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What a Single Guy Taught Me About Marriage

By: Bethany Baird

The other day I was hanging out with a group of solid Christian friends. We were chatting about life, catching up, and just having a great time.

During our time out together, we had some great conversations about dating, romance, courtship and singleness. We went around in a circle and shared our thoughts on those topics. We answered questions like…Would we date? Court? How are we currently preparing for marriage? Etc.

One of the single guys shared something that I found really encouraging and inspiring.

I thought I would share it with you gals to encourage you and challenge you as well. In a condensed version, here’s what he said:

He is trying to be super intentional about preparing for marriage in his single years. He is trying to be honest about his weaknesses so that he can work on them in order to be a greater blessing to his future wife and family.

He specifically mentioned a few areas that he is working on and I thought it would be encouraging for you girls to hear. The areas he mentioned weren’t earth shattering, but they were extremely practical and really thoughtful!

The first thing he mentioned was directions.

He said that he is really bad at directions and wants to improve so that he can lead his family well. He doesn’t want his wife to have to worry every time they get in the car to go somewhere. He wants her to be able to easily count on him in that area. Instead of waiting until he’s married, he is working hard to improve on that now.

The second area he mentioned was dancing.

He recently started taking swing dance lessons so that he will be able to dance with his wife in the future. He knows that most girls enjoy dancing and he wants to be prepared to bless his wife in that way. He figures, why wait until he gets there to be prepared. Might as well get a head start while he has the time.

I’m sure there are other things he’s working on as well, but those were the two he mentioned to the group.

The main thing that stood out to me about what he shared, was the fact that he is striving to bless and serve his future wife even before he knows her.

He is intentionally preparing now for what the future might hold.

He’s trying to live out Proverbs 31:12, which says, “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” Only he’s doing it guy style.

A lot of us, as girls, think about our futures.

We think about love, romance and marriage. We hope and pray that God has a husband in the plan for our lives. We live expectantly waiting for the day when we will finally meet and marry our true love.

Unfortunately, not many of us are very intentional about preparing for that season. Not many of us are working hard to practically prepare for that time. Not many of us are honest about our weaknesses, much less working hard to improve them.

I want to challenge you to do what that single guy did.

I want to challenge you to get honest about your shortcomings. Get honest about your character struggles. Get honest about the areas that you need to grow in. Get serious about using your single years to grow in ways that will be a blessing to your future husband. Whether it’s practical (like directions) or spiritual (like growing in patience) acknowledge the areas you need to grow in and take serious steps towards getting there.

As we’ve mentioned several times throughout our blog, marriage won’t turn you into princesses perfect. Marriage isn’t like a magic formula that takes all of your sin and shortcomings away. Marriage isn’t a fix-all program.

Marriage takes work. Relationships take work. And it starts right now with you.

Today is the day to get a move on and get serious about growing. I’m encouraging you to grab a piece of paper and write down 4 things you’d like to start working on. I want you to pick 2 spiritual and 2 practical. Something like this:

1. I’d like to improve on my cooking skills… So that I can bless my family now and in the future.

2. I want to learn how to budget and manage money… So that I can help make wise financial decisions in the future.

3. I want to practice having a grateful attitude… So that I can encourage the people around me to have grateful attitudes as well.

4. I want to come up with a better system for my prayer time… So that I can have a close and thriving relationship with God.

Those are a just a few ideas on what your list may look like. Everyone’s lists will look different because each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. Figure out which areas you need to grow in and take serious steps towards getting there.

If you’re not exactly sure where you need to grow, I encourage you to grab a copy of my new book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. This book will take you step-by-step through what it means to be a godly woman and will help you figure out which areas you most need to grow in. I highly encourage you to grab a copy here.

I’d love to hear from you now.

How do you plan to grow both practically and spiritually? What areas do you feel like you need to improve in?

Photo Credit

guy alone

 

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  • Monty

    One of the things I did to prepare myself for the amazing marriage God blessed me with 30 years ago was to focus less on my obsession with being married and more on my obsession for Him. When I let go of “my needs and desires” and began serving God and others He put in my path who needed to know Him, God brought my husband back into my life and showed us that we were ready and it was time for us to be together. I encourage all of you to turn your eyes toward God, set your sights on serving Him and let Him handle the rest.

    • Monty, Great advice! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us. It’s so great to hear from a married woman. Love the advice <3

      • Monty

        Thank you!! I wanted to also mention that during that preparation season of my life God also created with in me a desire to explore and enrich my talents and hobbies. I took painting and writing classes, worked out and focused on my health, etc. It was a wonderful time of learning to really love Him and myself so that I brought a strong partnership to my marriage not a needy, clingy, and overly dependent one. BTW – I sure wish my husband had focused on directions when he was being groomed to be my spouse. The first real argument we ever had after we were married was over how to get where we were going. 🙂

  • CountryGirlforHim

    Thanks for this encouraging post. Intentional preparation for my future marriage is something I think about often. One major thing for me is communication. A small thing is trying to look nice for meals – no matter how busy or tired I’ve been.

