I always wondered what my last day as a single girl would look like. I wondered what it would be like to fall asleep the night before my wedding knowing it would be the last time I would ever sleep alone. Maybe you’ve thought the same thing too.
After eight months of being engaged to my fiancé, Zack, I finally knew what it was like. I remember lying in my bed the night before my wedding day when the realization hit me – in less than 24 hours I will become a wife…forever.
The next day finally came and before I knew it the moment of truth had arrived. That magical moment every single girl dreams of. There I was, dressed in white standing behind the beautiful rustic church doors and gentle grasping my dad’s arm. The music started and the large doors slowly swung open revealing a church full of excited smiles and a handsome groom at the end of my path.
This day was the beginning of an incredible journey for me.
The first six months of my marriage were some of the most eye opening months of my life. Up until that point I thought being a wife and a helpmate was easy business. I felt fully prepared for my new role.
After six months of marriage I realized how utterly unprepared I was in certain areas of my life. To be honest, there were five things I wish I had known before I got married. If you’re a single girl and are hoping to get married some day, this advice is for you.
1. Your relationship with God is the KEY to being a happy wife.
I had an okay relationship with God as a single girl. I tried to read my Bible and pray on a daily basis, but I wasn’t always the most consistent. Anyone relate? As a result, my early months of marriage were highly emotional ones for me.
Instead of looking to God for my security and fulfillment, I was looking to my new husband. I wanted Zack to make me happy, content and secure – all the time. As a result, I became an emotional roller coaster. *Poor Zack*
I didn’t become a consistently joyful and happy wife until I became consistent in my Bible and prayer time. I learned that my relationship with God would only be as good as my relationship was with His Word. When I am grounded in God’s truth, I become a much happier wife.
Develop a strong and consistent relationship with God now, and you will be off to a much better start in your marriage.
2. The “independent attitude” destroys marital unity.
Our culture tells you that being independent from your dad, mom, family, and future husband is a great thing.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my first six months of marriage it’s this: independence destroys unity. God has given us a pattern for how marriages should function – the husband is the leader of the home and the wife is his right hand woman. The husband lays down his life for his wife and the wife shows respect to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The greatest thing a wife can do to help her family succeed is to kiss her independent attitude goodbye and instead serve (Proverbs 31). You and your husband are a team and his successes are your successes. My husband told me that serving our family with a “team” mindset is the biggest blessing I could give him.
Start now by serving your family and developing a “team” oriented mindset. Avoid activities that encourage independence and self-centeredness.
3. Good communication will save you from hours of struggling.
I thought I was a great communicator…before I got married. My early months of marriage quickly revealed some ugly habits in my heart.
When you get mad about something, are you the type of girl who clams-up or explodes-out? Do you prefer the silent treatment or the shouting treatment? For me, it was the silent treatment.
Whenever Zack and I had a disagreement or I felt like he was being “insensitive” about something, I would clam-up. I was a horrible communicator because of this and our marriage suffered many unnecessary hours as a result.
Whether you’re a clam-up or explode-out type of girl, I can’t encouraged you enough to work on your communication skills now. The patterns you set now for solving problems and working through conflict will follow you into your marriage.
4. Practical skills will greatly bless your husband.
Before I got married I knew how to clean a house, do laundry, and do basic meal planning, prepping and cooking… but my skills were limited. As a single girl, I didn’t make a lot of efforts to advance my domestic skills. As a result, my learning curve was a lot harder when I become the manager of my own home.
If you desire to honor God as a wife and home-manager one day, then you need to educate yourself on what that entails. Take over the meal planning for your mom for a month and force yourself to learn how to grocery shop. Set a budget for yourself and only spend what you’re allowed to, then prepare all the family dinners for a month.
On top of that, learn from your mom (or a godly woman) on how to clean a house, wash clothes, iron clothes, pay bills, trim bushes, sew, take care of babies, change diapers, etc. These skills will make you a great asset to your future husband and family.
5. Learn how to avoid money issues.
According to researchers, most divorces are triggered because of money issues. When I was single, I worked full time for a few years and earned a lot of money. I didn’t put myself on a budget and freely purchased whatever I wanted. I never went close to debt, but I wasn’t disciplined in my habits.
Marriage was a shocking wake-up call for me. I happened to marry a financial advisor and he put us on a strict budget the day we got back from our honeymoon. I almost went into shock during the first six months of marriage because of this. My bad habits were colliding with reality.
Thankfully, I have grown to see the value and worth of having a budget. I can’t urge you enough to avoid going into debt now and in your future. If you do this, you will avoid HUGE money issues in your future marriage. Put yourself on a budget (free tools here: http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/) and stick to it. Learn how to become financially responsible.
So there you have it! The five things I wish I knew before I got married. What did you think? If I could rewind the clock, I would diligently work on each of those areas. The more time you spend preparing for marriage now, the better your marriage will be.
I encourage you to take those those five tips seriously and begin working on them today.
I’d love to hear from you about this topic!
Which of the five areas stood out the most to you and why?
What areas do you need to work on to prepare for marriage?
What other tips have you learned that will aide in your future marriage?
Let’s continue this conversation below.