Oftentimes we do not prepare for marriage before we get there.
We wait for someone to come along, we fall in love with them, we get engaged, and then we’re like, “okay, let’s start planning this wedding”
And then sometimes we do marriage counseling, but we’re not really thinking about all the things we could be doing today while we are single, before we meet someone or even if you are in a relationship.
Things you could be doing in your home and with yourself to prepare for marriage.
And today in the You, Me and Jesus article, we are gonna talk about things you can do to prepare your life for marriage before it happens.
When you really think about it, for me, I have three cats, right?
And the house is always hairy. Because I got curly hair, so hair is everywhere and then I have cats.
Then, not to mention that I’m a female who loves jewelry, clothing, makeup, hair stuff and all the things.
So all my closets and everything is full of shoes. It’s just all the things, you know what I mean?
It’s how I live my life.
When I come home from my office, I do certain things, whether I take my shoes off or my keys or my purse.
There’s just all these different things that I do that are just like, these are my habits of how I do things.
And I’m not saying that you have to change all your habits, but what I am saying is that what you could be doing is while you are waiting to be found or pursued by someone. If you’re a gentleman, then you wanna be looking at your life and asking yourself, “in what ways could you really be preparing your life for somebody?”
So for example, this is something I did a little over a year ago.
So I was on vacation in Mexico in San Miguel and I was buying keychains for myself and other people.
And I saw this key chain and it was kind of rugged and I was just like,”you know, I’m gonna buy this from my husband.”
I’m not seeing anybody, and I wasn’t seeing anybody then.
But I bought this key chain and it was like, I’m gonna buy this for him.
And the key chain is sitting there in my little place where I put my keys every day, and it’s just there.
Not that big of a deal.
I think it cost me $3, maybe $5, but that was just a little thing that I kind of did.
For a future person, he may or may not like it, but that was just an intentional thing of me thinking about him and I’m gonna get him something or whatever.
But that’s like gifts.
But also I think about what are some of the things that I’m doing on a regular basis in my house or in my life and all that, right?
And so I, when I was making this list of some of the things that you could do, it’s the things that we could do, not just you, but we can do to prepare our life for marriage.
So I have this list of different things.
So the first thing is that you want to work on increasing your income.
Listen, money is not everything. It is not. Well, guess what?
In order to live somewhere, have a place to live, have water, food, clothing, electricity, wifi, a phone, gas in your car, a car, car insurance.
You need money.
And the cost of living constantly increases. It just does.
And right now, in 2023, we’re dealing with inflation and what the world is calling a recession. \
And so we’re dealing with all these things and it’s really important for us to be aware of what is happening in the times.
A lot of times we go, “well, when my person comes along, then we’re gonna build something together.”
And that’s beautiful and that’s great, but what if you actually are building whatever you’re building by yourself?
Because you’re currently by yourself.
What if you’re constantly, whether you are starting a business or you are going back to school or whatever, so that you have a better degree so you can increase your income or you see an opportunity for a better job that’s higher in salary.
We’re pretty much the same level of responsibility that you currently have or whatever.
You know what? If you are actually actively allowing yourself to look at other opportunities or you’re talking to God and asking Jesus like, “what are some creative ways to increase my income?”
And then you actually act on the things that he gives you that you can do.
Because once you connect with your person, yes, you’re gonna combine your income and it’s gonna increase.
But also your expenses can increase because he or she already has expenses. And you already have expenses.
You guys are gonna live together, but you probably will need a bigger place.
There’s all these little things that happen as a result of when you combine with someone’s expenses.
Like your food bill is gonna go up by three times probably.
And then if you’re a man, your expenses are gonna increase because she got her hair, her nails, all this stuff.
And then a man has a whole thing that they do also.
And so if you could work on increasing your income, that would be awesome.
The second thing you wanna do as you prepare your life for a spouse is lower your debts.
So with the money that you’re making, maybe instead of getting your nails done this month, you paint your nails yourself and you take that and put it towards something else.
And you do that for six months or a year or whatever.
That way you can pay down a thing that’s in your debts.
So for me, I literally have two things left on my debts. I have student loans and this other thing that I’ve been negotiating about paying it off from my debts or whatever.
And so I’ve been working on this for years.
Years of getting all of this stuff off of my credit report because one, it’s like when I meet him and we come together, his debts are my debts, and my debts are his.
And if I already have lower debts, then that’s less of a thing that we have.
Not saying that you have to have an 800 credit score or that you have to be debt free, but it’s just, these are just little things that we can be doing while we’re single to not bring certain things into the relationship.
Because like once you get together, you’re gonna create debts together.
Like unless you buy a home with cash, if you decide to purchase a home, there’s gonna be a debt for a home.
If you decide to have children, there’s gonna be expenses of all of that, you know what I mean?
So, I would strongly encourage you to start working on lowering your debts.
Now, number three, you want to work on your habits.
You wanna work on your habits because we all have these habits, right?
Here’s one of my bad habits. My bad habit is that my cats are able to be on my bed.
They are just there and they can be there freely and that’s that.
Another bad habit is that my cats are on the couch. They’re on the couch with me.
And so somebody else may say they’re already hairy.
Now I don’t have anywhere to sit because the couch is hairy.
That’s a thing.
Another big thing is like, I will wash my hair, condition my hair, and then now it’s time to like detangle style and all that with my hair.
And you know, when you get product in your hair, stuff is flying and you’ve got hair that’s flying and all these different things when you’re combining things out.
But I get bored in the bathroom doing this, so I want to do this in front of the TV on the couch.
Well, that’s a bad habit, because now more hair is everywhere, whereas I can just be in the bathroom.
That’s a bad habit that I have intentionally been working on.