    • Hey Girl, I love the thing you are working on. Communication is HUGE! And I love the idea of looking for meals. Such a great thing to work on 🙂 Thanks for sharing <3

  • Leisha

    Great post!!! I was wondering if I could get some practical advice concerning my salvation? I’ve been this way for a while and I need help understanding my faith. Like how do I know Jesus is God’s Son? How do I know that there is a God? Etc. I’m going through a phrase I call questioning everything. So if anyone has some good advice for strengthening my faith I will greatly appreciate it:) Thanks so much!!!!

    • Clara

      Hi Leisha!
      Why don’t you start by thinking this way: If I am not a christian, and don’t believe in God, what do I believe in? Let that sink in for a minute. If you don’t believe in God you are an atheist, right? And what do Atheists believe about how this world came to be? Evolution! Which is basically the belief that this earth was once nothing…and then it suddenly was something! Does this ever happen in real life or science?? NO! Life only comes from Life, no matter how hard you try to prove otherwise. Also, if you believe in evolution, you believe that you are a random accident, not created with a purpose by a loving God. Now, look at creation all around you. Look at the beauty, the DESIGN. If evolution is true, how come the earth’s atmosphere is perfectly composed to block out the harmful radiation from the sun, but lets in light and warmth? There are tons of other amazing proof of DESIGN in God’s creation. So now, if there is a God, how do we know it is the God of the bible? Well, the bible was written over a time period of 1500 years and yet it all fits together in one incredible story! Also, the prophecies that were written in the Old testament, hundreds of years before Christ, came true in Jesus. The gospels are also amazing proof of the bible’s truth, being eyewitness accounts that fit together amazingly well! An evidentialist Detective named J. Warner Wallace was an atheist when he decided to study the gospels as eyewitness accounts, and discovered that Christianity is true, based on evidence!
      And finally, the Holy spirit works in people and changes lives. Jesus satisfies. He give hope in a world of darkness. Everyone has a longing for something beyond what this world has to offer. Jesus bridged the gap between us, sinners, and God, holy of holies. We can communicate with him and fellowship with him. We will eventually live with him forever! This is what gives us our purpose on this earth, spreading the gospel to others. If there was no God we would not have hope and purpose. If there was no Jesus we would have no communication with God. And so God has given us his word, telling us his story!
      I hope this helps!

      • Clara

        I know it always helps me to zoom out and look not only on the spiritual aspect of Christianity, but also on the scientific and historic proof.

        • Monty

          Thank you for sharing in this manner Clara. I can definitely use this with my 15 year old son who is questioning everything right now. Very practical way to describe the concept of faith. In the end though to me it’s about stepping out in faith and trusting God to be who He said He is. He has ALWAY been right there with me and NEVER let me down. Would love your thoughts on that.

          • Clara

            Yes, I definitely think that trusting God even when we can’t see him is super important! That is what makes faith, faith! In the above answer I was just focusing less on the spiritual aspect of Christianity, simply because it is helpful to me when I go through doubting seasons. To kind of see it through a different lens, such as scientific or historical.

          • Monty

            Totally get it and agree. Lenses are important for looking at all sides of the amazing relationship God has with His creation. Thanks for such a helpful way of rationally describing what is hard for many people to put so clearly into words.

        • Leisha

          Thank you for your help and wisdom!!!!

      • Jack Medaris

        “If evolution is true, how come the earth’s atmosphere is perfectly composed to block out the harmful radiation from the sun”
        The theory that life evolves and changes over time isn’t really related to the atmosphere blocking radiation, but I’m assuming you’re referring to what is known as “the fine tuning argument” in general. Unfortunately, the implications of that argument are… revealing. I’ll try and make this brief:
        If God is all powerful, he can create the universe in any way he wants. He shouldn’t have to fine tune anything. Instead of adjusting the earth’s atmosphere to the perfect level to block deadly radiation, he could just have there be no radiation in the first place. Instead of placing the Earth at the exact distance from the sun that we don’t burn or freeze, he could just have made the margin for life less fragile.

        The conditions required for us to be here now are insane. The margin for error is basically none. If gravity in the Big Bang was 1% stronger or weaker, no universe. If the tilt of the Earth’s axis was slightly off, no life. For life to exist, everything had to be an incredibly specific way. So when you use all this to argue for God fine tuning the universe, you’re basically saying he had no freedom at all. He HAD to design the universe precisely this way, or we would never exist. It makes no sense for an all powerful God to have these limitations. Where did these limitations come from? What necessitated God’s fine tuning?

