Before we begin, I’d want to express my gratitude to my buddy Alli for writing this wonderful piece for me.
Saturday was spent tilling, weeding, and planting a garden with my wife and our next-door neighbors.
We finally got around to planting after all of our hard work. It’s amazing how much preparation and effort it takes to get the soil ready. Then you plant, and you’re done in minutes.
The difficulty is that I am a creative person, not a work person. My days are spent behind a keyboard and a microphone. Due to the bulging blisters that made my neighbor flinch, I’m fortunate I can type.
This gardening idea seems to be lacking in today’s marriages. We spend a lot of money and effort planning the wedding day, from the penguin suits and fluffy white gowns to the cakes and champagne, the guests, the location of the ceremony, and the reception. A lot of labor for just a few hours.
We often devote more time and attention to wedding preparation than to marital preparation.
What if we genuinely prepared ourselves for marriage, rather than simply the wedding? What would the “garden preparation” procedure entail?
You Shouldn’t Get Married Until You Can Do These Three Things
These are elements that we all need in our marriages, regardless of the stage of our relationships.
- Keep your finances under control.
We can all improve how we manage money in our relationships, whether we’re dating or have been married for 20 years. Money is only a tool. We have to be on the same page in our marriages about how it is utilized.
It is vital that you establish financial rules. Who is going to pay the bills? What will you spend your money on? How will you make big-budget decisions?
If you and your partner cannot agree on a large purchase, postpone it. Money (or the things we purchase with it) cannot possibly be more essential than our marriages. Take a financial lesson jointly if you are able to learn how to be frugal with your money.
- Improve your communication abilities.
It is important to learn how to communicate properly with your partner. It’s something we have to work on since it doesn’t come easily to most of us.
I recommend that you study books, listen to podcasts, and attend conferences to develop yourself on both sides of the communication process, better listening and better speaking, so your companion understands you.
- Establish a faith-based connection.
A good marriage is built on the presence of God. Our preacher once said that you don’t know who you are until you know who God is. If we base our identities on our history, careers, family, or spouses, our marriages will be much more difficult than they need to be.
Everyone remembers Tom Cruise’s phrase from the film Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.” That is just false. I cannot complete my lovely wife, and she cannot complete me.
We can complement each other and contribute various talents to the marriage, but first I need to know who I am (and so do you). And I won’t be able to figure out who I am until I comprehend the person who made me.