Then, when I come into my apartment and every day when I come home, I take my purse and I put it on the island and I don’t really think about it, but my purse sits on the floor all the time.
That’s a bad habit that I personally am working on breaking.
And so we just have these little things that we do that could really annoy our person.
I’m not saying something like, you gotta change all your ways.
But if we just look at some of the things that we do and think about another person, they may be like, “that’s an ick”
So that way. When you get with this person, you’re not fighting about these little dumb things because you’re not dealing with any of your bad habits.
There’s so many things that you could have conflict about in marriage, but there are certain things you don’t have to if you just work on them.
Number four is to create space for someone.
I’m not saying clean out a closet for somebody who doesn’t exist.
I am saying create space, especially in time in your schedule.
Because sometimes we have our work, we have another job, we always do the same thing with our friends every single week, and it’s like, this is what we do and there’s no space for anybody else.
So then we may get with a person, and now we’re expecting them to be like, here is this free hour that you always have.
And they’re like, that’s the hour that they get. And that hour may not work for them, right?
Or that you always do karaoke every Friday. Well, your person may not enjoy karaoke.
And so it’s really important for you to maybe just start making just a little bit of space, a little bit of wiggle room because that is their own person, and you are your own person.
And when you guys come together, you’re gonna both be your own, your own people, and you’re gonna have to learn how to kind of come together in things.
But if you start kind of like not having your schedule so rigid, and this is how everything always is all the time. Then you’re allowing space for a person, right?
That’s like some people go, “I watch my show and I watch it every day, this is my clockwork”
And you cannot miss it.
You gotta make some space.
So then we’ve got number five, and this one is to create healthy hygiene habits.
So I was in a singles class a couple years ago, and the gentleman that was teaching the class with his wife, he was saying that “women, while you’re single, start taking two showers a day. Start taking a shower in the morning and a shower in the evening.”
Now, some of you may be saying, “well, I already do that.”
But a lot of us we’re like, “I’ll just take a shower in the morning. It’s fine.” Or “I went to the gym in the morning, take a shower. It’s fine.”
But some of you guys are like, “there’s no way I would ever get in my bed without taking a shower.”
That’s great if that’s you.
But a lot of us, that hasn’t been our norm, right?
And so it doesn’t make us dirty. It just means that that is just not the norm for everyone.
And so if you are creating this habit of cleaning yourself in the morning and in the evening, then that’s not this huge thing that you’ve gotta change because you’re working on it as a single person.
Not to mention brushing your teeth in the morning and in the evening. Flossing, washing your hair, just doing these little things.
Some people are like, “this is normal.”
But it may not be normal to everybody.
And then the second to last is, learn how to cook.
And this goes for the men and the women, because I know that the roles of what people think is supposed to be is that the woman she cooks, she cleans, she washes the clothes, or whatever.
But I think we also have to just be mindful of that.
Women, if you’re single, you’re running your whole household and you’re running your life, you got a job, you have a business, so you’re not just at home all day long.
You are doing all the things and it’s hard enough for a single woman to do all that.
Come home, wash your own clothes, clean her own things, and cook, and do a grocery shop.
It’s really challenging.
And to be emotionally available and to be ready for intimacy when he is just going to work and coming home to all these things. That is really challenging.
And everybody won’t say that out loud, but that is really challenging for a person.
And so it’s really important that as it pertains to men and women, that you learn how to cook, right?
I love cooking with a man. I don’t know what it’s gonna be like when we come together, because I do run a business.
And my business is constantly growing. And so I can’t say that I’m gonna be one of those women who are working and cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping, and doing all the things.
I cannot say that I’m gonna be that in my marriage.
But what I can say is, here’s how my life has been.
And I know that if he’s single, he’s been taking care of himself, he’s been working, he’s been cleaning, he’s been cooking, he’s been doing himself. So I feel like there’s things we can do together, right?
And if we come to the agreement that “Keenya, you’re the one who always cooks and I always do the dishes”
That may be great, right?
But I will say that everybody loves it when someone else cooks for them.
I don’t care who you are. So you can literally learn how to cook from Pinterest, from food network.com. Like the way that I learned how to cook was 100% foodnetwork.com.
I had no idea how to cook, and I used to just download recipes from foodnetwork.com and I would cook it, and that is how I learned to cook.
Last thing is you want to get used to cleaning on a regular basis.
When you are used to your habits at home and then your person is used to their habits and together those habits can be awful.
If you are used to always having dishes in the sink, and this person is always used to having like no dishes in the sink. That’s gonna be a huge problem.
So I developed this habit of going to bed with nothing in the sink.
So I may wash a thing out and put it in the dishwasher, but that is my newest habit over the last year or two of going to sleep with nothing in the sink.
And so it’s gonna be something that I’ll talk to a future spouse about, “okay, it’s gonna be really good if both of us have an agreement of if we don’t run the dishwasher, that we at least have no dishes in the sink or whatever.”
Because, let’s just say this person doesn’t clean very often, but you clean all the time. Once you guys begin to talk about these things before you move in together, then both of you guys are gonna give each other an opportunity to go like, “oh, okay, well let’s compromise on what this looks like. Is this, we’re cleaning every day, cleaning every week. What does this look like?”
I’m not saying you have to do all these things at once, but these things are really gonna help you to set yourself up for a partner.
I’m working on them too.
I’m not perfect at it. I’m working on them too because I’m like, marriage is already gonna be challenging because you got two people from two totally different worlds trying to create one world together.
But there are certain things that I could be working on myself just in my daily life that I don’t have to wait until I have someone.
So I hope you enjoyed this article and make sure you let me know what you enjoyed about this series, so that when we have the next one, I can give you what you need.
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