        So when you look at the incredibly small margin for life as we know it, and you use that to argue for your all powerful God, you’re arguing for a God who has no power at all.

        • Clara

          Hi there,
          This will be my last response on this feed, as I don’t want to get into lengthy online discussions.

          Let me begin by saying that we are coming from different standpoints in our belief in God’s power, creativity, and perfection. God is sovereign and eternal. He literally spoke the world into being! As you said, God could most certainly have made the margin for life less fragile, God can do whatever he wants! But God obviously designed it this way, and that is reason enough.

          Genesis 1:31 – And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

          Isaiah 45:12 – I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, [even] my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

          Also, God instituting natural law as a regulation for this universe does not mean he is limited. Our God is a God of order, not chaos! He designed everything to work out for his perfect intentions.

          1 Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

          God Bless!

    • Hey Leisha, I highly encourage you to check out “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. He answers all of the questions you are asking. Here is a link to watch the video for free: https://vimeo.com/17960119

      • Leisha

        Thank you!!! I greatly appreciate this!!!

    • sophie

      Hey Leisha! I am a speech and debate student with STOA, and this year competed in apologetics. In apologetics you have to prepare to answer 100 questions about the christian faith. It grew me SOOO much, and I thought I might be able to share some of the things I learned, specifically regarding “How do I know Jesus is God’s Son?” since that was actually almost identical to a question we had to prepare for. I think the biggest thing that gets me is the prophescies. There were so many prophecies of the Son of God’s birth, life, and death that were fulfilled to the letter in Jesus life. Here’s one example:

      Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
      Fulfilled: Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit.”
      Wow! This in and of itself is soo profound. This miracle has happened with no one else, and clearly fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah.

      There are soooo many more examples, but I have a lot of school to get done. I encourage you to google the prophecies of Jesus life as well as their fulfillment, it is really encouraging, and faith building!

      • Leisha

        Thank you so much!!!! I will definitely look into that 🙂

      • Whoa! There are apologetics competitions?? I love apologetics, but I haven’t found a lot of resources out there other than thick, wordy philosophy books–do you have any resources to recommend me? 😀

  • Reigha Sunshine

    I love this!! I definitely need to work on my cooking skills and directions…. haha those could use a bit o’ help! I also need to work on being able to focus and finish things as well as not wasting time- which is gonna be really hard for me, but I know that with Jesus, I can do anything!!! Thank you!!!

    • Love the ideas, Reigha!! “being able to focus and finish things as well as not wasting time” That is such an important thing to work on 🙂 Keep it up. -Bethany

  • Julie

    I love the blog, and I can’t wait to read your book, BUT it really feels like all of your posts are just part of one big sales pitch to buy the book! I want to buy the book, but the posts always referencing the book makes it feel really pushy… I plan on getting the book, just please, PLEASE stop constantly advertising for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hey Julie! Thanks for hopping on and sharing your thoughts 🙂 We are so BEYOND excited about the Girl Defined book and want everyone to hear about it!! 🙂 The reason we are talking about it SO much is because we are on the 20 day countdown until it releases. We will probably be mentioning and promoting it a lot until it’s release on May 17th. Hopefully you can bear with us over the next few weeks as we promote it until that date 🙂 Thanks for your patience 🙂 -Bethany

      • Lindsay

        Getting a book out there is hard work! It’s a good idea to take every opportunity to remind people about it. 🙂

      • Julie

        I apologize if my comment seemed rude or harsh. It was not my intent to belittle you or your book. Writing a book is a great accomplishment, and I hope that maybe someday I coiuld write one (and if I did I would definitely make blog posts referencing it). I really appreciate the explanation, and can’t wait to get the book myself. Thanks so very much for responding 🙂

        Again, I’m truly sorry if my previous comment was offensive to you.

        (Does the book discuss modesty? It’s a big challenge for Christian girls in this culture, so I was just wondering. Does it discuss how to stand against homosexuality? How to witness without pushing people away? Standing for truth against abortion? If it doesn’t would you consider some blog posts in the future concerning those questions?

    • Leanne

      Yes, Bethany and Kristen have NUMEROUS posts on just about all those. Maybe not witnessing in the form directly as you might be looking for, but they do write about the Gospel too! I would search whatever terms you want in the search box up at the top and you will find an archive of blog posts to your heart’s content 🙂

  • Dani M.

    I would be interested in finding out just what ‘extra’ skills and hobbies most men would want their future wife to be developing. That’s not really something I’ve thought of much.

  • Allie

    This post was such a blessing and the topic is something I’ve been praying a lot about lately. God has been growing me in the area of becoming a help-meet and showing me how to practice being a help-meet to my family and the people that He puts in my life during this sweet season! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Huy Pham

    I have no clue about women.


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