife that I can be. The first question is, “What are some things that you wish you would have done to prepare for marriage differently?” The other question is, “What advice would you give that would help me to be the wife that God calls women to be?” I have received great wisdom and advice from Godly women who have been married for close to 40 years! I would like to share that advice with other single women.
1. Develop an intimate relationship with God. You cannot enter into a successful covenant with a husband if you don’t first have one with God. Seek biblical wisdom, study the word, develop a life of prayer and be dedicated to living for God. This will strengthen the marriage covenant when God allows you to walk into that season. A three-cord strand is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
2. Master the art of fidelity and trust. No man wants a woman that cannot be faithful nor one that turns her neck at every fine man that she sees. Learn to 100% committed prior to a serious courtship. Be happy with what God has blessed you with and cultivate your relationship. It is also important to be a woman of your word. If you promise to do something, be sure to do it!
3. Develop the ability to take care of a home. Ladies, in order to be a great partner in marriage, we must bring the ability to emotionally and physically take care of the house. Learn to set a atmosphere of peace and love. Avoid quarrels when possible. Practice gentleness with others that cross your path.
4. Learn how to cook! My mother once told me that a woman that cannot cook is not cute! We know that men like to eat. Let’s be serious here. We all need to eat to live. Eating out all of the time can become expensive and who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal from time to time. If you cannot do anything beyond boil water, invest in a cookbook. Try one new meal a week and you will quickly improve your cooking skills.
5. Make smart financial decisions. If you desire to marry a man that provides and makes the best decisions for his family, you need to do the same. Smart men don’t want to marry a woman that spends way more than she saves. Work on your budget and be sure to have an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months on expenses along with retirement savings. Preparing for tomorrow is important. The ability to manage money is important in marriage.
6. Be complete as one. Be comfortable with not having a man in this season. Learn to be happy on your own. Find joy in those things that make you happy. Love what you have and don’t covet what others have. Spend time in your singleness doing the things that you love to do. Travel, find hobbies and do the things that married women tell you that you won’t have time to do when you get married and then become a mother.
7. Learn the art of compromise. Marriage will be about give and take. While you are single, learn that you don’t always have to be right and accept that most things will not always happen your way. Be willing to sacrifice what you want for the benefit and happiness of others. Wives have to compromise many things. The earlier we learn to compromise, the better off we will be in marriage.
8. Be committed to pursuing your dreams and supporting others. It is important to have your own goals and motivations prior to becoming one with your future husbands. The single season is a great opportunity to begin building your career, business or working towards other goals. Learn how to support family and friends in their endeavors as well. When you become a wife, you will have to support your husband’s dreams, possibly at the expense of yours. You must me ok with this level of sacrifice and compromise prior to committing to marriage.
9. Know what submission is and be ready to walk in it. Many people shy way from this discussion. Submission is not equivalent to obedience. Submission is yielding in love. Study God’s design for marriage and understand the role of a wife. In your singleness, God is your husband. Submit yourself to Him. Trust His plan and timing for your life. Seek His guidance in all that you do. Practicing submission now will be the driving force to it being second nature to you once you become a wife.
10. Be holy and feminine in your conduct. Always carry yourself as a classy woman who walks with confidence. Men want a woman they are proud to take home to their families. They want a woman with high self-esteem, one who walks gracefully, respects herself and others around her.
Marriage is a sacred bond between God, man and woman. This is a great starting list to help single women prepare.
Whether you are single or married, share with us any other advice that can help women (and men too) prepare for a successful and lifelong marriage.
Tanika Jones is a marketing professional, aspiring Christian author, and a student at Rhema Correspondence Bible School. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Armed Magazine, a Christian magazine created to “Spiritually Equip You for Victory in Battle.”
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