Okay, you’ve found the one. Now what?
When you’re sure, get engaged. But be engaged only as long as it takes to plan your wedding. I’m not a believer in long engagements.
Men, in particular, are more likely to ask, “Will you marry me?” as a holding action because they don’t want to lose the woman they’re with.
But when you have the person you were meant to be with, pop the question. This shows that you are truly committed.
When a couple is really ready and the proposal is confident and sincere, it can be magic.
Here are some things you need to know about when you do put a ring on it:
1. Getting Married is Easy, Being Married is Hard.
Planning our wedding was easy. My wife and I decided to get married in June, and none of it felt a moment too soon. We didn’t disagree on anything. “Do you like this?” “Yes.” “Do you want that?” “Yes.” No drama. No stress. We were two people who were finally exactly where we needed to be, and with whom we needed to be with.
Of course, getting married is easy. Being married is hard.
There’s a lot to sort out: gender roles, living together, and combining households, for starters. But if you reach your wedding in the right way, while waiting and continuing to learn about each other, you should be strong and solid at this point.
That’s not to say there aren’t challenges; we still face them. But those things are minor compared to all we’ve been through to find and really understand each other. Yes, marriage will test you; but it will also make you better.
2. Having Children Changes Things
One of the questions we often get is: “When are you having children?”
There’s little doubt that we’d like to have children one day, but not now. The biggest thing for us is living for our marriage, giving ourselves all the tools we need to be the best we can be. Right now we’re about learning all we can, growing together, and having a solid platform for working God’s will.
Having children changes everything. If you both want them right away, then have them. If not, then don’t bow to pressure from anyone. Give yourselves time to be married.
The time before children is a special window for just the two of you. Children are another reason to wait—to ask questions, communicate, and watch for signs from God. The worst thing you can do is make babies because someone’s mom wants grandchildren.
You’ve seen the marriages: a couple has kids before they’re ready, and they never get to live their lives. Then the moment the kids leave for college, the marriage is over. Apart from the children, they had nothing keeping them together. Not only didn’t they know each other, they didn’t even like each other. That’s a waste.
Raising children is a joy, but so is knowing that you’re really, really ready before you make that leap.
3. The Blessings of Marriage
You really can have the life you and your spouse want if you wait on things to happen when you and God are ready. Life is better when you have patience and let the Lord work because you allow him to bring you the right person at the time He knows is right.
Neither of us was expecting to date each other and marry so quickly, and there have been challenges, but we trusted God and it’s been incredible. We’ve grown. Doors have opened, allowing us to travel the world and talk about marriage and sex and relationships. Our careers have gone in new directions because of our marriage. We’ve been able to help people.
Marriage will change you, but not in the ways you expect. You should be complete before committing to someone who’s going to compliment you.
4. Dismissing Preconceived Ideals
Don’t base your marriage on preconceived ideals. Let your marriage find its rhythm. Every marriage is a unique organism; it’s important to give that organism time to live, evolve, and settle into what it’s going to be.
Don’t expect your partner to change because you’re married. You can’t change someone else in marriage, but marriage will change you.
Have a clear sense of your own identity before you marry. If you don’t know who you are before you get married, marriage will not teach you. Instead, you’ll become a person’s wife and then someone’s mom. You’ll lose yourself. Understand who you are as a union, but also understand who you are independent of the union.
Now that you know what to expect once you’re married, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know if you’re ready and which area resonated with you the most.
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