When You Take That Step
So you want to get married? Great!! You should also make up in your mind that you also want to live a life of sacrifice, unconditional love, and learning how to make decisions with your spouse in mind. In order for marriage to work beyond the honeymoon couples need to realize that it takes work to make it last. One of the things that I’ve tried to do as a married man is to ask older couples their secret. Most couples tell me don’t sweat the small stuff, do things together, and learn how to laugh. These are very simple things to do and by the response from the couples I’ve asked, they seem to be very sincere. So what is the key to having a good marriage? The key to having a good marriage is to first realize that a good marriage is not handed to you, but created. The thing that couples realize after they come home from the honeymoon is that they’re both different. I know that you’ve dated for six years, you know each other’s family, and you do everything together. But the important thing to realize is that you’re two imperfect people coming together to create a “perfect” marriage, only to find out there is no such thing as a “perfect” marriage. The only marriage that a couple can have is the one they have worked to create. If you want a good marriage, then it’s important to create a good marriage together. If you want a marriage that is boring, then the effort you give will be lifeless and stale. If you want a strong marriage that will last, then you will fight with all your heart and stick together through the thick and thin.
The first thing that couples who are getting married should do is work on laying the foundation for their marriage. Imagine you have been given the chance to construct your own house. You’re meeting a builder to discuss what materials you want for your house. You may be living in California where there are earthquakes or Florida where there are hurricanes. The materials that you use for your house will determine whether it will stand or fall during these natural disasters. Marriage will have its share of hard times, but depending on what your marriage is based on will determine whether it will last during those difficult times. It’s the same principal as if you’re building a house. Couples should take the time to attend pre-marital classes, read books together about marriage, and connect with married couples who are grounded in the word of God. Although your experiences may be different in your marriage compared to other couples, it’s good to have a guideline of what a healthy marriage is all about.
The second thing that’s important to do is to not stress during the planning stage before your marriage. I don’t believe in long engagements (2 to 3 years), having everything in place before you get married, and finding a mate that’s 100%. If you’re going to have a long engagement it’s important to also set a date and stick to that date. Some men are scared to take that next step and put it off to prolong what they’re really not sure of. Getting married is the highest level of commitment that two people can have together if done the right way. It’s important to express to each other your fears and frustrations about getting married. This will help you to move closer to one another during the process. Marriage is a chance for couples to create a life together the right way and to share love on a deeper level. Learn to laugh during the engagement period, come up with a planning schedule together, and have fun. When the wedding day arrives, couples will be relieved, happy, and proud of the journey that they finished and that they are getting ready to start.
The last thing that couples should do as they prepare for marriage is to realize that divorce is not an option. There will be times when you will ask yourself, “Did I marry the right person?” You will want to throw in the towel because it’s getting hard, you will find yourself feeling hurt because the person that you married doesn’t understand you, and you may think it will never get better. Now there are things that should not be tolerated in a marriage such as cheating, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. If those things are happening then it’s important to get out of that situation, because your life may be in danger. But the thing to realize is that nobody is perfect. Your spouse will let you down at times, they may hurt your feelings, and they may disappoint you. But always remember your vows during those difficult times. Remember the part that said “for better or for worse,” and this will help you to put things in perspective and to work through those difficult moments. Marriage is a ministry and couples need to realize that creating a lasting love does not happen overnight. Couples need to continue the things that they were doing before they got married and when you look up the two of you will be celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary and so on. And when you’re celebrating your anniversary remember that you made it because you never gave up!