“Oh, they say when you marry in June you’re a bride all your life,
and the bridegroom who marries in June gets a sweet-heart for a wife."
- “June Bride” from the movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
Historically, in American culture, June has been the most popular month for weddings; perhaps because the month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. During the Renaissance times, people took annual baths (yeah gross) which usually fell in late May or June, solidifying the traditional belief that June brides still smelled relatively fresh. And just to be safe, brides began to carry a bouquet of flowers to hide their body odor. Hence the custom of carrying a bouquet when walking down the aisle! (More info found at the Public Library).
In modern times, we also go through great lengths and extra efforts in order to prepare ourselves for our BIG DAY! Diets, classes, food tasting, counseling, traveling to the ends of the earth for that perfect dress... There is much preparation to be done. Why? Because we want our day to be special and we want our pictures and memories to look good! Though these ideals are commendable, I wonder, however, do you think we might be putting too much emphasis on preparing for weddings and not for marriage?
Whatever our concerns - either the year, the date or the man- there are more vital preparations we must consider before walking down the isle... in June or any other month.
1. How’s My Prayer Life?
Look, if you're going to be married, you need access to spiritual help, 24-7. I'm not saying this to be a downer or to sound negative, but marriage doesn't come with a hand book. Life doesn't come with a hand book, and please believe me when I say this: Marriage is not an extension of dating! I feel like I've said that before, so if you weren't paying attention in past posts, please make note of this now. Marriage is a life, a mission and a ministry and you cannot depend on yourself to navigate through terrain that you did not create.
Marriage is an existence that comes directly from the heart of God
(Mark 10:9). He was pleased to create it and He is pleased to bestow such a blessing and gift to us, so we need to be pleased to include Him in on it. Look, there will be things about yourself that surface only once you are married: things that will shock and surprise you! There will be things about your Hubbs, as well, that the two of you will have to accept and grow from, where in dating, it wasn't an issue because it wasn't revealed.
I remember a conversation my brother and I had after his marriage, 2 years ago. He told me, "Trina, I kind-a thought being a good boyfriend would make me a good husband, but I'm seeing things in me I didn't know about before. It's making me go to God more because I want to grow from these weak areas".
I was definitely able to relate to him. Once I got married, I realized that maybe what was masked as "strong willed" was actually pride I never knew I had. Our first year of marriage was a breeze, but by the end of year two, I began to see that I was immature in a lot of areas. I started questioning my reactions to certain things: what is making me so stubborn all of a sudden? Why am I having such a hard time listening to Jarrett when I'm not in agreement with him? Why am I so annoyed when he asks me to work in the other room when he's trying to sleep? What is it that's making me dig my heels in, even though I claim to trust his vision?
I was so easy-going in dating... maybe because we both went to separate homes at the end of the night. But sharing an existence with someone can be challenging and these challenges have a way of surfacing character flaws in us and require prayer for correction, growth and strength.
Do you have a prayer life? Do you know how to seek God for yourself and for others? We don’t have to be ashamed or feel guilty or be in trouble to pray. We can speak our hearts, with full assurance that Jesus hears us and that He desires to make us more mature so that our relationship will become more mature. Owning our weaknesses to ourselves, instead of excusing them or ignoring them, helps to motivate our prayer life by seeking God to strengthen us and teach us. Honesty must always begin with us. It