My husband and I recently hit the half-year mark in our marriage. It’s been wonderful, but I don’t think 6 months qualifies me to give marriage advice. However, I do think 26 years of being single before getting married will allow me to share a few things without being cast off to the crazy train. So…
My list is simple. And personal. But I think it’s pretty realistic.
- Travel. Just do it. Go with friends, but also go by yourself. You’ll learn from it, I promise. I highly condone a mission trip, whether medical or church related. There’s nothing quite like experiencing other cultures to fill your life with perspective and gratitude…and, perhaps, some needed change.
- Clear the clutter. Part of me believes there is truly nothing more distracting than stuff. A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, which makes a cluttered life. Coming from the QUEEN of emotional attachments…they’re not worth it.
- Spend time with family. I did this. And I don’t regret it for a minute. In fact, I miss it. Some of you might be lucky and have both your and your future husband’s families in close proximity. But for those who move away, quality family time is drastically reduced. Even for those who will still live close to family, there is a good chance you won’t spend as much time with them as you once did. So do it now.
- The previous being said, don’t let family and friends hold you back. I’m not referring to people guilt-ing you into not doing something you want to do. Rather, I mean don’t allow yourself to become so comfortable with home that you let it keep you from adventure. I came close to doing this before I moved away for school (and a boy). I was scared my relationship with my dad, grandma, and especially little sister would suffer. But it didn’t/hasn’t in the least. And if I had not made the move, I might not have married the aforementioned boy. J
- Exercise. Some like it; some don’t. But we all should do it. And I believe establishing a routine before you’re married will greatly contribute to health and happiness going into marriage.
- Do fun things. This might seem like a silly point to mention. But, really, it deserves being noted. Make memories with your friends. Go to concerts. Go white water rafting. Go skydiving. Spend money on amazing experiences. Do something fun. Regularly. (And don’t forget to take pictures.) You see, for lots of people, the way you handle money changes at least slightly once you get married. And it should. So, while you are single, you should spend the extra cash you’ll be using for a new washing machine part in two years on a weekend skiing trip to Tennessee.
- Make real connections. Fake friends don’t last. In fact, in my observation, they typically hurt you somehow. So, be friendly but don’t try to be best friends with fake people. This might mean you’ll forego some attention from others we all desire at times, but it’ll be worth it. You’ll still have true friends long after you’re married if you have real people by your side from the start. Oh, and you be real too!
- Read the Bible. Plant yourself in God’s Word. I heard this over and over, and even agreed that this should be done. But I’m only realizing the importance of this (and my need to improve still today) lately. I’ve recently been enlightened to the fact that God’s Word is truth. It is THE truth. It contains the answers to why we live. It is why we live. I did know this, but I didn’t really know it. I didn’t completely experience God’s Word…truth. Now I know I truly must read it, live it, breathe it, and pray it. Doing so ensures that we experience truth, demonstrate truth, speak truth, and trust truth. This is absolutely necessary in every chapter of our lives.