Ever wonder if that day will ever come? When Prince Charming enters the scene, sweeps you away on his full-time job + benefits and whisks you off to a tropical paradise honeymoon where your love story can finally begin?
Well let me be the first to tell you that IT WILL HAPPEN!
Maybe not in the exact way that you picture it, but if you have a desire to get married, to share your life with someone who truly loves you, then you can rest assured that those are good desires and God only has good things in store for you. Even though it may be hard to imagine it right now, once he does enter the scene, everything moves pretty fast and before you know it, you’re a wife with roles and responsibilities. You’re money isn’t just yours anymore it’s “our” money. And your weekly trips to Anthropology and the nail salon might not make it into your shared monthly budget for a while.
While marriage is incredible and completely worth the wait, there are a few things that I have found (whether through experience or lack thereof) that will help prepare you not just for the day you say “I do,” but for every single day that follows. #marriage
So, without further a due, here are four things that I believe every single girl should take advantage of… before it’s too late!
1. Invest in Building a Strong Relationship with God
This is by far the greatest piece of advice I can give you as a fairly new wife. Getting your security and sense of value from God, is the absolute greatest gift you can give to your husband. It’s SO unbelievably tempting to try and get that feeling of security, value and desirability from your husband, but trust me, it ALWAYS backfires.
Not to say that your husband shouldn’t value you, help you feel secure in his love for you and desire you, but if you NEED that to feel emotionally okay, then you will go through some very difficult times as well as put a lot of pressure on him to always make you feel emotionally secure.
Jeff and I fought a lot during our first year of marriage and looking back, I can honestly say that most of it was because of my own insecurity. Because I had been so burned by guys in the past, I would project those feelings of rejection and self-preservation onto him, a punishment that wasn’t his to take. It wasn’t until I realized that I couldn’t depend on Jeff to fulfill me in the way only God was supposed to, that I took that awful pressure off of him and we finally began to love each other the way we were always meant to: selflessly and with an attitude of giving.
This will not only change your marriage, but it will also change your life. If you can get to the point where your emotional health isn’t based on the people around you, but rather on God and His word, then you’ll be able to love those around you, regardless of how they treat you. And that my friends is a strong woman.
2. Get a Budget
Seriously just do it! Before I got married, I was just living paycheck to paycheck, making it through my monthly bills and spending what remained on weekend sales at Express and Chipotle burrito bowls. It was great, but once I got married, I had no idea what I was doing with my money. I always thought since I wasn’t a “numbers girl”, that God would just have to give me a husband that was.
Although Jeff is great with a lot of things, neither of us was really apt to budgeting or working with our finances. After a year of living small and afraid to check our bank account, I finally downloaded Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar App and started our fist budget.
It’s so simple but it wasn’t always easy and it took us a few months of messing up and starting from scratch until we were able to start seeing tangible results. But just 14 months since our first feeble budget, we were able to get out of all credit card debt, pay off one car, pay cash for another, buy our first home and travel to Disney World 3-4 times per year (I may write a blog post about how we are able to travel to Disney World so much for those who might be interested). Imagine if I had been doing all this while I was single!
If you want to have a marriage or life where you own a home, don’t have any car payments (yes it is possible!) travel and take vacations and give to others in need, then you need to start planning for that now.
And did I mention we did all of this without getting a single pay raise? It was just through budgeting our money and staying consistent, even when it didn’t seem like it was accomplishing much. If you’re serious about living your best life with your future Mr. then start investing in your marriage now and start that budget!
(Watch my video on how to set-up and maintain your monthly budget here! Nothing is stopping you from living the life you dream of)
3. Invest in Your Girlfriends
Once you get married, it becomes really easy to seclude yourself from all your friends (especially your single friends) and pretty soon, you drift apart and your husband becomes your new “girlfriend.” Trust me, this won’t be healthy.
Having a husband is great and it’s vital that you learn to communicate with each other, but they can never take the place of having your own friends that you can spill every detail your pretty little heart desires.
I didn’t understand this at first and I was that girl that drifted away from a lot of her friends. It wasn’t until about a year into our marriage that I started reaching out more and scheduling time to meet up with other girls (yes you have to start scheduling more once you’re married). After getting back from a coffee date or a girl’s night out, I would feel so refreshed and heard that I wouldn’t put so much pressure on Jeff and he would likewise feel better after having some down time with the guys.
Learning how to be a good friend now is going to help in learning how to be a good wife later. And once that handsome guys comes along, remember the girls that got you to where you are and make an effort to stay in their life.
4. Get Familiar with Your Dreams
I cannot think of anything more miserable than being married to someone who either doesn’t have big dreams or doesn’t support the big dreams I have. Listen, that guy might be cute, smell nice and have an accent that makes you melt, but if he’s not ambitious about his life now, or even worse, if he doesn’t support your dreams or ambition, then all those things you love will quickly fade.
Marriage isn’t about the wedding day, the wedding day is the start of a marriage and who you decide to link arms with for life is a serious decision, one that should take a lot of care and thought. But if you don’t know your dreams or have no idea what you want out of life, then how will you know if this guy is on board?
I am NOT saying that you have to have it all figured out. I used to struggle with this because I didn’t think I had a clear picture of my future. I just had desires to write, speak and make a difference somehow. One day, I was listening to a teaching by John and Lisa Bevere called “The Story of Marriage” and Lisa said something that inspired me. She said that sometimes it’s not all about the “what,” but about the “who,” and then you’ll find your “what.”
She wasn’t saying you can’t have a dream or a purpose without a husband, but she was saying that things might seem a bit fuzzy now because part of your purpose and destiny is tied to the person you marry.
For me, this is 100% true. Not only has Jeff helped bring clarity to the dreams I have, helping me, pushing me and encouraging me when I didn’t even believe in my own dreams, but he has also opened up a whole new world to me through his dreams. I can see myself doing things now that I would have never thought to do because of him. You need to get in touch with your desires, but understand that who you marry is going to bring clarity to your life. Just make sure the picture he’s painting is one that you can get excited about too.
There’s so much more I could say about what do to while you’re single, but these I feel are my top four tips and if you can invest in these, then when your guy shows up, you’ll be able to walk confidently and boldly into this next chapter of your life, knowing that you’ve made the best of this season.
Your single years don’t have to be a burden. Instead, they can be the time that ultimately propels you into everything God has in store for your future, including marriage.
Live intentional during this time and you will end up writing this chapter of your story well,