Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Can a Single Prepare for Marriage

I recently had a single guy ask me how he could prepare now to be a good husband someday. What a great question! And the good news is that there is a lot any single man or woman can do now to prepare well for marriage.

I often tell couples in premarital counseling this maxim that I coined a few years ago: If you throw your socks on the floor before you get married, you'll throw them on the floor AFTER you get married. I hope my point is obvious: Marriage typically doesn't change our habits or character. Change takes time and character is molded and shaped, not merely put on one day because we hoped it would be different (or got married).

So single person do what you can now to become the person you want to be when you get married. No, none of us will ever be perfect, but you can become more and more a person of character, someone who loves Christ and lives out his or her faith every day. If you are a poor communicator start finding out now how to communicate more effectively. If there are unresolved issues that may impact your relationship with your spouse someday, don't wait to get help, assuming that those issues will change. They probably won't by themselves.

Second, foster healthy relationships with the opposite sex now. Your current relationships will be the proving grounds for what your married life will be like someday. Be willing to face some of your weaknesses and keep developing your strengths. In fact, ask others you trust about things in your personality that could improve. Then spend some time trying out some new ways of relating.

You may need to look at some underlying issues that cause you to think and ultimately act the way you do. But that can be a good and potentially lifechanging process if you get a competent and helpful person to walk you through it.

But let me say this, even though I wish I didn't need to say it. Don't live with someone of the opposite sex. I hear all sorts of excuses about why people do it but the statistics, facts and God are all against you on this one. Living with someone requires little commitment and no legal protection or safety. Either one of you can walk out on a moment's notice. It doesn't prepare you one bit for married life because it doesn't reflect true married life.

Instead, work hard at becoming the kind of person you would want to marry - spiritually, physically, intellectually and emotionally. Practice being a giver more than a taker, a listener more than a talker and committed to Christ more than anything or anyone. If you do, you'll be the kind of partner that someone of similar character will also be attracted to and it will be worth the wait!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.


  1. There is a magic word to describe the advice: PROACTIVE
    In reading scriptures, I never see God / Jesus working in the life of someone who was not also doing ( or trying to do ) what he was instructed.

    Yes, God can do anything without us, but seems the more we do with God, the more we grow spiritually and closer to God, and the better our relationships with each other. We become "better".

    One reason to prepare for marriage is that the Devil (Satan) is not going to deprive me of the joy of growing and maturing with my future spouse. Life is just too short to let this happen. God is NOT calling ME to be single - He says I have a wonderful marriage coming up so get ready. Emulate one of the 5 virgins who brought extra oil, not one of the 5 who came up short.

    Dan Thomas
    Ponte Vedra, FL