There is much to think about, much to practice in light of the two and a half tips provided in Part I of 5 Tips on Readying Yourself for Marriage. But there are a few more that’ll give you a jump start with a spark to help you towards warm bliss even through seasons of wintry blizzards. To continue on with circulating the 4 C’s, the next thing after practicing consideration and communication with your significant other, there needs to be…
Compromise, pointing out a dichotomy in its meaning, in that it’s great to compromise, exercising a little give and take, to bring forth a mend in a rift that resulted out of disagreement or to pursue peace. Yet, it also, calls for caution, not to compromise who you know yourself to be in the eyes of God, your faith, nor core values that are aligned with the Word of God. For to compromise one’s values too much is like playing on a seesaw with someone who is extremely unequal in weight, that if there’s a lean too heavily on one end, one is always up in the air, and the other never gets off the ground. It’s like a mathematical formula, where you and your spouse are the right components in your relationship, two people brought together by God to add to each other, and multiply to complete a Kingdom purpose together, but if the right values are missing and/or incorrect ones are used, you will inevitably get the wrong results. And, it’ll have you wondering, where am I, who am I? So, it’s important to not lose yourself by always conceding your God-given desires. However, make room within yourself, for your special someone, by setting aside some of what you want to allow their Divinely inspired desires to transpire, as well. Some of the most beautiful songs are created by a duet of great talents, those who compromised on which parts they’d sing in their collaboration to follow through on what had been agreed upon. I believe for you that you and your partner can make beautiful music together, as well.
Collaboration requires that you be ready to answer a committed YES! as you ask yourself, “Am I ready to do what I said I’d do? Am I ready to do my part?” Collaboration is a consistency of working with your partner to bring forth the results agreed upon. If you’ve ever worked in a team at work or played on one in sports, you know there’s a dependency on you consistently and reliably performing what you agreed to do. It’s no different in a marriage. The two of you will be a team. Your home is your work place or ball court. Collaborating on tasks and issues makes you part of the solution, and not part of the problem. Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” No matter what stage of the dating game you may be in, surely you want to have a “GREAT” relationship!
Tip #4: Synchronized Symbiosis
One of the most common complaints in a dating relationship or marriage is “She/He expects me to read her/his mind!” So often sought, so frequently expected, yet, there’s often a hindrance that is placed up by one or both that prevents that desired closeness required to enable a synchronization of hearts to achieve that goal. Though being on a level to do that at all times may seem impossible, there is a oneness that comes with being unified not only by The Holy Spirit, but unified by the intertwine of both your spirit and your spouse’s. According to Genesis 2:24,25 spouses were created to come together as Adam and Eve did, become one, and not be ashamed. This indicates a closeness that calls for a level of transparency. An access where your special someone can peer beyond the temporal; clothes, skin & flesh into the depths of your soul. A willingness is needed on your part to be translucent so you can feel safe and comfortable when your mate genuinely feels and says “I love you because I see you, through you, to the true you.” This paves a journey, because it’s not fully instant. It creates a trail to allowing your significant other access to understanding all of you, the parts we all have; the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is not mentioned just because it’s something each spouse should be willing to do but because it’s something the Spirit of The Lord will begin to initiate, when He is that third strand, mentioned in Part I of 5 Tips on Readying Yourself for Marriage. For it is a bi-product of the function of your soul being knitted to the soul of your mate, that gives you the ability, as you yield to it, to develop a choreographed grace to dance across the floors of life with each other. The secret to work in tandem with Christ as the Head of your life is, well… no secret at all. It’s a matter of, as we are taught about perfect love in 1 John 4:18, consistently practicing a love that cast out fears. And, it starts, but is not confined to the boundaries, of your home. For everyone is called to ministry, because at a minimum, even when not called to ministering in a church, one definition of ministering means “the act of serving”, to which we are called. You are called to serving your mate, your children, and your extended family. Your marriage is your first ministry and your home is the soil in which it will be nurtured.
Tip #5: Nurture the Environment
Anything that grows, needs to be nurtured. Marriages can grow or become stunted, so it’s imperative to sow into your relationship by, not necessarily focusing so much on what you bring into it materially, but what you sow into each other spiritually and emotionally. Tilling the soil of your marriage spans much more than I can give you in the space of this article. So, encouragement, appreciation, and refreshing will be discussed to get you going on a good start.
As mentioned above, perfect love drives out fear. One of the intangible things you can give as an act of love is courage. The word encourage French/Latin root meanings; “En-” which is “to put in” and “courage” is “heart”; to give heart, which is a metaphor for inner strength. With encouragement, you can began to destroy the thorns of your mate’s doubts about any shortcomings, challenges, or new endeavors that can cause fear. Give heart that all things can be done through Christ who strengthens. Give heart that their shortcomings are not solely what defines them, but it’s the totality of their design that makes them the perfect piece of the puzzle helping you to further complete the picture of your life. Give heart that as Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 says “Two are better than one… if either of them falls down one can help the other up…” Because, love is an action word. So though it is wonderful to hear and should be said often, showing your soon to be life partner that you are there as a reliable source of support can be very encouraging. And it communicates, non-verbally, an appreciation that God has placed this person in your life.
Showing appreciation is important because it ensures the rocks of life don’t prevent the roots of your relationship from going deeper. It helps to ground your relationship in gratitude, especially during and/or after difficult times. Hardships, those of the past and those you will encounter together, can harden a soul spirit and outlook towards people and life as they are experienced. Appreciation of your future partner’s presence, their thoughts, time, and efforts can soften their feelings, refreshing their hope, helping your special someone feel… well, special, and be more open to you.
Being ready to refresh your mate with new hope; to replace hope that may have been snatched away on any previous day; to wipe away the traces of shed tears; giving them hope that things can be different. Refresh their mind and body as you show your appreciation by periodically doing something thoughtful that temporarily relieves them of normal tasks or duties. Refresh their spirit by simply spending time with each other talking about and enjoying blessings, expressing aloud new dreams and aspirations that the two of you can bring forth through collaboration as the cycle of love comes around again. This keeps your union light, not bogged down by burdens, bringing a refreshing by replenishing vision for a bright future.
Sow Seeds, and nourish your soil helping progress to flow, not Weeds that only to block nourishment to grow. Sow into your relationship the things that propagates potential, fosters faith, and blooms belief within your partner, not only in public but in the privacy of your personal time together. Mentioned in Part I of 5 Tips on Readying Yourself for Marriage, first and foremost of all, inviting and keeping Christ and His Spirit leading at the helm of your relationship is the solidifying factor for it’s strengthening. Knowing yourself before God empowers you to be confident and steadfast in who you are in Christ, and to set boundaries around the values you live by according to the Will of God. Circulating the 4 C’s, by giving your partner Consideration, being open to Communication, Compromise and Collaboration lays a layer of foundation to build towards transparent acceptance. Embracing each opportunity, whether in good times or bad, to build each other up through encouragement, appreciation and refreshing, in thought, word, and deed builds another layer of respect and honor. As Amy Grant said, “Every good relationship, especially marriage, is based on respect. If it’s not based on respect, nothing that appears to be good will last very long.” God prepares each of us for the blessings He plans to give us. As you start implementing these tips, you will be essentially saying “Yes” to the process, while God is also preparing your spouse for you, too. May the God, who is Love, bless your journey towards each other!
Love you with the Love of God!
LuKeisha Carr Ministries International