My husband proposed 6 months after we started dating. Everything was moving like clockwork, until it wasn’t. We hit an unanticipated mammoth sized bump on our road towards marital bliss that halted our journey towards happily-ever-after indefinitely.
Our church told us, in so many words, that we were not ready to get married. We both had some more introspective to be done before we could say “I do”. Although we could have packed our bags and headed to the county courthouse, we opted to submit to the leadership of our church. It was difficult, embarrassing, slow, and absolutely one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.
As a lady, that “NO” forced me to work on the marriage rather than the wedding day. There were no dress fittings or cake tastings. It was just me working on myself…
This is a practice often left out of the marriage preparation equation. Our culture is obsessed with Bachlorette romances and fairy tale weddings that more so characterize a soap opera than a bona fide union. Marriages, however, are not made amid the Hollywood glitz and glam, but in the imperfect and often challenging behind the scenes work of becoming one.
Intuitively, we know this, but when a woman is blinded by bliss often her desire to experience a day she’s dreamt about overrides common sense. She may be reluctant to listen to the voice of wisdom, tempted to override internal checks and determined to ignore massive red flags indicating she is not ready to get married.
Before a woman gives her heart to a man she should give it to God. He controls the outcome of all things and will direct her path, even romantically, if she allows Him. A willingness to put God first keeps a woman from making an idol out of a man, a wedding, or the state of being married. Yes, they are gifts from God but they are not gods themselves and should not be worshipped. A willingness to develop a relationship with God and submit to His way, timing, and choice is an indication that a woman is ready for marriage.
By establishing a relationship with God, He then teaches us about ourselves. A woman should know everything she can about herself prior to getting married: her temperament, quirks, pet peeves, talents, passions and abilities to name a few. The more a woman knows herself the better she is able to make a discriminatory decision regarding the man she will spend the rest of her life with.
Often we are not aware of the contents of our hearts until we are in an unfavorable circumstance. What’s in us seeps out, spilling onto anyone and everything in our path. This could look like a heated argument or a financial crisis. Moments like these trigger our unhealed wounds and cause us to respond in ways that are unhealthy. A woman who is prepared for marriage has taken the time to explore the pain of her past in order to enter a marital relationship whole instead of fractured.
4. She has her finances in order.
Money has never been my strong suit. While I was single I did however, attempt to work on my financial footprint. A woman preparing for marriage should know her net worth, live below her means, get out of debt, invest, save, and pay her bills on time. If her finances are in disarray prior to marriage getting hitched won’t solve the problem; it will only make things worse.
5. She is emotionally healthy.
Emotions are tricky. They are a part of us but sometimes relying on them can be problematic. A woman who is emotionally healthy is able to not only process her pain but articulate and communicate her feelings in a responsible way. This is absolutely vital in order to build strong communication in the union between a man and a woman. If a woman does not prioritize this area in her life it will eventually show up in her behavior.
6. She has eliminated questionable males in her life.
No husband wants to take a back seat to another man. Great marriages are birthed with exclusivity. A woman who is serious about laying a strong foundation for her marriage will eliminate all undefined relationships with the opposite s*x; ignore former male colleagues, ex-boyfriend(s), etc.
7. She has a good support system.
Everyone needs at least one other woman who is intimately involved in her life. She needs someone who can look her in the eyes and tell her the truth. A woman who has not established these types of relationships should consider doing so prior to getting married because she will need them. A husband can be a best friend but I wouldn’t recommend he be the only friend.
8. She has counted the cost.
Marriage is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. In God’s eyes marriage is forever (excluding the reasons outlined in the Bible). For this reason a wise woman evaluates possible outcomes she may face: financial loss, painful arguments, sickness, and even addictions. Before she says, “I do” she needs to know if she can commit in good times and bad.
Considering these 8 indicators would bring a sense of sobriety to wedding planning. It could potentially take the focus off the day and place it on the lifetime. This is most important and what a woman should think about if she is ready to be married.