For those who don't know, I took quite a bit of a break from blogging because in 2018, I got married and relocated. However, I'm super excited to be back in a routine! As my husband and I prepare to celebrate 10 months of beautiful marriage, I figured it's the perfect time to write about how I prepared and allowed God to prepare me for my marriage.
Many people say that the first year of marriage is tough but what if I told you that doesn't have to be the case? While we are just about 2 months shy of our 1 year anniversary, I can say that it's been such an amazing journey! So, I'm going to share with you a few tips on how to prepare to have an amazing marriage.
1. Establish a solid relationship with God
This is super important. In order for anything to be successful, you need God. He should be at the center, the very essence of everything you do. It's important to have this relationship because it teaches you many things. My relationship with God helped me practice commitment and faithfulness through the highs and lows in life. It taught me submission. I learned how to slow down and listen. Yes, you can do all of these things with God. In my relationship with Him, I allowed Him to show me myself and change my character flaws and develop me into who He created me to be and He continues to do so. This is when you can learn what fruit of the spirit you need to grow more. Love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance are all things that are needed in a healthy marriage. You grow in these areas when you spend time with God and His Word and allow Him to work in your heart.
2. Adjust your mindset
If you want to be a spouse, you've got to begin to think like a spouse. In marriage, it's not all about you and you will not get your way all the time. I mentally prepared myself for these facts and worked to make the necessary adjustments before getting married. There is no room for selfishness in a healthy, godly marriage. You have to go into your marriage ready and willing to give, serve, love unconditionally and make sacrifices. Please do not go into it only thinking about what you want to receive.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
I cannot stress the importance of communication, enough! This is super important! You and your spouse will need to communicate about everything. Before getting married, you need to talk about your values, beliefs, boundaries, goals, vision, financial habits and so much more. Communication doesn't end after you say "I do". In marriage, you'll still need to talk about your feelings, strengths/weaknesses, celebrations/concerns, money, sex, daily schedules/plans, etc. Communication never ends, and as far as I'm concerned, you can't over-communicate. If you're stopping at the gas station before heading home, why not send a quick text letting your spouse know that? My husband, Ja'Van and I talk about everything- nothing is off limits.
I also want to note that the way you communicate is huge too. Our speech should be kind, gentle, patient and loving. In my house, we watch our tone and make sure we don't communicate with an attitude, silent treatments or clap-backs. We communicate with kindness, love and respect and anything opposite of that is unacceptable. The way that you communicate will either build your spouse up or tear him down. Your goal is to build him up always, and if you mess up, forgive and genuinely apologize quickly so you don't go to bed angry.
4. Be Intimate Daily
Yes, I recommend daily! However, intimacy means different things for different people. In essence, intimacy entails closeness, privacy and coziness and of course often times sexual intimacy. I believe that you make time for what is important to you. Spending time being close and private and even sexual with your spouse daily is very important, so be sure to schedule time for it each day. Yes, sometimes we have rough, long exhausting days and full time jobs and responsibilities but it's shouldn't be enough reason to not set aside time with your spouse. We don't allow "tired" to be an excuse to skip out on such an important time for us and our marriage, especially not early in a marriage.
So, those are my top 4 tips on how to have an amazing marriage! Of course, this is not everything but these are definitely ones that I believe are very key and make a big difference. I love getting questions so if you have questions or would like me to address certain topics in my blogs, let me know. You can send me a message here on my website or find me on IG: mrs.larissaj
I look forward to chatting with you again soon!
So, I'm sure you know by now that I am engaged to the love of my life and I give all glory to God because all things are possible with Him! Now, before I get into the details of how my fiancé proposed, I first want to share my testimony that I found to be an encouragement to many people on social media.
You see this picture (above) which is a beautiful moment of my life. However, what many don’t know is that one year ago, I was completely single. I’d just come out of a very short, self-ordained relationship so I was nursing the wounds of a break up. I remember literally crying out to God and surrendering to Him. I told Him that in the natural, me ever getting married looked almost impossible as at that time I had ZERO prospects. I remember saying “Lord, who in the world is left?! 😩” But I decided to walk by faith and not by sight. I decided to believe what the Bible says. I pursued Jesus with my whole heart because I knew I NEEDED Him. He healed & pruned my heart within days. Less than 3 months later, I met my (now) fiancé! A man who I shared brief exchanges with 5 years earlier & didn’t even realize it. The same man who I spent weeks platonically conversating with in 2016 without even knowing that I was talking to my future husband. So all along, through my occasional tears & frustration, GOD KNEW!! He saw the plans He had for me. He knew what He was about to do in my life. And God sees your whole story too...so trust Him. I promise, it’s worth it! #ItsWorthTheWait
Now for the details! You can clear here:
Have you ever seen a couple where it just looked like one person was head over heels while the other one appeared to be unhappy or indecisive? Have you ever been in a relationship that way? Unfortunately, I can answer yes to both of those questions.
One sided relationships seem to be more common than we may think and sometimes we find ourselves in them without even realizing it. However, no one deserves to experience the feeling of giving 150% while their significant other contributes close to nothing toward the relationship.
Let's look at 6 signs that identify whether a relationship is one sided or not.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were talking to or dating someone and the entire time you were with them you found yourself coming up with reasons for why you should stay? I know I have. In fact there was one time in particular where I found myself seeing tons of red flags and yet I kept trying to move forward. If that relationship was a road then I ran alot of red lights and we all know that red lights mean STOP! So, since they say hindsight is 20/20, I want to share with you what I learned from that past situation.
