Four Essentials to Prepare for Marriage & Motherhood
|Ruth and her husband Chris on their wedding day.|
The Lord has taught (and is still teaching!) me a lot of wonderful lessons through being married and having children. My husband is truly the man of my dreams! He has a heart for the Lord, compassion for others, and skills beyond what I will ever know. Thankfully the Lord has used my husband to sharpen me to be a more godly woman. I can’t imagine what I would be with out him. I had attended my church since birth (my Father is the Pastor), and I was very involved with children’s choir, teaching junior church, the decorating committee, singing in the choir and Bible studies. Then one day a very handsome man began attending our church. The short of the story is that we were family friends for 2 years, courted for 9 months, were engaged for 7 months and were married on a beautiful summer day in 2006. We now have two young children—a 3 year old and a 3 week old. Here are four of the more important lessons that God has brought to my attention through the experience of marriage and children.
1. Love your family
God has placed you in your family for a specific reason and He knows this is the best family for you to grow in. No family is “perfect” and always easy to love because we are all sinners. It is our choice to love them. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” (Eph. 5:2) Be a sweet smelling savor to your family in your actions and attitude. Loving your family is God’s sovereign training ground for you in regards to the potential husband and children He has for you. This is a test of our faith—we have to trust Him in this. If you’re not happy now, then getting married won’t change your happiness later. Spend time with your with your parents and find ways to encourage your siblings. Your success at home now is your gauge of how prepared you are for your own family later.
2. Make your hands useful
Your single years hold valuable time to advance your skills and talents. The woman of Proverbs 31 kept her hands very busy, working willingly, sewing, shopping, helping the poor, cooking, etc. All of these skills take time to master. Don’t make the mistake of “preparing later.” Now is the time to keep your hands busy serving in your church, family, and community. If God leads you to marriage, you will be prepared—and if He does not lead you to marriage, you will not be found “just waiting around.” Instead, your years (and your future) will be full of bountiful blessing. Once you marry and have children, your time serving others and learning new things will be limited. I love the Ephesians 5:16 command to “redeem the time.”
3. Be selfless
|Ruth's son, Leo, and daughter, Jacquelyn.|
One of the greatest things God is teaching me in being married is to humbly think of my husband and children first. This can be extremely difficult. We constantly think about what we want, what we need and what brings us joy. Breaking the selfish habit is one of the best things to prepare for marriage. We are commanded to submit to our husbands who are under the authority of God. (Eph. 5:21-22) There have been many times when I acted selfishly and it always ended in unhappiness—and I mean always! When I am humble and act selflessly it gives me peace, makes our relationship sweet, gives me true joy and fulfillment, and most importantly it radiates the beauty of Christ to others. “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” (Eph. 4:2)
4. Love the Lord your God
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deut. 5:6) What a wonderful verse! If we follow these simple and precise instructions there is no doubt you will be prepared for what the Lord brings to your life. Our main goal as believers is not to focus on whether we marry, where we work or what school we attend. Our main goal is to daily seek God’s will for our lives. Love God with all your heart and follow His will—there is no doubt you will be where He wants you. When I first met my husband we both unknowingly made a decision to not flirt with each other. (Do we want flirting to be what attracts our soul mate?) Instead we focused on serving the Lord and seeking a deeper relationship with Him, knowing that if it was the Lord’s will to bring us together He would make it happen no matter where we were. Having a sincere and growing love for the Lord made the relationship with my husband even richer.
When I was single I memorized a verse that directed me through school decisions, relationships, courtship, and now marriage. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Hold fast to this amazing promise where ever the Lord leads—and watch it come true for you!
As I have gotten to know Ruth, I have been so blessed and impressed by her shining love for the Lord and heart to minister to others! Ruth lives in Washington state with her husband, and children. She was born and raised in a God fearing home with 2 sisters and 5 brothers. Ruth loves to encourage and bless people, have coffee with sisters in Christ, sing, garden, decorate for almost anything :), hike, play tennis with her husband, play golf with her son, and shares a passion for giving young ladies a vision of living for Christ in every area of their lives! Be sure to check out her blog, Becoming Beautiful, and also her ministry website for young ladies, where you can find information about upcoming conferences and retreats.