Monday, October 1, 2012

"How To Prepare for Marriage"

                          (flirting with my hubby! :) We hosted an event a couple weekends ago in AL)

Ok, so you may see the title and think in your head-- YES! I'm about to get WORKING on this list of HOW I can prepare for marriage. I think as Christians, we can be SO .. works minded. We just say, "give me this list & I'm going to do it & I'm going to be prepared for marriage." Although I am going to give you some practical TIPS, nothing can prepare you MORE for marriage than the Holy Spirit who guides your life. Granted, reading books, studying, praying for your one-day spouse are all GREAT things. I am not saying don't get knowledge-- but the MORE you know-- the more accountable you will be to that information. 

Even if you do all of these things to prepare for marriage I want you to know that in marriage.. you will have your bad days. You will have days where you don't feel good and you don't feel like cooking or cleaning. You will have days where you want to quit your job. You will have days where your spouse is driving you up the wall. You will have days where you feel lonely. You will have days where you feel broken. You will have days where you don't want to be bothered. A list of top ten whatever will be thrown out the window. You will know what to do, but you still won't do it because of pride, hurt or whatever else. 

Marriage is beautiful. It really is. But if you're a train-wreck as a single, reading a page long blog sure won't make your marriage work. The only One that can fix what is going on in your heart is CHRIST alone. If you're bitter at every person that is getting married, having kids or getting a promotion then not even a marriage is going to make it better. A marriage will only reveal more of your heart and include someone else into your life. If you marry a man that doesn't understand your past or that he is supposed to LEAD you & go into your heart & pluck out the wrong areas and lead you toward's healing & Christ-- you'll marry a man that gets MAD at your past. He won't know how to deal with it. He'll stay frustrated, so will you. You won't submit. He won't die to himself. Thus, why the divorce rate for Christians is at 50%.



I'm not one for formulas. I believe God is very creative but I believe examples encourage us & remind us to trust God. 

You finally recognize that no man can fill your little voids. As soon as you decide to cut off all men that distract you.. then, 10 more try to date you. You continue to take the steps needed because you KNOW that it's not your time for a relationship. A mature woman knows that if she gets into a relationship right now-- that she will MESS up somebody's life. So she cuts out all of the idols. She gets quiet before God. She spends time with God daily & gets into that secret place. She knows that it's not enough to say "I pray throughout the day & spend time with God that way--I don't have set aside time."--she has both. She understands that talking to God throughout the day is BIRTHED from that secret PLACE. She continues to stay on her face before God before she heads off to to work & throughout her day. Her friends get married around her & she's so excited for THEM because her contentment comes from that secret place of quiet time with God & not some external circumstance. She doesn't compare her life to others. She is continually pursued by men-- I mean GOOD men. Christian lawyers.. doctors whoever else. But still..she's not attracted to them. She doesn't have peace about pursing a relationship with those guys. So she stays quiet before God. Time continues to pass & she continues to stay consistent in her relationship with God. She knows what God called her to do & she don't wavier from it. The holidays roll around and you're sitting at home alone with your family. Your family is on you about your clock ticking & being single. You smile & remind them that God's timing is perfect as His peace overwhelms your heart. The jabs about your single life.. no longer bother you. You long for that secret place to spend time with God away from humans.. because there's nothing like Him. So you pull away from your family & find a quiet room. You sit before God and tell him that you would rather be single for the NEXT 10 years then to date another random. 

10 days later you meet your husband and you recognize him within 10 minutes. 

This was my story. I believe that I best prepared for marriage by taking my eyes off of marriage & putting my eyes on Christ. I used my example because I saw a shift in my life where my heart went from getting the attention of some little boy to sitting at the feet of Jesus. Regardless of how long you wait for you husband I want to encourage you to STOP waiting. Lets look at the definition of waiting:

wait·ing  (w'tng)
n.
1. The act of remaining inactive or stationary.
2. A period of time spent waiting.


