It’s so easy to take a look in the mirror and say to yourself, ‘the one who will marry me will be very lucky’. I’ve done it before. Well, I still think that the one who married me is lucky indeed but really, at first glance, I am very unassuming. I can cook, sew, mend, and care for babies. I’m patient, I’m kind and all those things a lot of people thought I was not when I was in Uni especially and afterward. They were probably seeing the surface side to me – the enigmatic beauty, and nothing more.
Men love that unattainable side to a woman. Well, that’s until they attain the woman and they look forward to the next unattainable “thing”. But what makes a man stay with a woman, perhaps, after that first mystery is unveiled? Beyond the beauty, carriage and packaging, should be a wife-material if you’re actually looking to be married sometime in the future.
I read a man’s rant once where he was on about this lady whom he wanted to marry. She studied medicine. She had a great huge butt and the sex was out of this world, at least so he thought. But she wouldn’t cook for him, or do the dishes or even lay her own bed. The day he proposed to her, she said ‘yes’ but she was quick to add that she would never do all those things. They can hire a maid and a handy man to take care of everything else. He was heartbroken and confused whether he should go on with the wedding. We already established that beyond the wedding is the marriage so, really would it be worth the time?
What would happen if we actually prepared and considered all parameters for marriage, not just the wedding? It’s like cultivate the land before planting and harvesting. If the process is breeched, there’s bound to be a distortion. So what might those cultivating habits before the wedding?
LEARN TO COOK
Cooking is not an ancient discipline for stay-at-home moms and grandmothers. It is an advanced science and art. Food and cooking is one thing that brings my family together. We love to develop flavors and experiment new dishes at home. By learning to cook, you’ll gain timeless knowledge and experience that provides a return on investment every single day, trust me.
Cooking saves money. Eating out, or eating prepared foods, costs double, triple, and even quadruple what it costs to make the same dish at home.
Cooking reduces stress. When I first started to cook, I thought it was stressful and that was because I struggled with it but as time went on, I became confident in the elaborate process of it, depending on what I’m making. With knowledge and expertise, cooking becomes a relaxing, rewarding practice.
It is in your advantage to know 8-10 basic dishes as a single OR married woman, as well as good meal planning and grocery budgeting. This will be helpful regardless of marital status.
LEARN TO LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
A lot of ladies have the mindset that it is a man’s responsibility to provide for you. In the 18th Century, maybe. But in the world we live in now where women themselves are making waves, raising standards and breaking boundaries, it will be unfair for any woman to live in the realm of waiting for a man to provide for her. This has nothing to do with me being a feminist but it’s all about empowerment and liberation. Not liberation from the man of the house, but financial liberation, confidence and happiness. When you’re able to provide for yourself and expend wisely within your means, an additional budget from your husband to be will only add flavor to your marriage and not break your marriage eventually.
LEARN TO DO LAUNDRY, MEND, AND SEW
I loved to tack and mend clothes for as far back as I can remember. Heck, I can even remember tacking a few of my bras in my first years of wearing them. Oh boy! I tacked the living day light out of anything and I even thought I would end up learning to sew. I like fashion and cloth making but the fashion learning is still in the pipeline.
I’m not saying every woman needs a sewing machine, but I’ve been a little shocked at how some ladies don’t even know how to put wool through the needle. Simple sewing techniques like buttons, fixing zippers, and taking something in or up can be extremely helpful in the long run – both for your own clothes and for your future family’s.
LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT
I won’t say I have this mastered but here are few tips to help in time management:
Make a list for EVERYTHING – grocery list, to-do list, dreams and goals. Lists keep you on track and help you have a place for tangible goals – and what is better than crossing things off as you accomplish them?
Use a planner.
Plan your meals. I find that unplanned meals always result in one of two things: spending more money, or wasting more time.
Say ‘No’. I’m the kind of person who feels bad saying I don’t have time for something. I feel guilty turning down an opportunity to ‘help’. But the truth is, we can’t do everything. We just CAN’T. Learning to say no teaches us to relax and learn what life is really about.
LEARN TO EMBRACE CONFLICT
Another thing I don’t have mastered, but something I learned along the way is to embrace and handle conflict. Some people hate conflict, but love drama. These types of people claim to hate drama, but in reality they simply hate conflict. I’ve been that person. It’s easy to be that person. And that person does not fit well in marriage.
In marriage, the problems glare right in your face. You can’t avoid them. You can’t say, “I’ll text him back later” or “we can meet up for coffee next week and discuss” – and never show up. In marriage, you’re going to bed with your problems, so if you can’t handle conflict, you’ll learn to do so pretty fast.
Don’t make people guess why you’re upset. Stop viewing conflict as a bad thing. I started to view conflict as a means to an end. I told myself, “This is a refining fire.
Remember, you won’t be a finished product when you get married. None of us are. Singleness and marriage are both processes of sanctification, each meant to refine us in different ways. But disciplining ourselves provides benefits no matter what stage of life God has given us to live, enabling us to live effective lives today while preparing us for whatever God has in store. Cultivate habits that will marriage much easier for you. The challenges don’t vanish. They are new every day! But these habits take some of the pressure off the learning curve of a young marriage and will allow you to focus more on glorifying God than learning all-new skills.