By Chris Cartwright, Contributing Writer
“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!” This is a phrase which all of us have said many times before. There are times in our lives when the stage where God has us seems to require so much focus and energy, that thinking about preparing for something else just seems to overwhelming.
While there are many “bridges” in life which we can indeed cross when we get to them, there are some areas however where it is very wise to begin developing a strategy to cross before we actually arrive there. Lets take a look at Proverbs 6:6-8:
“Go to the Ant o Sluggard, consider her ways and be wise, which having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest.”
Solomon shows us in this passage that God gives us the ant as an example from which we can learn a great deal. First, the ant has discipline in that she has no ruler, yet she still is diligent nonetheless. Also, even though there is food in abundance during the summer and harvest, she still prepares for a future time…winter, when there will be no food.
5 Ways to Prepare to be a Husband
Just as in many other areas in life, it is so important for a young man to prepare himself to be a godly husband. While this cannot happen without God being the one to shape us and mold us into the husband that we ought to be, still, it will not happen without a decided effort on our part. Here are just a few areas which we can prepare in.
When it comes to becoming a godly husband or father, it is absolutely critical that we as men develop character and integrity in our lives. But this seems so broad! I mean, where on earth do we begin? Is there a passage or 2 which deal with developing character as a man?
Actually there is! in fact we might even call it the “Proverbs 31″ for men! To read more about this passage, you can click “here”.
When it comes to leadership within that home, scripture clearly shows that it is the man’s responsibility to lead his family spiritually. So how can a single man work on this if he is not married? Well, if a man wants to lead own family, he must learn how to lead himself.
You can read more about this here. Becoming a godly man who is rooted and grounded in God’s Word and in prayer is vital to being a godly leader within the home. A single man can also be looking for leadership opportunities in various areas which can help him to grow in leadership overall.
With marriage and family there comes a whole new level of responsibility which a man needs to take on which he does not have on his shoulders before. Unfortunately many times this new level of responsibility can be very overwhelming for a young man because in our culture, the many young men live lives filled with countless hours of TV, video games, sports and other hobbles rather than work, and other responsibilities.
Hobbies in themselves are not wrong, but they should be in moderation. One way in which a young man can prepare himself for the increased responsibility of marriage is to take on more responsibilities before hand. Work, mentoring, local church ministry, are just some of the many responsibilities that a young man can take upon himself even before he is married.
Here is a big one. Scripture makes it clear that it is the husband’s responsibility to provide financially for his family. 1 Timothy 5:8 says:
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Wow! One who does not provide for his own household is denying the faith by his actions!
This is why it is so important that a man have a good understanding of how to handle money. Financial decisions made prior to marriage can and many times do have a negative lasting effect throughout the marriage. Making purchases on a credit card because you can’t afford to buy them with cash, racking up college debt, making car payments instead of purchasing a used car with cash, impulse buying, not budgeting, not saving, and going into other forms of debt are all signs of financial irresponsibility which all have the potential to create tremendous strain on a marriage.
So as an unmarried man, learn how to give, make a written budget for every paycheck. Learn how to distinguish between wants and needs. Pay cash for a used car in stead of going into debt on a nicer car. Save up an emergency fund for when emergencies happen. Avoid debt as much as possible. Start saving into a retirement account. These are all ways in which we as men can grow to be financially responsible before we are married.
Finally, it is absolutely critical that we as younger men learn from older, godly men about how to become good husbands and fathers. Scripture is clear on how important mentoring is in the Christian life. 2 Timothy 2:2, Psalm 145:4, Proverbs 9:9 and the first part of Titus 2 all attest to this.
When it comes to marriage, other men have been there before. They have dealt with un-met expectations, they have learned to work through conflict, and they have gained a broader theological and practical understanding of what it means to love their wives as Christ Loved the Church. If you see a godly husband who you want to emulate, spend time with him – learn from him!
While this post deals more so with preparing to be a husband, obviously the same is true for young ladies who are single. Preparing for marriage should never begin at engagement or the alter. It should begin long before that. While I did cover most of the main areas in which it is important to prepare for marriage beforehand, obviously this is not an exhaustive list.
What are some additional ways in which we single men can better prepare for marriage? Please feel free to leave a comment sharing your thoughts!