Emily H. WRITES:
As I’ve now been married for two years, I’ve come to realize that my preparation for being a wife began long before the day I got married — the Lord had been working in me for years before I even met my husband. And although I’m not a perfect wife, the Lord has been so faithful to help me be true to the vows I made to be a loving, faithful, and submissive wife. As I reflect on my own journey, I’d like to share a few marriage preparation tips that I hope will be helpful to you!
Prepare to be Loving:
When I got married, my eyes were opened to the grandeur of Christ’s love for the Church as I was loved by my husband and as I watched him lay down his life for me. I also grasped a vision for what it looks like to love Christ as I was called to walk in love toward my husband, daily dying to my selfish desires. True godly love won’t just "happen” when we enter into marriage. It’s not based on feelings. It is based upon denying self and embracing the grace to love as He loved.
Love is a simple-sounding word and something that is often casually thrown about in our culture, but in reality it is something which requires our very life. We can’t hold on to our lives and love well. We can’t insist on being in control of our lives and claim to love our Lord. In the same way, we can’t claim to love our husbands and hold on to our own “rights.”
As you prepare for marriage, prepare by laying down your life daily before God and those around you. Love God and love the people He has placed in your life, counting not your life dear to yourself but expendable to Christ to be used for His glory.
Prepare to be Faithful:
Faithfulness to your future husband begins with faithfulness to God.
Faithfulness isn’t glamorous and it doesn’t make the headlines. Faithfulness is consistency in the seemingly mundane. Yes, marriage is exciting and full of joy, but it is also full of the ordinary and when the excitement of the honeymoon dies down and we are confronted with laundry and grocery shopping — what will the state of our heart be? Will we be found rejoicing in the simple tasks of serving our husband? Or will we be searching for the next thing to bring excitement to life?
The temptation facing many young women today is to always seek the next exciting thing, the next adventure, the next spiritual high. What would it look like to embrace the work of God in the ordinary and daily responsibilities? When we cultivate faithfulness now in the things pertaining to our relationship with Christ and in the rigors of daily life, we will be preparing for the faithfulness that is required in marriage. Cultivating faithfulness is vital because marriage is a covenant made until “death do us part” — not to be taken lightly and then annulled when something more exciting comes along.
The following quote is one which has encouraged me to embrace daily faithfulness in my life as a newly married woman: “My Father God help me to expect Thee on the ordinary road. I do not ask for sensational happenings. Commune with me through ordinary work and duty. Be my Company when I take the common journey. Let the humble life be transfigured by Thy presence.”
Prepare to be Submissive:
In my first years of marriage, I’ve come to marvel at the beauty of God’s ways and the blessing and protection found in embracing His pattern for me as a wife: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). Are you ready to submit to your husband? Are you ready to yield even when your flesh rebels? How are you doing in obedience to the Lord?
The Lord has given us commandments in His Word. Do you know what He commands? Are you obeying and submitting to His Word?
This is where marriage preparation begins for you, friend — submitting to the Lord, long before you walk down an aisle to your waiting groom. A young woman who is walking in submission to God is a young woman who is being prepared to walk alongside her husband in a biblical way.
Maybe you are on the brink of marriage or maybe it seems to be years away in the future. Regardless of what season of life you are in, it is never too early to begin to cultivate these things in your daily life and relationship with Christ.
Ladies, these things are impossible to achieve in your own strength and outside of the grace of God. Each one of these preparations will bring you to the end of yourself and straight to the feet of Jesus. And it is in that place that we will find the grace to be faithful and true — first and foremost to Christ and then to our husband in the covenant of marriage.
Allow the Lord to begin working these things in you, and one day when you stand before a congregation of witnesses and enter into the covenant of marriage, you will be equipped by the Lord to be loving, faithful, and submissive to your husband in the same way that you have been walking in love, faithfulness, and submission to your Lord.
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