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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Things I Wish I’d Done Differently Before I Got Married: Guest Post!


Hello everyone!!
Happy Valentine's Day to those of you who are excited about it...for those of us who aren't so much, I wish you a very happy Day-before-sale-candy day. ;P Whether you are in a relationship or not, you could be at some point in your life, depending on what God has for you. Today I have a really awesome guest post from my good friend, Katie! She has been such a blessing to me during the time that I've known her. We even had our wisdom teeth out around the same time, so were able to commiserate with each other on our unfortunate aftermath. :'D Ahem. Anyway, here are some do's and dont's that she put together, and this list was a really convicting one for me at least! I hope you enjoy!

Things I Wish I’d Done Differently Before I Got Married

First of all, let me say that I’m by no means an expert on this! I’ve only been married 3 ½ years, and it doesn’t seem like even that long. I feel like I should have learned a whole lot more by now. But most of it, I wish I’d learned before I even got married! To be quite honest, if someone I knew back then who had been married a few years had tried to give me advice, I don’t know if I would have taken it. Because people like that were so old and weird ;) And who know more about how to live my life than myself, right? So, if you read through this thinking, “Oh brother, who does she think she is?” I completely understand your sentiment! The answer is: I’m someone who absolutely LOVES being married, and I hope that’s part of God’s plan for your life, and if I can say anything that will help you, I’m going to try! I truly don’t feel like I’m on a different level than you, so please let me speak to you as if we were close friends. :)

Don’t:

  •  Get caught up in daydreams

Crushes are dangerous things. You’re dreaming about a young man who is not yours and possibly never will be. Would you want to do that after you are married? I hope not! Then why do it now, when God already has someone picked out for you whose attention you don’t need to worry about getting?

Romantic books and movies sure don’t help you a whole lot. (And yes… I’m talking about Janette Oke, Anne of Green Gables, and The Sound of Music!) I have a younger friend who decided when she was 16 or so to stop reading any romantic fiction whatsoever, because she realized that she really had no reason to think so much about romance until God put it in her life. After a struggle, I followed her example, for the most part anyway! I’m so glad I did! I’m not saying that these things are bad, but first of all, ask yourself before God WHY it is you are reading them, and if there’s something else He wants you to spend your time on. Develop your skills and increase your knowledge so that when you are married, you will be more of a blessing to your husband!

  •  Obsess over your body

I’m going to be blunt here. Guys are not that picky. Take care of your body, obviously, as in maintain a healthy weight (which will be different for everyone). But do not stress over it, because a good man is not going to love you for your body, and you’ll probably be surprised by how beautiful the crazy guy actually thinks you are. A cheerful attitude, by the way, changes the way other people view you entirely!

  • Be selfish

The closer you get to someone, the more selfishness shows. You already know that, because most likely, you tend to be less generous and forgiving with your siblings than with your friends. Well, you’re going to be in a lot closer proximity to your husband, so ask God to enable you to curb that selfishness NOW.

  • Take your family for granted

I’m occasionally surprised when I remember times that I was just sick of my family before I got married, because now I think they’re awesome! I compare them with other people and think, 
wow, other people are weird! Or boring! I’m sure glad MY family’s not… HA, HA, HA. I now treasure each time I have the chance to be with my parents and siblings. If only I had done that before!

As I write this, my grandpa is in ICU, struggling for each breath. He probably doesn’t have long to live. Treasure your family. I don’t know for sure that he is saved. Make sure you are showing Christ to your family all the time with your life, and when you can, with your words. Remember when Jesus called Andrew to “follow me”? Andrew immediately went and shared the good news with his brother (John 1:41). I think that is a good principle to follow.

  • Make marriage your end goal 

Marriage should never be your end goal. (Think of how obsessed Mrs. Bennett is with it… hee hee.) Seriously though, if you do get married, you’re still just beginning. If you don’t, or if your husband dies before you, do you want to feel like a failure? Like you’re not a person because you aren’t married? Living for Christ should be your goal throughout your entire life. See next point…

Do:

  • Let Jesus be your all-in-all 

Living for Christ is the only way to be a true success in life. The way you do that is going to be different during different stages of your life. You will never know what God expects of you for the rest of your life all at once. He gives us basic principles to follow, of course, but you may not always know what He wants you to do an hour from now until He shows you. Be flexible. Pray without ceasing, and thank Him in and for everything. Never forget that He is the one who makes you complete… not your husband or anyone or anything else. 

