Though I am yet unmarried, there are a few things I’ve been doing to get ready. They’re simple, effective, and build the maturity that we all need.
1) Ask to babysit children of married couples at your church or in your neighborhood.
Not only do you get to spend time with kids, but you’ll also see a little glimpse of how a married couple handles their schedule, their home, and their children. Unless you really need it, don’t ask for money: do it as a favor so the parents can have a date night. They will be grateful forever.
2) Have lunch or dinner with spiritually mature families and observe.
I don’t mean to observe in a creepy way: of course you want to build friendships and memories. But pick up some hints about how parents practice discipline, encouragement, and order in the home. Most parents will put on an impression for the first hour or so, but once they’re comfortable you’ll start to see how it really is. Ask questions, discern what’s right, and take mental notes.
3) Spend time with really old people.
People of a former generation have a retrospective view on life that considers the mistakes they have made in light of the few days they have left. You can’t fake that wistful sort of wisdom. And as much as you don’t want to hear an old guy rambling, there is an urgency to their voice that wakes you up into a renewed perspective. A lot of things which look silly are silly, and older people will boil down marriage to basics: forgive, serve, cherish, appreciate, rejoice, love. It’ll knock you back down to earth in a hurry.
4) Spend time with your pastor and his wife.
While many pastors totally do NOT get the married life or how to treat a woman, some do. Married pastors are in the unique position of maneuvering through an entire family of people while cooperating with his wife and kids to serve them — and if your pastor has done this for a while, he has learned extreme patience and perseverance. His wife has trained him up. They are worth observing simply for their sheer endurance and their servant hearts.
Originally posted on my Tumblr here.