As a single woman, you can prepare now for your marriage in ways you may not realize.
Years before I met my husband, I was talking to one of my guy friends about marriage. “I’m trying to use this time to prepare for being wife one day,” I told him. “I’m trying to build skills like cooking, cleaning, managing a budget – all the stuff I’ll need at that point.”
“Those are good things,” He agreed. “But they aren’t the most important things you’ll need for marriage. Godly guys don’t need a cook and a maid; they want a woman who has the heart of a good wife… the right attitude.”
I never forgot that conversation. Usually, a discussion of future wifehood boils down to the practical skills we’ll use to “bless” our husbands. While my husband has been blessed by my cooking and home management skills, he is far more influenced by my worldview, heart, and spirit than by anything my hands produce.
Proverbs 31:12 says,
“She [the wife] does her husband good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
That includes before she meets him! A godly wife does her husband good by faithfully guarding God’s investment in her – and producing “no lack of gain” (31:11). But is this gain merely material? I don’t think so. It’s wise to prepare for marriage during your single season. But this preparation may look very different than you expect!
It’s Not About Cooking and Cleaning
Your single season is an excellent time to learn practical skills. Skills like money management, cooking, and housekeeping are universally necessary. They aren’t just “wife tasks”, but can be used to bless your college roommate, friends, family, and church. They certainly play a role in blessing our future families, but being a good cook isn’t necessary for a successful marriage. So what is?
Like my guy friend said, it’s your attitude that matters most. The spirit you bring to marriage – a spirit groomed and trained in singleness – is the most influential factor on your future union. If you keep a perfect house but allow anger to dictate your relationships, your future marriage will struggle. If you cook a gorgeous five-course meal but live in perpetual insecurity, you will find it difficult to accept your husband’s love. If you are great with kids but never communicate your real thoughts and feelings, you will push your future husband away.
Preparing for marriage is not about cooking and cleaning. It’s about the content of our hearts.
Singleness is Your Training Ground
C.S. Lewis famously said, “If you think of this world as a place simply intended for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place for training and correction, and it’s not so bad.” I’d narrow this even further: if you think of your singleness as a place intended for your happiness, you will find it intolerable! But if you see this season for what it is – preparation for the challenges ahead – you will rise to the challenge and learn as much as possible.
On my own blog, I often write about the transition from singleness to early marriage. One thing I consistently remind my readers of is this: You do not know what your future marriage will demand from you, so make the most of this time. I spent most of my single years working and in college. It was difficult to juggle those schedules, manage my time, AND make time to know God.
But once married, I realized how important all three of those things really are! The first year of our marriage, Josh and I were separated by work for a total of six months. Since then, we’ve spent several months apart each year for business. My singleness taught me how to lean on the Lord in lonely seasons, manage my time, and make the most of an inconsistent schedule – all things I need for my particular marriage to a particular man.
God knows what your future marriage (and life in general) will demand from you. He is giving you opportunities each day to prepare you for what lies ahead. But if you try to rush through this season and ignore the training He offers, you will come to marriage ill-prepared for its demands.
Bless Your Husband by Pursuing Christ
There are many ways you’ll learn to bless your husband once you meet him, but there is one thing you can do that will bless him most of all – and you can start it right now!
Good wives bless their husbands most by pursuing Christ. The depth of your walk with the Lord is the single most important thing you can do to prepare for marriage. That “attitude” my guy friend talked about? That won’t come naturally apart from the Spirit of God. It is His transforming work in our hearts that gives us the ability to be the best wives we can be. This transformation won’t be overnight; it’s a process of sanctification as we walk daily with the Lord. By making a habit of drawing near to God in your singleness, you’re laying the groundwork for your future relationship.
It’s still good to learn to cook, clean, manage time and money. But do these things out of a desire to honor God and be used by Him. Let this season transform you and live with eternal perspective. As you allow your singleness to complete its full work in your heart, you’ll find yourself well prepared for the marriage God has in store – even if you occasionally burn dinner.
Are you a single woman who desires to live this season to the fullest? Phylicia’s 12-part ebook Fruitful: A Year Long Guide to an Abundant Single Season was written just for you! Learn more about it here.
Phylicia Masonheimer is an author, speaker, and founder of Driven Women. She teaches strong-hearted women how to follow Christ’s call in work, home, and the world. She writes about the Bible, productivity, and sexuality on her website, and her book on biblical sex can be found here: Christian Cosmo: The Sex Talk You Never Had. She lives with her husband and daughters in northern Michigan.