ARE. YOU. READY?
The first time I did this thing called marriage - that's right, I said, first time! You see I am in my second and final marriage and I say final because - for Faith and me - divorce is not an option. It has been blissful even during challenging moments, why? Because we have collectively laid out some fundamental and foundational principles that we vowed to live by. Now, the first time I did marriage, I was simply, just. Not. Ready! I had no core values, much-less a value system. I was connected in terms of relationship but I was not committed. More importantly, I entered into this institution of marriage not knowing the fullness of what it is and what it isn't.
Maybe you have or maybe you haven't, but could you imagine buying a used car without test driving it or as much as checking under the hood? Yeah, I know, but I have seen it happen quite a number of times. After one month it breaks down and you bring it back, only to find out that you didn't read the small print that states "NO REFUNDS - AS IS." I PROMISE I can tell you a number of horror stories! However, herein lies the lemon squeeze. It's not the dealerships fault - hypothetically speaking - that you bought the car! Shame on them for selling a lemon, but they didn't put a gun to your head and force you to buy that car. You made up in your mind that you just had to have THAT car! It may have been good on the outside, it may have had nice rims, the tint job might have been on point but none of that matters if the internal engine\machinery is dysfunctional. I know some may be asking is he equating marriage to that of a car(chuckling)? You can say that, but the principle is definitely true as it relates to marriage. There are some who are choosing partners based on cosmetics like money, looks, physical attributes, career, money, etc., without checking the "internal engine\machinery" i.e, core values, morals, integrity, and honesty. Despite not doing the latter, they get into that car called marriage and drive off into the sunset but find themselves breaking down long before they get there. Now for those of you who have experienced a car that has broken down on you, you know what happens right? You start entertaining thoughts of getting a new car and that's exactly what happens in marriage.
Marriages do one of two things, either they:
1. Get Better, or
2. Get Worse
I have found that the ones that get better do so because they were intentional and deliberate about doing just that, GETTING BETTER! They started with premarital counseling, they understood that chemistry DOES NOT necessarily mean compatibility, they kept the doors of communication open, they had the mindset of selflessness, and not selfishness and they made sure that due diligence was rendered. So much so, that when the storms of life came, their relationship stood strong! The ones that got worse, got there because of the opposite! They were not intentional and deliberate, they allowed their marriage to be built by default and not by design, and in most cases looked to be served and not serve, thereby ending in a breakdown and "looking for that new car" - a whole other conversation.
If you are looking to be in a relationship that is moving towards marriage ask yourself 3 crucial questions:
1. Do I have core values for myself?
2. Do I know what Marriage is, and what it isn't?
3. Am. I. Ready?
Always remember no matter where you are in the spectrum, shaky to good, good to great ultimately we want all our marriages to be phenomenal, BUT, phenomenal marriages DON'T just happen! You have to work at it! Stay Focused!