We prepare for many things in life…
We study hard for exams in school and college.
We prepare ourselves intellectually and emotionally for job interviews.
We do a lot of research before finalizing big purchases and major investments.
In the same way, we need to be diligent in preparing ourselves for marriage – a lifelong commitment. Let’s look at a few ways a single Christian can spiritually prepare for marriage.
1. Submit Your Desires to God
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
– Psalm 37:4, 5
It’s only natural for a single person of marriageable age to have specific desires on who they should marry.
Perhaps you’re looking for a person of a particular height or complexion. Maybe your parents want you to marry someone from a similar family background. You might have your own preferences on the kind of profession you’d want your spouse to be in, and the denomination of church they attend.
There’s nothing wrong with having specific requests on the type of person you want to marry. You might even want to write them down and pray over them. But it would be wise to hold these desires loosely.
The Bible reminds us that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will put His desires in our hearts. Tell the Lord what you are looking for, but also be willing to surrender your wishes to Him and allow His desires to overtake yours. Believe that God has your best interest in heart and He will fulfill your heart’s desires.
2. Wait for God’s Perfect Will
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
– Isaiah 40:31
Most of us do not consider waiting fun. We live in a culture of instant messaging and instant feedback. We want what we want now!
But marriage is one thing that cannot be hurried. Prepare your heart to wait for God’s timing. He will bring the right person along at just the right time.
There’s a saying, “God is never early; He is never late. God is always on time”.
That’s absolutely true… God may not be running on your time schedule, but He’s perfectly on time every time!
Do not be hasty in choosing your life partner. Be prepared to wait for God to reveal the person He’s planned for you. His will is always the best, and it’s always worth waiting for.
3. Invest in Your Spiritual Growth
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
– 2 Peter 3:18
While it is important to wait patiently till God shows you who you are to marry, you can use that time to grow spiritually. Invest time and effort in your spiritual growth.
This may look different for different people, but here are some things you can do.
- Dig deeper into God’s Word on a daily basis.
- Spend more time in prayer (and fast if possible).
- Read good Christian books by reputed authors.
- Listen to sermons by eminent preachers.
- Participate in Bible studies – either online or in your locality.
- Meet with other like-minded Christians regularly for a time of prayer and fellowship.
Allow God to mold your character and personality, and prepare you for the person He’s chosen for you. The goal should be to draw closer to God before your wedding day. The spiritual foundation you lay now will hold you in good stead even after your marriage.
4. Practice Serving with Love
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ.
– Colossians 3:23, 24
Marriage involves a lot of serving from both partners. The husband and wife are equal partners but do share different responsibilities. They both serve the family and provide for its needs through different roles.
You can prepare for marriage by learning to serve wholeheartedly, with love being the only motivator. True service is done as an act of unconditional love without expecting anything in return. Look for opportunities to serve God and His people, either through your local church or in your community.
This kind of service would be good preparation for marriage as you will learn to voluntarily give of yourself without expecting any reward or recognition in return.
5. Persevere in Prayer
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
– Colossians 4:2
No matter what your current marital status is, prayer is one essential practice that cannot be ignored. Prayer is also an important ingredient for spiritual growth, as we mentioned above. When single men and women cultivate the habit of prayer now, it will hold them in good stead even after they get married.
Verses depicting the importance of prayer are liberally strewn throughout the Bible. But prayer is not simply a religious act of talking to God. It is a continuous two-way conversation, an ongoing intimate dialogue between an Almighty Father and His precious son/daughter.
In the weeks or months you spend waiting for your right match, be sure to carve out time in your day for prayer. Be honest with God and cultivate an intimate relationship with Him. And sharpen your listening skills, because God longs to talk to you as well.
We hope you take this advice to heart as you prepare for marriage. The efforts you take now will help you develop positive character traits for a successful marriage.