So if we're looking at the definition it tells me that its a period of being inactive or stationary. YOU should NEVER be inactive in your walk with God. We should always be moving forward in a direction of RUNNING towards HIM. If single or married-- one thing should be consistent and that is your walk with God. It shouldn't change. So if you're sitting around--just a-waiting for your one-day husband; you may wait a long time. Don't you get a little impatient as you wait at the doctors office and you're just sitting in this little room and it takes FOREVER for the doctor to finally see you? You're thinking.. you just wasted an hour of my life that I cannot get back. Then, imagine hanging with your best friend in the world! You only have an hour lunch & you're just chatting and then you look up and it's been one hour. You say "Gosh, time flew by!!" Do you see the difference? YOU STOPPED WAITING. You didn't look at the clock. You didn't compare your life to others. You were having a blast by hanging out with your best friend. THIS is how it should be with God. We should be so enjoying Him and His presence then we look up and say-- gosh, God. Time FLEW by! Now, you presented your best to me. This is so cool! I wasn't even sweating anyone & you totally hooked me up! Thanks Jesus! You're like amazing! :) 
Ok, now that we have the basics DOWN pat-- I can give you some basic 101. I like practical tips because I believe that as women-- we should bring more to the table of a marriage then some eye liner and lipstick. 

1. Take a cooking class. And not just some southern fried chicken class. You don't need to assist in pumping your family with unhealthy foods & aiding in a shorter life span. Take a HEALTHY eating cooking class. Introduce healthier lifestyles into your families life. My husband didn't want a southern woman that only cooked friend chicken and grits. He wanted a woman that would cook healthy & show him a different lifestyle of eating. When I was single, I would cook meals for my roommate. It's a good test to have a close friend who can be honest about your foods to help you to grow. In addition to that-- check out the raw food diet & get books on it. Do cleanses. Be intentional about learning. 

2. Develop some fruit of the spirit. Are you loving, kind, patient? Use the tests and trials that come from your job, your family and other life situations to develop you. You should have some fruit on your tree. You're going to need that patience in a marriage. 

3. Stop dumping every friend that makes you mad. Now, I'm not saying that everybody should be in your life but I am saying that we get rid of people so quickly without even DEVELOPING those friendships. Are you the type of person that gets scared of a commitment of a friendship or anyone getting close to you in fear of getting hurt? Face that fear with the Holy Spirit. He has not given you the spirit of fear-- but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) The more you dump every friendship and every family member that rubs you the wrong way-- the more conflict you will have in marriage. You must learn to develop relationally. If you practice dumping every person when you get married, you will only continue the divorce you practiced. Let God lead you in your relationships. It cannot possibly be everybody else-- YOU may have a part to play in that and you may be running from a really great friendship. 

4. Clean your house. Honestly, I'm still working on this area. I NEVER had to clean up after myself thanks to my mother :). But no excuses-- I've learned to clean up as I go and to pick up after myself. Depending on if your hubby is a neat freak or not-- it will help if you practice being organized. 

5. Pay your bills on TIME. When two people get married-- you both take on each others debt. You become ONE. Your money is she money. She money is he money. So don't bring 500,000 of debt in credit cards. Discipline yourself & buy what you NEED. Plus, what if you want to purchase a house.. or a car & you want to take out a loan and they need both of your credit background?

6. BOOKS! I recommend reading about marriage. If someone has been there & done that and is a successful in their marriage-- why wouldn't we pull from their experience? My husband wrote a book called "So, you want to be married?"-- you can check it out here: www.SoYouWantToBeMarried.com and if you want it on kindle, go to amazon & type in "Cornelius Lindsey." God has so many avenues that He uses to help us along the way. We get a ton of feedback from people and they say "I wish someone told me this when I was single"-- I'm we're like-- we tried to tell you! You just didn't listen! lol 

7. A life. I know you're thinking-- a life? Yeah, a life. Figure out what God called you to do. Inside of you is so many gifts and talents. I was in grad school when I met my husband, working on wall street, writing a book, working with a ton of young girls--mentoring, teamed up with ACS--and I mentored displaced young girls that had family struggles, I was involved in 5 ministries at my church and I traveled all over. When you get married, you don't want to sit around and just watch your husband. YES we make him our priority and all that good stuff but get busy about what God has called YOU to do and make sure whatever it is' doesn't distract you from your priority which is God and your husband. 

8. Work out! If you worked out single, why wouldn't you work out married? Let's make sure we stay in shape and create habits of staying healthy in every way! Find a gym, go to a track-- include working out into your daily regimen! I always say that the external man is NO WHERE as near as important as the internal man.. but if you walk around in sweatpants with your hair wrapped up and some flip flops all day.. you have to remember that a man is VISUAL. So look good for YOU. Get up, do your hair, put on some bronzer & lip gloss. Look cute for you & your husband, Jesus. :)

9. Wisdom with spending! Ladies-- you don't have to pay full price for everything! You can even make some DIY things for your home to make it more comfy! Check out vintage thrift stores, Ebay, Pintrest and other avenues to be more creative if you lack in these areas! You may say that you don't  have the time or energy but again-- even in my own marriage- I see my husband may think he has to pay full price for something and with a little research online, I was able to save him 50%! 