Preparing For Marriage Side Note:
One of the main things that I learned is the difference between being open and compromising. Throughout my journey of singleness I'd finally arrived to a place where I felt that God was finally preparing me to be a wife. I'd like to point out here that preparing for marriage is often a process. I speak to people who want to be in a relationship or want to meet "The One" but haven't yet taken time to assess whether or not they are "The One" for someone else yet.
For me, this process included investing in my relationship with God, pursuing Jesus, finding contentment in Him, getting rid of marriage as my idol, allowing God to prune me, renewing my mind, etc. Once God and I began the practical aspect of my preparation stage I knew he was dealing with my heart on being open. As a teenager and into early adulthood I had fairytale expectations of what "The One" should be like and I knew God was getting ready to change that.
Often times as singles we take advantage of the concept of being single- as we should. Singleness is a time when we can go where we'd like, choose to eat out every night or stay late at work. We may have more free time than others and can make many choices without having to consult another. We should use this time to serve God and advance His kingdom. We should take Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians 7:34 "...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:"
I know that for me, I believed years ago, that since I was single I could do whatever I wanted to do and date whoever I wanted to date. Of course, I loved God and I wasn't plotting to go out and have sex with anyone, but emotionally, I was free game. I found myself flirting with multiple guys a day because I was single. I would give of myself emotionally to undeserving men. There was a season in my life where I thought, Hey, I'm young. I'm fly. I'm wanted. I'm just gonna get into random relationships with random so called "Christian" men to have fun and to have someone in my life. So that's what I set out to do... until God convicted me.
I'd just ended an unfruitful relationship with a guy and I felt horrible emotionally. I remember thinking to myself, Is this even worth it? Getting in and out of relationships with a piece of my heart feeling affected or even missing? I realized how not so amazing I felt and God dealt with my heart. Why get emotionally or even physically involved with someone just because? In my case, I knew the guys that I was talking to were not worth my time and they were not the type of man I wanted to marry. So what's the point? As the Lord began to deal with me, He opened my eyes and I had a change of heart and actually promised Him that I would no longer waste time and get involved with men that I knew had no potential to be my husband.
Okay, But I'm Single
True. So first things first. Isaiah 54:5 says, "For thy Maker is thine husband..." If you are a believer then Christ should be your first love. Thus, over anything else, you should have a desire to please Him and make Him happy. You should seek to love Him, honor Him, serve Him and respect Him. Do our actions and behaviors as women show our Lord how much we truly love and revere Him? Are we respecting our first love when we are laying in bed with another man? Are we showing our love for Him when we are flirting dirty with someone who is not our husband? Are we honoring Him when we allow our hearts to be filled with lustful fantasies and images? These are things we should think about. How does our truest Love feel when we do and think those things? Is that respect?
Over the years, God began to help me realize that just because I didn't know my husband, did not mean that he did not exist. The fact is, God promised me marriage one day which means there is a man, right now who has been set apart and is being prepared by God to marry me in God's perfect timing. Thus, the Lord began to teach me to begin respecting my husband before I even met him. How do I do this? By not wasting time with men that I KNOW are not "the one". I find that with all men that have entered my life, I KNEW. I knew that they were not it and there were many days where I completely ignored that inward knowledge but that fact is that I always knew.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I find myself playing tug-of-war with God regarding my life. So many times we say things like, "God, I trust you" or "I give this situation to the Lord". Maybe it's just me, but I find that this is easier said than done. I find that my heart really does long to turn it all over to Him but if I'm not careful, my soul (mind, will and emotions) begins to scream at me and I get tempted to listen to it.
I imagine a situation like this: Me smiling at the Lord and totally surrendering something that we as humans hold dear like, say, my love life. I imagine the pure-hearted version of myself (my spirit) fully extending my arms to God with my love life in my hands, offering it to him, like a gift. Then, I see another version of myself (my flesh) looking at the pure version of myself incredulously. My fleshy self then snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure version of myself and shouts, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". And often times, I believe that's exactly how it happens...at least for me.
Circumstances and situations that we go through and experience can often tempt us to feel as if God can't help us. Sometimes, for me, I find that I start out on top of the world in trusting God to bring me out of a situation. Then over time, the situation begins to grow each day that it's unresolved until one day I look up and panic because the situation has grown into this vicious monster that is bigger than me. And for some odd reason, I feel that just because it's a vicious monster in my eyes, then surely it is a vicious monster in God's eyes. It's not though!
So back to the little scenario above...My fleshy self snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure-hearted version of myself and shouts "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". I begin to coddle the situation, rocking it back in forth in my arms like a baby. I give it all my attention and try to take care of it myself (Although, I'm too incompetent for such a task) by taking matters into my own hands and without even realizing it, I'm nurturing this situation and it begins to grow. Thus, I see it has turned into a vicious monster that I cannot control because I messed it up. I was trying to take care of something that wasn't meant for me to take care of. Meanwhile, God is looking at me and watching me fumble around and try to figure this thing out. I imagine He is shaking His head at me like, "Seriously?" and once I've made a mess of everything and finally surrender, He's looks at me pathetically and says "Are you done yet?" and by that time, the situation is a big vicious monster mess and I hide behind God and timidly nod my head "yes".
We don't have to go through all that foolishness all the time! Here is what the Lord has been dealing with me about regarding the matter.
Follower of Christ. Wife. Blogger. Speaker. Mentor. Youtuber. Helping women wait with class and prepare for God's best.
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