By Neysa Ellery Taylor
I love wedding shows. I really do. I love looking at the dresses and seeing how people illustrate their love. From Say Yes To The Dress to Four Weddings, I really enjoy watching these shows. But they are just entertainment that tell you how to prepare for a wedding. There are no shows that tell you how to be married. I think that is where we do marriages a disservice. They show the fun highlights but don’t give anyone tools to endure marriage.
“Endure” sounds so apocalyptic doesn’t it? But let’s be honest – it’s not all roses. There are wonderful highs and some amazing lows. It takes a special kind of person to be able to weather all that comes with marriage. So do you have what it takes to be a spouse?
Can you open up and share yourself with another person? Sounds minor right? But it is true. Are you able to share all of yourself with your partner? Not just your PR agent that everyone meets, but the core of who you are? The reason this is so important is how can you ever accept someone fully if they’ve never seen you fully? You can’t.
Can you pursue God’s will for your life? Are you really ready to walk into all that God has placed in you? See, God placed all that vision in your life not for your own benefit but for the benefit of the kingdom. That kingdom starts with a little village – your family. So are you ready to go get it so that the blessings will pour down on your family?
Can you say no to temptation? Do I really need to say more? But can you resist all the tail that will be thrown at you the minute you say “I do”? What? You thought the ring was a booty repellent? Puh-lease! The ring is a magnet for booty. The ring increases your net worth. The ring says that somebody in this world thinks that you are so special that you were worth putting a ring on. That alone sets you apart from the rest. So can you say “no” to that?
Can you put the good of your spouse and family before everything else (except God)? Before your boys, before the sorority, before your church commitments, sometimes before your job… Can your immediate family come first?
Ladies: Can you keep a clean house? I know that is a generalization, but really in at least 8 out of 10 households the majority of housekeeping falls on a woman’s shoulders. That doesn’t mean that the men don’t contribute, they do. But the MAJORITY of the housework will fall on you. Is your house dirty? Not cluttered. Cluttered in a nuisance but it can be picked up. Is your house nasty? Because if is nasty with you living by yourself, then it will nastier when you have a spouse and kids.
Men: Do you have maintenance skills? Yep, another generalization. But in my informal survey – which is mainly just my friends – the majority of maintenance jobs are on the husband’s plate. Can you fix an overflowing toilet? Can you paint a wall? Can you find your way around a wrench? Is the lawnmower your friend? And if you answer no to all of the above questions, do you at least have the initiative to call someone to fix a problem?
And there are many more questions: Can you keep it hot in the bedroom? Can you forgive? Can you take care of someone at their worst and cheer for someone at their best? Can you celebrate your spouse’s success without being jealous? Can you love?
Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at Myriadthatisme.blogspot.com