25 Ways to Prepare for Marriage other than Dating–Reading Jamal Miller’s Book

I’ll be the first to admit that due to previous dysfunctions in relationships, not guarding my heart, and allowing popular culture to influence my thoughts, I had an unrealistic outlook on relationships and marriage. Namely, I used to think “when I get married I will be happy” or “If I just had someone to share my life with, it would be easier.” These thoughts were the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, I believe that they are two of the most revealing thoughts that hinder singles.

Around 2014 God began to deal with me about setting my house in order. More specifically, he encouraged me to set my finances in order. Now, if you’re like me–a college student–you know the struggle of living off refunds, and check to check. I had made a system for it even. Because I was never really taught how to handle money, I allowed money to handle me. Going off impulse, I spent lots of money on clothes and shoes which landed me in debt. A couple thousand dollars worth. SO, when God began to impress on my heart to get out of debt, I kind of ignored his instruction. But, God is faithful and he doesn’t give up.

Let’s move to my current season: God not only continued to tell me to get out of debt, but he also instructed me to live by the 20/80 rule. This requires one to give 10% of their tithes to the local church, save 10% and live off the 80. Now, how could I even attempt to implement this strategy in my life if I was living off a fixed income, which only paid for 7.5 months out of the year? Needless to say, I started to try to obey. I didn’t immediately stop spending money, but I did start to live off the 20/80 rule. He showed me that for my future husband to inherit unnecessary debt was childish.

SO, when God began to impress on my heart to get out of debt, I kind of ignored his instruction

Finances are just one aspect of Jamal Miller’s book. He delves into 25 ways to prepare for marriage. This text is highly important because it allows you to see that it takes more than a pretty face, and good conversation to sustain a marriage. In fact, preparation for one is hard work. Thankfully, several of the things listed and explored in Miller’s text were things I had become sensitive to, through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Miller solidified the importance of singleness. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with their single season. I believe one reason I struggled initially was because I didn’t have anything else to focus on. I was the one who spent majority of my thought life dreaming about marriage and my future spouse. However, I didn’t prepare much in the beginning.

Now, I take the time to access where I am. Am I a good thing to be found? Many people loosely throw around the scripture that tells us when a man finds a wife he finds a good thing. However, several of us are far away from the good thing. As women, we think we can naturally transition into wifehood. I learned by observing that this is not true. If you are impulsively spending, selfish, have a smart mouth all the time, and a person that complains, you need to continue to do work. I suggest that we study the women in the bible who were actual wives. Majority of the time we want to be the Proverbs 31 woman,and don’t get me wrong, she is the bomb. However, what happened to the other women who were married? What about Anna? Hannah? Sarah? Abigail? We can glean from these women biblical truths.

Miller points out the importance of wholeness, confrontation, submission, preparation, and a host of other things in his book. For the people who don’t know where to begin, he provides a very detailed outline. For those who are in preparation, he offers validation. And, for the ones who have crossed the threshold of marriage, he presents a review guide.

I will be returning to this book frequently throughout this season.

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