10. Spending time with God daily. THIS is the most important one. Period. Create a habit of spending time aside from everyone and everything. You are going to NEED it in your one-day marriage. Trust me. God knows your husband and he can give you the hook-up on how he works! Even as a single, you can be praying for your one-day husband that he has a heart that's turned towards God. Again, don't make it your FOCUS-- include it in your prayers in general. 

Ok, that's it for now. I am praying for you who desire to be married. Today, we learned that sitting at the feet of Jesus is where we prepare for not only marriage-- but every area of our life. Let's keep our focus on Him & not a human. 

Andddd I have an announcement. As most of you may or may not know-- we are expecting a Baby Lindsey!! :) We're SO excited to announce that we will meet baby Lindsey in March 2013! We're OVERJOYED at the idea of being parents & pouring into our very own. I will blog more about motherhood and what I learned-- and I'm writing a book for you soon-to-be mothers! :)

4 Months Pregnant! :) 

Don't forget!
If you want some cute Pinky Promise jewelry, shirts, or journals go here:

If you want to sign up for a local Pinky Promise Group in your area-- go here! There's about 5300 girls in groups all over the world! Pretty awesome! Go here: 

If you want to sign up for the Pinky Promise Conference in Atlanta--I would LOVE to see you! More details are here: 

God loves you like crazy,

Heather Lindsey 



















(Me & my fine hubby!)

28 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post!!! Checked me on a couple of things, but that was needed! Lol! Glory to God for pouring into you as you pour into us Mrs. Lindsey! Love you!

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  2. This really touched my heart! I have been struggling with #3 and you have seemed to sum up what God has been trying to show me. I must learn how to maintain relationships, even when I disagree or don't like what another person has done to me. Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences with us, Heather!

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  3. WOW! Ironically, God has called me to do the very things that you are talking about! My main focus is to just sit at His feet. Everything else will be added in due time. Trust in God means trust in His timing! :)

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  4. This was such an amazing blog!I pray for my Adam everyday but I never think about what am I doing to prepare for him too much. This put a lot in perspective. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. God really started working on my heart more than a year ago on this very subject (namely, the fruits of the Spirit). I don't have a lot of men approaching me..well, actually none, but developing all of these points helps us become a better person overall. Kind of a win-win in a way, because I want to be a great person after God's own heart for my friends and family too.

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  6. This was good! I had been "slacking off" lately and I needed this! One of the most important things that you addressed that I LOVED was about "getting a life." I learned about that a couple years back. I realized now I really need to get active in what God called me to do.

    thanks so much love
    and yay for Baby Lindsey bday in March! I am a March baby!

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  7. Great blog. I think that sometimes as women our want for a mate and to be married take up too much of our focus. Marriage won't fill a void. A wedding is not a marriage. We can't value becoming a bride to some man more than learning, wanting, and knowing what it is to become the bride of Christ.

    Ladies, believe me Heather is right. Once you get so into God, you don't even think about marriage anymore. Being single doesn't bother you because you're so invested in God. That's how I am now and people don't understand it. If God wants me to be married one day then I will be. If God wants me to be single, then I will be single. Either way I'm totally grateful.

    God knows you better than you know YOU. Let him continue to work on you. Let Him continue to sow wisdom into and one day you will reap the benefits.

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  8. Heather, I'm going to need you to stop reading my journal! Lol but seriously Sis this was amazing and so on point with what God and I were talking about. As always your encouragement is a breath of fresh air! Ummm but yeah why you got to call me out on cleaning my house though...haha You are a blessing and YAYYYYY Baby Lindsey!!!!!

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  9. Thanks Ms. Lindsey...i bought your husband's book so i am definitely taking inventory of myself, and doing my best to lay at his feet at all times.

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  10. Reading this list really convicts me, especially on the cooking lessons, exercise, and diet. I definitely need to work on being healthier, not only for me, but for my future husband. Congratulations on Baby Lindsey!

    http://myromancewithreading.blogspot.com

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  11. this post was a blessing. thank you!
    http://www.milasmonster.blogspot.com

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  12. Congratulations on the baby! Wishing you nothing but the best as you embark on the journey of motherhood and building a family.

