For marriage, almost everyone has a good look forward for it. But realistically speaking, a good marriage is not from heaven, also needs singles to positively prepare for it. For Christians who want to get married, how do they prepare themselves for marriage? In response to this question, the author interviewed four married Christians.
The change of sisters' attitudes toward marriage.
Sister Zhou who was once a unordained pastor and is now an expectant mother. She believed that the most important thing in preparing for marriage was faith. When she became a Christian, she learned from her many Christian predecessors that marriage was a sacred thing. At the time, sister Zhou didn't want to get married because she thought she was too weak in her faith. When she was between 25 and 27 years old and saw everyone around her getting married, she wanted to start preparing for marriage. However, she found that her faith was weak in many weak areas. So in order to better know the word of God, sister Zhou served in the church for more than one year, she said.
About specific preparatory methods.
Sister Zhou thought reading books was a good way to prepare. She got a lot of help on Christian marriage from books, and she recommended some books including "The Five Languages of Love", "What I Wish I Knew Before Marriage", and "The Meaning of Marriage". She said that thinking of yourself as a married person" and learning from those married persons around you how to deal with all the things that happen in your marriage makes you really start to think about which person is right for you.
Sister Yang, who was also a working Christian, believed that focusing on work can help a person mature in their faith. In preparing for her marriage, she said that she did not want to marry a brother who was more mature than her in her faith. More importantly, she argued that everyone needed to have a close relationship with God, whether it be a brother or a sister, so that they could continue to live a God-centered life when they got into marriage.
Zhou and Yang both believed that preparation for life skills was also essential. The kitchen and bathroom at home always needed to be cleaned. Some people liked doing housework, but for those who didn't, they needed to learn to do housework, cooking, cleaning and other basic life skills. Bad habits needed to be changed. They needed to think about each other.
"Although all sisters wanted their husbands to love them more, the reality after marriage was that sisters needed to take care of their husbands and their families. Sisters not only had to do their own work but also the housework, so they needed to prepare for it in advance," Yang said.
"It's important to learn to think about each other," Zhou said. "The transition from being single to being a family was a transition from "me" to "us". The process of preparing for marriage could also give due consideration to the question of raising children. Being in a family means giving--giving to each other and to your children. In the singleness stage, you need to live with a sense of regularity and, be ready to give. There existed happiness in life making such a sacrifice. Family means taking responsibility. So brothers need to exercise their ability to take responsibility and sisters need to learn to deal with interpersonal relationships."
Prayer is helpfu;.
Sister Zhang believed that prayer was a very important part of the preparation process. It was through pray and real-life communication that she herself finally entered into marriage. She suggested that in preparing yourself, you needed to pray carefully and ask God. Also, see God's will through the people around you. In prayer you might think carefully about the types of persons you could accept and the types you didn't like. Be more aware of your baseline and also pray that your future partner is well prepared.
The secret to marriage.
In "The Meaning of Marriage", sister Zhou understood the secret of marriage: marriage was about commitment and unconditional acceptance. We are all sinners, but can we love and accept a person unconditionally? Love is caring, and that's a great challenge for many Christian marriages. But that is also the key to a happy marriage.
Zhang said that in an intimate relationship, people are more and more aware of each other's weaknesses. And if they have no faith, they are more likely to divorce to solve various problems. For Christians, the first choice should be tolerance and acceptance. The couple that works hard to come to God, the marriage can be truly beautiful.
Sister Liang believed that the spirit of the Gospel was the foundation for family harmony. It doesn't matter how much time you spend together. It depends on your attitudes and approaches to each other.
Sister Yang said that couples need absolute trust. In their lives, when they see deeper problems, they fight, and sometimes because of their parents' problems.
She said that marriage cannot rely on parents to solve the problem. Couples need absolute trust, in order to be able to really overcome difficulties.
Marriage needs management.
In regards to communication, several sisters said that before marriage, brothers and sisters tend to maintain a good image. However after marriage, human nature will constantly show up in life. If you do not manage it, it will inevitably become overgrown like weeds in a field.
Sister Yang said that sisters and brothers are different in many ways and brothers need to be respected.
Sister Zhang encouraged single people to work hard to build relationships with God, learn the lessons of patience, and exercise well.
Sister Liang said that language can build up or tear down a person. "Couples should never say hurtful words to each other. When you're in a family, you learn to really get to know each other, not just in the name, background and so on, but the inner life. When there is conflict in the marriage, learn to treat it objectively. One also needs to constantly do introspection and get to know yourself."
She also encouraged Christian brothers and sisters who wanted to enter into marriage to believe that God knows their situation and knows that the most suitable person will appear. "Do not to use force in dealing with marriage, but to prepared and wait earnestly. There is always someone who will appear for you."
- Translated by Heirs Han