  •  Be modest. Always. 

I think it’s safe to say that if men commit adultery in God’s eyes by lusting after a woman, women commit adultery in God’s eyes if they deliberately dress in a way meant to get any man’s attention (even if it’s just by being “cute”... be careful with that, too. Things we think are “cute” may be immodest without us knowing it). I happen to be married to a very honest man who says that even a brief accidental glance at a woman in a tank top can be a stumbling block to men. And as my dad says, “Even a good dog will bite if you pull his tail enough.” If you’re not sure whether your attire is modest, ask your dad, or if you’re not comfortable asking him, ask a married lady you trust to give you an honest answer based on what she knows about her husband. It’s probably best not to ask your unmarried girl friends like I did before I was married… only to have my very honest future husband ask me not to wear a certain shirt. (Hint: If your brother ever says “I can see what you had for breakfast through that shirt”… um, find something else to wear before you head out in public.)

  • Enjoy homemaking 

Even if you don’t end up getting married, you’re still probably going to be a homemaker! And most likely, you’ll still end up watching and teaching little kids, too (“train up a child” is not just for parents; all of us train children by our example). Learn to enjoy it and do it “as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Col. 3:23)

  •    Practice patience now- not later! 

Don’t procrastinate on being patient ;) It’s like anything else… if you don’t make a habit of it, it won’t come automatically. I find it interesting that in I Corinthians 13, the first way that Paul defines love is “Charity suffereth long.” Oh, boy. Sometimes I get impatient with people for being “too patient” with other people! Fail.

  •  Expect to be surprised! 

Like… you’re even going to be surprised by what you’re surprised by! The man you marry will not be exactly who you expected to marry. He will have different expectations of you than you thought you knew he would! No matter how well you know your fiancé, you’re going to quickly find out things about each other that you never thought to discuss before you got married J Make sure you agree on the big things. Make sure you are seeking God together and individually on ALL things. But there’s still going to be silly little things that completely baffle you about each other!