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  13. hey heather, thank you for another great post. As usual, you really challenge the way I think about relationships and always bring me back to the way God intends for us single ladies to really trust in him and pour ourselves into him and he's promised to honour our faithfulness. I always have a blast reading your post but have not been able to find other similar blogs on the net that hit the spot like yours. Are there other blogs you enjoy reading that focus on the christian perspective to relationships? I spend a lot of time on the net reading loads of finance and design blogs but it it would be so great to find other sources of information about the spiritual approach to relationships. thanks much and all the best with the pregnancy.

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  14. Glad I found your blog, these words couldn't be more true. Congratulations on your newest blessing as well!


    http://www.BuyatCrown.com

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  15. Thank you Heather for this, just want i needed to hear.I need you say on this matter, sorry its a bit long.

    Been believing God for a godly husband and there has been men coming but most have not be born again Christians so turned them down. Recently,two in particular showed up at different times saying that they would want to start a relationship with me to end in marriage. one of guys was my class mate in college, known him for about 7years though most of that time our interaction has been through phone calls and emails as we live far apart but i can say he has been a good friend. I look to him as a brother to me. from nowhere he is telling me that we've known each other for years he wants us to start a relationship which would end up in marriage. he is a christian and kind, but i haven't interacted with him in close proximity in years. for me i do not feel it in my heart-am kind of indifferent because to me he is more like a brother to me,kind of not attracted to him . I told him that i should pray about it and seek God's guidance. his response was ' but you can tell God what you want, you and i know each other from long ago lets give it a try'. i decided to fast and pray about it. but as i was doing so the direction of the fast changed. got conviction that i should become a 'living sacrifice'. so i changed the direction of my fast and started to just repent and surrender to God. realized that i should seek God not for what he can give me but to have HIM knit my relationship with Him, and to have God's love in me and let God work in me.

    During my fast, which i haven't yet finished another man from my work place,who is overseas for studies called me talking of marriage. But he is a christian but drinks... i didnt give him a concrete answer but his calling me etc saying he wants us to date and then marry.

    for me am not really drawn to either,do not have a feelings for them. is this normal? so far i think God has answered my prayer by showing me in various ways--mostly other people to focus on him to mold my relationship with Him. what would your advise be in relation t these 2 men?

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  16. Hi Heather,
    Its always nice reading your wake up call blogs (post). Congrats again and blessings to you and Cornelius with your new bundle of joy to soon come. Yeaaaa :)
    Thanks for always lifting us up. God bless.

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  17. Lindsey, you hit the hammer right on the nail. We must be so consumed with God, and I have seen this in a church where I was at, the most consumed people, God brought them their mate, while they were consummed. Proof that if we seek First the kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness, that all things will be given to us. There is a vaccum sized hole in us, and that can only be filled with God, if we try to subsitute, anything else, in there, it will leave us only feeling empty wanting more. Lindsey, you have really been a blessing to me. Such a sweet fragrance of Christ, Jesus is using both, you and your husband to touch the world for Christ, I am so blessed and it encourages me in my walk to seek Christ all the more, not for the gifts, but because He is truly amazing!

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  18. This was wonderful to read! I appreciate you including Practical tips...I gotta do better with cleaning the house and cooking healthy lol! But it's a start! God Bless you and your family!

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  19. Congratulations on your family asdition! You are a joy and I love you so muh without ever even have meeting you! I thank God for your obedience and for using you in my life:)

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  20. Mrs Heather Lindsey, God bless you for sharing these 10 points. I'm a Nigerian and a big fan of yours. Been guilty of healthy living and lifestyle in general and i need to improve on that. My walk with God has off and on like am backsliding but with your post, i'm more encouraged that i can do more.
    Congrats to u and your hubby as u expect an addition to your family in march 2013.

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  21. Cute picture! I think you look a little bit like rihanna on this picture! Really beautiful!

    Hope you visit me on my blog
    fashionobsession-mieni.com

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  22. Hello Sister in Christ,
    I thank you for the way God is using you, and how you have allowed him to use you!

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  23. I've been waiting for this one! Thanks sis, again so much Godly wisdom and insight!

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  24. baby lindsey can't wait to experience what he/she is bringing into this world. but im sure it would definately blow the minds of the people of his/her generation. like his mom and dad our doing to us now with these wise words. ( is cornelius blogging for us guys? )or are we left out to figure things out as usual.

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  25. Rikeshia Precious BaxterMarch 26, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Beautiful!!!God is very loving and kind!

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  26. Some great practical tips. Thanks girl!

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