The One Thing I Wish I Had Done Before I Got Married

BY: - 13 Oct '14 | Marriage

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I’ve heard it said that most people prepare more for their wedding than they do for their marriage. In my case, I’d have to say it was true. Weddings are usually exciting, fun-filled events that get everyone caught up—so much so that, often, we don’t take a minute to stop and think about what happens after the honeymoon.

I got married at 23. I had just finished college the year before, had landed a great job in my field, and had been dating my boyfriend for about two and half years before we decided that we would get married. This was someone who I had started out being very good friends with. My family loved him. My friends thought we made the perfect couple. And it just made sense for us to take the next step in our relationship.

In all the time we were dating, we talked about a lot of things. I honestly can’t say that we spent that much time talking about our expectations of marriage or what adjustments we’d have to make as “the two became one.” I think we just assumed that it would be a seamless transition since we already knew each other so well. We did the premarital counseling, the bridal shower, the traditional African engagement—all the pre-wedding things that were expected of us. But looking back on my failed marriage, I realize that I missed one critical step before I got married:

I didn’t ask for discernment about whether or not this was the mate God intended for me.

In our rush to beat our biological clocks and leave the single life behind, we make decisions which end up sometimes having devastating consequences because we didn’t take the time to make sure that the person who we say “I do” to is the person we’re supposed to be yoked to. Throw in all the glitz and glamour of planning a wedding and it’s very easy to miss God’s still, small voice in the midst of all the noise. Of course this is the person that is meant for us! It just makes sense. Except, more often than not, our spirit is trying to get our attention to tell us that something just ain’t right. But we’re too distracted trying on that ivory satin wedding dress to hear it.

My spirit was trying to get my attention even on my wedding day. I thought I was just tired from all the planning—that must have been why I felt so apathetic. So I put on that brilliant smile and that beautiful mask of makeup and went through the day working hard to make sure no one could see my turmoil inside. The doubts were raging but I chalked it up to wedding day jitters. Have you ever had that moment where everyone around you is smiling, clapping and full of joy for you but you feel like everything is actually moving in slow motion? Like you’re watching yourself as a character in a bad movie? That was me.

In hindsight, I realized that God had been trying to get my attention way before the wedding day with clues here and there, but I ignored them because I wasn’t ready to give up my Cinderella fantasy for a spiritual reality.

Now that I’ve grown from that experience, I understand even more so why having a strong relationship with God is important when deciding who to marry. The stronger your spiritual life is, the clearer you will hear God’s voice giving you discernment in your decision-making.

So besides all the external things you need to look for when choosing a mate, how will you know you’re marrying the right person? You will know. Just as you will know if you’re marrying the wrong person. As long you take the time to listen—really listen—to that still, small voice.

How how has God’s voice played a role in your relationship(s)?

About the author

Julian B. Kiganda wrote 32 articles on this blog.

Julian B. Kiganda is a dynamic speaker, writer and creative consultant who helps transform and build million-dollar brands for purpose-driven women. She is also co-author of "Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be." You can connect with her on her Bold & Fearless online magazine at www.boldandfearless.me

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4 WordPress comments on “The One Thing I Wish I Had Done Before I Got Married

  1. Michelle Cameron

    Oh how much I can relate to this scenario! I was in knots about getting married 1 month before my wedding. Red flags were everywhere but I chalked it up to me overreacting. Now divorced years later I realize that I wasn’t settled within myself that this was the right person. God was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t really listening…..

  2. Dawn Johnson

    How appropriate that I come across this article while I am lying in bed and can’t sleep because my marriage is on the brink of divorce. The day we got married I knew that I would one day be right here. My family and friends had made their feelings about the mistake I made and was making very clear and as I spent my wedding not alone while my husband’s face was planted in a computer, I should have known. I should have headed the voice of God. The voice of wisdom from family and friends. But, I was blinded by what I wanted even though bright red flags were all around me. Then God allowed me to see behind the veil when I discovered emails between my husband and people he met on a transgendered website. Literally weeks after we were married. Then it was when my husband was served with child support papers for a kid that was a year old that I didn’t even know he had and we hadn’t even been married for longer than 4 months. My life is a mess for not heading the voice of God. It is Sooooo important to ask for discernment before deciding to marry someone.

    1. Julian B. Kiganda Post author

      Dawn, I’ve been where you are: disappointed, stressed, distraught and hopeless because of a life altering decision I made. It may seem dark now–and in all reality, it may feel like that for awhile–but trust that even in the midst of all that pain, God is still ever present. Still waiting on you to take his hand and hold it tight so He can guide you through this time in your life.

      If there was ever a time to ask for discernment, it would be now. Don’t be afraid to go for counseling. Although you have to be the one to decide your next move, the Bible has all the answers you need. Be still and know that He is God. I promise you, if you allow Him to, He’ll turn this around for your good, and you’ll be better for it. In ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. Wishing you peace in the storm.

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My Husband Has An Adulterous Heart: What Should I Do?

BY: - 14 Oct '14 | Infidelity

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Hi Dr. Buckingham,

My husband and I have been married for 3 years now, but he has been cheating on me even before we got married. When I was pregnant with our daughter, an ex-girlfriend of his was also pregnant by him too. Our babies would have been a few weeks apart but she had a miscarriage. After our daughter was born, he promised that he would stop cheating and I forgave him and tried to move on. However, not too long after I forgave him, I found nude pictures of another ex that he was sex-texting.

This is getting to me, as the list of women goes on.

Every time I try to tell him how I feel and how hurt I am, he makes me feel like it is my fault that he cheats. I am holding on because of our daughter and the promise I made to God in my marriage vows. I am at my breaking point and I can’t handle it any more. What Should I Do?

Cristal

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Dear Cristal,

First things first! You are not responsible for your husband’s adulterous and cheating behavior. The ability to feel and experience love is a gift from God. Furthermore, how we express our love is also a gift from God, and it is called Free Will. No human-being has the power to control another human-being. We simply influence behavior, but do not determine it. I want to clear this up because you should not be feeling guilty because of your husband’s sexual indiscretions.

We marry with the desire to share our hearts, bodies and souls with one person and God gives favor to those who marry.

People also wonder if romantic relationships outside of marriage are permissible as long as there is no actual sexual intercourse (sex-texting or lusting after another). The bible teaches that marriage is an exclusive romantic and sexual relationship between husband and wife. Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV, Matthew 5:27-28)

Many would advise you to leave your husband immediately because they believe that once a cheater, always a cheater. While there is some truth to this saying, I believe that anyone who defers to God, will and can be savaged. God will forgive the sin of adultery if the person sincerely repents.

I believe that adulterous behavior is the by-product of a loss soul. Where there is adultery, there is poor judgment and self-destruction. Proverbs 6:32 tells us that a man who commits adultery lacks judgment and as a result will destroy himself. The bible mentions adultery as grounds for divorce (Matthews 5:31-32, 19:9), but there is no requirement to do so.

If you decide to save or reconcile your marriage, I highly recommend that you and your husband seek help. He might have a sexual addiction or he might just be manipulative and self-centered. Either way, he is not going to do right by you without taking responsibility for his behavior. If he refuses to get help, you should consider moving on. Remember that you not only have to respect yourself, but you have to be a role model for your daughter. Respect is not automatic, it is demanded. You cannot expect to be treated special or like a queen, if you allow him to manipulate you and treat you like a second class citizen. If he cannot do right by you and your daughter as the head of the household, he does not deserve to be in that position.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

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Dwayne Buckingham wrote 191 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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