I was once having a conversation with my Aunty who had just had an eye surgery that did not go exactly as planned. Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. She belonged to the 1% that have extreme reactions to the surgery. I looked dismayed as she told me all that had happened. Thank God all is well now.
She said, “You have to totally prepare your mind before you go under the knife, you just have to prepare yourself”. I asked her if she was scared after all the complications (side note: she is an eye surgeon so she knows worst case scenarios). She looked at me and said “Tomi, nothing is certain in life, even with all I know I could not have predicted how it would turn out, but you just have to be ready. I was ready and God did the rest”.
It randomly got me thinking about marriage.
How many people are truly going into marriage, this life long decision with the right attitude, knowledge and frame of mind?
I am not saying that things will not come up, I am not saying being prepared paves the way for a perfect future either. What I am saying is being prepared in mind and spirit helps the journey. Someone once said that people put in more work for keeping their jobs and meeting targets than they do on their marriages. Sadly I find this to be true.
Preparation means actively planning and equipping yourself for an unknown future. I do not mean to paint a perfect world or unrealistic expectations because one has “prepared”. However, I do believe preparation makes a world of difference in marriage and I have broken down this marriage preparedness into three areas. [ READ: 7 Ways To Prepare Your Children For Marriage]
Here are 3 ways to prepare yourself for marriage
Before you can love anyone, before you can sacrifice (yes marriage is a sacrifice) you have to know who you are and whose you are. Be brutally honest with yourself about your shortcomings and your vices, work on your imperfections but celebrate your strengths. You can deceive everyone else but yourself. In your alone time, truly assess what matters to you, what your values are and where you see yourself in the future. This helps you pick the right support system and ultimately the right spouse.
Know your partner
It is impossible to know another person completely but at least you can work at getting to know their heart. Is the person fundamentally kind, generous, good-hearted? Does he/she have a forgiving spirit? How does he interact with family and friends?
Figure out what is important to you in a partner and be honest with yourself to check this when you meet people or start dating. Don’t compromise beyond the yardstick you have set for yourself.
Most importantly know God’s promise for you both
God ordained marriage, he planned it and he never makes mistakes. Human beings make mistakes. It is important that we know what God has to say about marriage. Attend counselling classes, read the right books, listen to his word specifically on the role of marriage. It is important to pray together. In today’s world there are two camps: camp it is cool to be seen as a Christian and camp Jesus is my actual friend. Know what camp you both belong to.
It sounds simplistic but that is the thing about preparation, it is literally about taking steps on a journey. Life is unpredictable, conflict in marriage will happen but when both parties are prepared it is easier to overcome challenges knowing that God will not give us anything we cannot handle.
Contributed by Tomilayo
IG – @Taaluko