Hi readers, my name is Esther, a twenty-something medical professional that recently married my life partner. First of all, I would like to say that marriage is a beautiful thing. As a fairly independent person, I never expected to enjoy sharing my space and freedom with another human being as much I have.
With that said, there are a multitude of people out there who do not agree that marriage is indeed “a beautiful thing”. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a conversation where a married girlfriend is fed –up with her husband or a single one is vowing to pursue a life of solitude rather than “giving up” their freedom to enter a lifetime of “bondage”(yes, my friends can be pretty grim). So I’m sure you can’t blame me when I was a bit hesitant about enrolling into the institution of marriage and pursuing my lifetime degree to be a wife.
Though I would like to say that I’ve reached where I am because of my boundless optimism, it would be an “alternative” truth. The truth is, I got here by being realistic and observing some critical keys that put my heart at ease in pursuance of a successful marriage. Though the full list is much lengthier, I narrowed it down to five main keys that led me to see and accept the beauty in not only pursuing marriage but also being married.
As a Christian, prayer is my first response to any and every decision I take so marriage was no exception. I prayed deeply and thoroughly about my partner. Once I met my husband I prayed and asked God that if it wasn’t from him, he should make it obvious and create a situation for him to leave my life. I knew he was the one through discernment; I was led to realize that God had brought this into my life to be my perfect compliment and lead me to my purpose. Everything I wanted to do was in line with his goals in every facet of life- spiritually, financially and socially.
Winston Churchill said, “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” Anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m a planner who’s rather futuristic. Before starting my career, I had a plan of the career I wanted to pursue and created a timeline for accomplishing it.
Once I decided marriage was for me, I began to strategically plan how I would be able to be a career woman, an entrepreneur, a mother and a wife. I read books, listened to a TON of marriage sermons and words of wisdom, I aligned myself with married people that had positive marriage views and goals-though life will happen regardless of our plans, it’s important to outline a path to get to accomplish the things that matter to you.
I asked a friend what she looked for in her husband before they married and one of her answers was security. She said, it was important to me that I married a man that would be able to take care of our family if we were ever in a situation when I couldn’t work. One might read this and think well this should go both ways and it can, but the important thing is that you shouldn’t enter a marriage if you are not financially secure. Per the Bible, the man is the head of the household so for most Christian women, though we work, the man is ultimately accountable.
The second part of security is physical security; your marriage should be a safe haven where you have peace and solace. For me, my husband needed to be my protector, so please, if you are considering marrying a man but you are not convinced of your safety because of anger, intolerance etc., I would employ you to take a step back and reconsider. One thing I’ve learned in life is if someone shows you who they are, believe them- people seldom change due to marriage; on the contrary their flaws are often magnified.
Companionship is two fold because it takes BOTH communication and respect to be successful. Respect is paramount in marriage. My husband is one of the most peaceful men I know, but the most important thing to him is respect. He always says I can’t show you how much I love you if you show me you don’t respect that love. Lucky for me he let me know how important this was to him well before we shared our vows. So in short, respect your husband and he will give you that love and affection you crave.
This leads us to the next point, which is communication, it’s important to have these conversations so that you know what makes each other tick and what does that trick ;-). Don’t sit on issues, TALK about them with an open mind that is ready to concede. Communication should lead to compromise otherwise it’s fruitless.
This is the unconditional, unyielding kind of love. Friends, please hear me- DO NOT marry a man that you haven’t argued with bitterly- because otherwise, how do you know how either of you will react to each other at your worst. Your love must transcend beyond looks, style, fashion or anything external. You must evaluate the relationship and think to yourself that you are entering a lifelong contract in which anything can happen, therefore an “act of God” isn’t reason to back out. You must be ready to love one another through any and every hurdle: physical, spiritual, financial, mental, emotional, etc.