One of the most important pieces of advice we give to young couples who are in search of intimacy is the need to prepare for marriage, way in advance. This sounds so obvious but it’s not, most people don’t see the need for premarital counseling or marriage mentorship which is so sad.
Marriage is not for the faint-hearted, it requires a lot of work, and anyone who desires to get in must be ready to take responsibility.
Here are the best resources that go hand in hand with this guide. (Available on Amazon--Start a 30-day free trial here)
- Preparing for Marriage Couples Guide
- Preparing for Marriage Leaders Guide
- The Meaning of Marriage-Timothy Keller
- Devotions for Engaged Couples- Gary Thomas
Not sure where to start with a premarital counseling conversation, start here.
Preparing for marriage is something that should never be taken for granted or else things might get messy in the future.
But am glad you are here because it shows that you are interested in making it better in your preparation.
Let’s dive in.
Step on how to prepare for marriage
Give me six hours to cut a tree and I will spend four hours sharpening the ax.
To prepare according to the dictionary is to make (someone) ready or able to do or deal with something.
Recently my mom was planting onions. Am glad to have been part of the process. We first prepared the nursery beds and planted the seeds. Then we prepared the piece of land where we were to transplant the onion seedlings too.
The land was plowed, dug, furrows were made, manure added, and watered. This process took about a month which is about the same time the seedlings are supposed to be in the nursery.
In the parable of the 10 virgins who went out to meet their bridegroom, 5 of them had oil in jars for their lamps (the wise ones), the foolish 5 had lamps but did not have any oil with them.
The bridegroom caught them unprepared as they left to go search for oil. The prepared virgins went in-to the wedding with the bridegroom and, the foolish five were shut out.
Do you want to be found prepared or unprepared by your life partner?
Below are 6 major check-ins before you check in to ‘Till death do us part.’
You can also check our blog on Silent Red Flags
1. Know God
First things first. We were created by God and For God. Before Marriage, it is necessary to fill the longing in your heart with Jesus.
Nothing else will be able to fill that void, not even marriage. Your priorities need to be in order and God has to occupy the first quadrant.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.
Do you revere God and Is He truly the center of your life?
You cannot postpone God and expect to have a fruitful marriage. He is the chief guest of the ceremony.
When you received salvation, remember that day you responded to an altar call and accepted Jesus into your life? From that moment on Christ lives in your heart.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
That’s where the name Christian comes from, a follower of Christ. And because Christ lives in you, there is already a relationship and a sense of belonging. Have you been cultivating and working on the relationship?
How intimate are you with the Holy Spirit Who is within you? Are you able to hear God’s voice? Obedience is better than sacrifice and Obedience can only come from a point of hearing what the Lord is saying to you. A personal relationship simply means that you know someone and he/she knows you.
2. Know Yourself:
Who am I? This is a question that the majority of us have found ourselves asking at some point in our lives. True identity is derived from knowing the creator. Point number one ultimately leads you to the point of knowing who you are, by knowing who God says you are.
A Creator best knows His creations. Our how and why become clearer as we continue in our intimacy with Christ. Your purposes/calling become clear.
Fulfillment doesn’t come from marriage, it comes from purpose.
As you get to discover your personality, explore your strengths and weakness, you become emotionally and psychologically stable and are able to know how to interact with other people.
Esteem issues are also addressed by getting to know yourself.
Become the person you would like your partner to be. That is what attracts the two of you to each other.
Master individuality before coupling.
Knowing and loving oneself pushes you into purpose and calling. There is room before marriage to maximally explore your Vision, your goals, and determine what kind of legacy you will leave behind before you meet another complete person with whom you can fulfill your purpose.
But, how will you fulfill purpose together if you haven’t already know what yours is without another person’s opinion on it?
Marriage complements rather than defines.
Past relationship trauma / Child trauma.
As cliché as it sounds, a hurting person hurts others. We cannot erase our past, in fact, our past in combination with our environment forms who we are. What to do with our past then? Accepting and dealing with our past is the best way forward. We cannot undo what happened but we can find peace living with it. These may be wounds from our families, friends, or even strangers. We need to allow God to make us whole once more. For in Christ our past is erased and in him, we are born again, the shame and guilt of our previous sins are erased and in Him, we start a new life and that’s the Good News
The people we love most are the ones who hurt us.
Mankind hurt God when we sinned and were separated from Him. But God sent His only son to die for us for the atonement of our sins. This is because God is love and He loves us. This is the same way God expects us to deal with those who have hurt us, by forgiving them and loving them
This is because eventually we have done the same to our brother and sadly we do the same to our God. Hence forgive because the spec in your brother’s eye is little compared to our log and to be forgiven you have to forgive.
1st Peter 4:8 NIV
Above all, love one another deeply because love covers a multitude of sin
Dealing with past traumas allows you not to project insecurities to your spouse.
4. Deal with soul ties.
Man is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. What happens when two people have sex is not only physical, it is also spiritual and it is the coming together of spirits, souls. When this happens without the container of marriage, it can wreak havoc in one’s life. Fornication and sexual sin come into one’s life.
1st Corinthians 6:18 NIV
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
There are three things to do when dealing with soul ties. The first one is to Repent. Repentance involves confessing our sins to the Lord and asking Him for forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The second thing to do is to pray that all the bonds that were formed with people who aren’t supposed to be in your life be broken and you be set free.
The third one is to run away from sexual sin as Paul suggests and put boundaries in your relationship.
With this, one can be free and lead a life free from unnecessary bondages and you can then marry without having strings attached to someone else. Remember the body is the temple of God.
5. Break generational curses.
Now it’s because of one man’s sin that sin entered the world. All of us are born sinners because of this.
A generational curse is a topic that not many of us like to indulge in, but it does affect us. Ever wondered why some things are recurrent in your family? Maybe you come from a family of drunkards, or polygamists, or poverty, or witchcraft. It’s as though the demons your grandparents had to slay are the same ones following you.
Maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished and he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.
Only the blood of Jesus is able to liberate and set us free from all these curses. He that God set’s free is free indeed. If you call upon the name of Jesus and speak God’s word into these situations, you will begin to experience change and God will separate you from these curses.
Imagine a situation where you come in with baggage from your generational line and your spouse also comes in with such baggage. It’s the beginning of the relationship and there is already too much weight to carry. For the long journey that is in marriage, this baggage will eventually wear both of you down. Won’t it be easier if everyone came on a clean slate?
6. Love and relationships with other people.
Romans 12:18 NIV
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
How can we say we love God whom we do not see and hate our brothers/ sisters whom we see? It is because of Love, 1st John 3:16 that the Lord sent His only begotten son to die for our sins.
How are you going to love your spouse if you don’t love those around you? Where will that miraculous love come from?
We were created for relationships. How we relate with everyone else tells a ton of our love for God. With God’s help, you should work on the earthly relationships that God has gifted you with.
Work on loving the people whom God has placed in your life. To genuinely appreciate and care for them. This will even help eventually to transition you to truly loving your marriage partner.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV
If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.
May we be found ready as we continually sharpen our axes. Make sure you set and communicate boundaries in your relationship even as you prepare for marriage.
Written by Eva Ndanu- Follow her blog