For those of you who are married- isn’t it great? :) I pray your love “never grows old”! My husband and I occasionally have people tell us, “Oh, you’re still in the honeymoon stage. Sooner or later you’ll want to take a break from each other.” Thank goodness, we haven’t had that happen yet! You’ve all heard people talk about the “ups and downs” of marriage. Maybe that is the way it is for most couples, but I completely, 100%, without a doubt believe that that’s not how it’s supposed to be! Yes, you’re going to go through the struggles of life together. You’re not going to agree on everything. That’s why God made a chain of command for us- God is your husband’s authority, and your husband is yours (unless your husband is asking you to sin, of course.) There is a verse I have to remind myself of all the time- “Only by pride cometh contention” (Proverbs 13:10). So, if you’re having “communication problems”, ask yourself if you are being prideful in not submitting to God or your husband in an area of your life. He’ll usually show you something!! (This goes for all of you!)


~~~~~~~~
Thank you so much to Katie for sharing these thoughts! By the way, Katie's sister is Jenny, who leaves great comments all the time on this blog...I have yet to ask her for a guest post, but it's coming! ;) Even if I have to resort to unsavory measures. ;) I hope you all have a lovely day and week! Keep your heart focused on the things of God! <3
Mykaela

13 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! This is... amazing! Convicting! A much-needed reminder/rib-poke!

    Probably the main thing that caught my attention was "Janette Oke"- haha! I read *all* of her books in my middle school grades, and don't hesitate to recommend them. But... you're right, Katie. You really are.

    I really love your words of wisdom so much. And I think we could be friends. :)

    // PeculiarOnPurpose.blogspot.com

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    1. Ok, I've been awful about replying to comments lately!! I TOTALLY think you two could be friends! As well as Jenny!! :D We have to get together the next time you are up here, Kimberly! :)

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    2. Oh, yes, I'm sure we could be friends, too, Kimberly! :) I haven't read a whole lot of your blog posts but I follow you on Pinterest... and honestly... ahem... I think what we pin on Pinterest may say more about us than what we write in blog posts. *Katie quickly scans through her Pinterest boards to make sure she hasn't pinned anything bad*
      Fiction is a hard thing for me to give up. I'm still working on it! I'm sure there are many novels, even romantic ones, that draw you closer to God than to your dreams, but I'm struggling to think of many I've read myself. I'm afraid my main motive for reading is usually to escape reality. There seems to be a fine line between meditating on truths about God you learned from a book, and daydreaming about things in the book that just made you feel good. The Bible is always the best source to go to if you have doubts about the other books on your shelf! Praise God that He is willing to share His wisdom with us! :)

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  2. Wow...Talk about getting a finger in the ribs. Sometimes it's hard to forget not to take your family for granted, even as an only child!!! Plus the books and movies...my first problem being Pride and Prejudice and Sabrina.
    :-) Thank you for sharing this!!!

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    1. Oh yes...taking family for granted is definitely a big one for me too, Sarah!! :/ We all have things on this list that we could work on.

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    2. I really meant for it to be more of an encouragement than a finger in the ribs, but I guess God can use it however He sees fit! ;)
      You're welcome! ;)

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  3. Okay,so the past few days have been pretty busy for me,so I didn't have time to comment as soon as possible like I usually do! Since it has already been said that Katie is my sister,I suppose it follows that if her grandpa is in the hospital mine is too. I'm currently sitting up with him in his hospice room,and I have had time for quiet moments of prayer, Bible reading,and now,commenting on my favorite blogs and a blog post by my favorite older sister. :)

    First,Mykaela,I have to comment on your happy-day-before-sale-candy wishes...that is so me! I don't have a Valentine,so all Valentine's day means to me is that there might be a chance for clearance candy! :D

    Like these other ladies, I found your post extremely convicting,Katie. I don't think I obsess over my body,but I DEFINITELY found myself guilty of daydreaming (Pride and Prejudice, Sarah..you are not alone!;),being selfish, and not appreciating my family enough! (I'm so glad you think your family is awesome,KT,since that includes me. ;) And I do need to practice patience (especially with my younger sisters),and let Jesus Christ be my all-in-all. While I still have absolutely no plans for marriage I guess I should let God have a say in that too,huh? So... Yeah. I have some things to work on. Lots of them. :) Thank you for this post,sister dear! (I'm sniggering mentally as I type this,just because I get the opportunity to call you "sister dear"...my oh my. I think I'm tired. :)

    Hmm. I'm not sure I like the sound of that "resort to unsavory measures" comment, Mykaela. I'll have you know that I have been fully trained in the ancient Japanese art of origami.

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    1. Aww, I count among your favorite blogs?? Thank you!! ;) Haha, I agree...at whatever point in my life I HAVE a Valentine, I'm sure it will be a much more interesting day for me. ;P

      Daydreaming is certainly a temptation for me, too...I think for almost all girls, actually.

      Sister dear. I like that. ;P

      NO. NOT ORIGAMI!!! I PLEAD WITH YOU TO SPARE MY LIFE.............GASP CHOKE

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    2. Oh, Jenny. (Dear). What do I say to you?

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  4. I really loved this!! I'm not even married, but yet I agreed with everything lol The first point she mentioned was something I REALLY agreed with! Thanks, Katie!

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    1. Such good stuff to work on before marriage isn't it?! I think even for those who God doesn't have marriage in mind for could benefit from these things. I mean, who doesn't take their family for granted at some point, or become too focused on self? Really good thoughts. :)

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    2. You're welcome, Elizabeth! Spending time praising, thanking, and humbling ourselves before the Lord is always a better use of our time than daydreaming about how we want life to be! Ask Him how you should use your days... You'll never regret it!

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  5. Good reminders, even for my old married self! Hehe I can definitely second all those does and don'ts.I would especially amen to "don't take your family for granted." Even though my siblings and I have a great relationship, there are so many things I wish I would have done differently as a big sis.Cherish those single moments and make them count! Siblings make the best besties!

    The point on not being selfish rang home as well. I often remind myself that as Christians we are to prefer one another. That includes preferring the hubby! ;)
    -Shantel

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