After finally cornering catching up with my minister about his marriage preparedness kit, I figured it was time to change tactics and give him the opportunity to talk freely. As you will see, my minister can be very funny, and he brought out a lot of points that I hadn’t thought about. I feel like I got more out of him within this discussion than I ever would have just having him answer the question “What should be in your marriage preparedness kit. This is going to be extremely long, but so worth the information and the honest provided. Enjoy and comment!
Note: I did not have a tape recorder, so some parts will be […],but I take great notes and have fantastic recall for conversation, so what is presented is accurate and in context.
1. How long have you been married?
19 years on August 17th
2. How long did you know your wife before proposing?
Almost a year. I was twenty six and looking to settle down.
3. What made you certain she was the one?
Her faithfulness to the church independent of anyone else, her dress code, her honesty. I tried to intimidate her and see if she would take a stand on issues, and she stood her ground.
4.How old were you when you got engaged?
5. How long were you engaged?
Well, the wedding didn’t go off within the timeframe we originally planned. We broke up. We had conflicts over some issues and broke up. We got married 3 years later. I called her and told her I hadn’t met anyone else that I’d wanted to marry and that I wanted to pick up where we’d left off.
6. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make early on in your marriage?
Well, I’ll give you a trivial one. Wearing the ring. It was two to three years before I got used to wearing the ring. When I was in the pulpit and everywhere, I would be fiddling with it. This is actually the second one; I lost the other one. I think I may have thrown it out the car window!
Learning to talk about things before you do them, learning to talk about how I was spending money, sharing money and time. I had to get used to it being our money.
7. What is something you learned after you got married that you should have known before you got married?
You cannot get a divorce. I didn’t understand the permanency of the institution. I like to have couples I counsel write at least 10 things they dislike, see as a probable source of problems, would change if they could about their partner. Then I have them write at least 10 things they admire, that made them make the decision to marry that person, that they want them to maintain & develop. I tell them to forget the 10 things they admire and focus on the 10 they don’t. People get married for the qualities that they like and get divorced for the qualities they don’t like. They have to be able to comprehend and embrace the negative before they get married, because then there is no reason for divorce.
I wanted to get married so badly, I didn’t put any thought into what marriage was.
8. How do you go about getting to know someone? (My minister seems to have a preoccupation with denouncing dating and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships)
Dating isn’t bad but it should be between two mature people. It doesn’t matter to me who approaches who. I think that honesty is important and that each person should put their true intentions on the table–whether they are looking for someone to socialize with, if they’re looking to get married. They are both adults. Give enough information for the other person to make an informed decision.
I think in dating you should require three references, preferably from his or her previous girlfriends/boyfriends but other people in their lives as well. Know their background aand treatment of people. Interview this person. Know of their financial history, what was instilled in them about money, financial acuity.
I should have said this first, but spirituality is the number 1 criterion. Also family interaction and how they handle a crisis. Accept what you see. Know that it can be changed and modified, but you need to see it and accept it for what it is. An example of that would be Job’s wife. When he was covered boils…she told him to curse his God and die! That’s how she handled crisis! I’m not judging her, but I’m saying you need to see that type of thing before marriage.
9. What weight/importance do you give to feelings and physical attraction in choosing a mate?
Very important. It’s important that you find the person you are involved with attractive. It’s more important for him to find her physically attractive than it is for her, because men are visual creatures. People try to ignore the nature of men & women and say we are all the same, but men and women are different. For her on a scale of 1 to 10, him may have to be at least a 6; for him it’s an 8.
10. I haven’t worded this as a question, but what are your thoughts on standards, lists, and settling?
You must have some things you will not comprise on and some things that are compromisable. Some uncompromisable standards might be if someone is unfaithful during the courtship, religion, morals, values, integrity. Some trivial things “I want a certain complexion or nationality,” height, education, income. When you weigh these things against each other, you will find that the external things are on one list and the internal things are on another. Having in mind a desired lifestyle that you and your mate agree upon and having standards is good. I heard in a country music song one time (maybe fudging the reference her, I think he said country music song,) Things that will make an Eagle fly will kill a sparrow.
11. What is required, or what are the qualifications of a wife?
A woman must:
- Marry a man she believes in
- Love him, and love him enough to let go of her past–don’t bring past into relationship; she needs to be focused on her relationship and her husband.
- Be about his dream–not about her dream.
- know some things about her man and the powers in her femininity. She can not stand toe to toe with her husband arguing. She should cease to argue and wait for a better opportunity. She knows how to deal with her husband.
- Knows how to keep a house. The wife has the domestic responsibility. Her husband can help, but it’s always up to her to see that it’s done even if she doesn’t do it herself.
- Keep herself beautiful to her man. *As aforementioned men are very visual* Keep her makeup, keep her perfume, go to the gym–for her man, not for anyone else. *This is about keeping the attraction going*
- Knowledge of who her husband is
- “Y’all want me to keep it real? We all adults in this room.” Discipline her husband when it comes to the bedroom. Tell him sometimes not tonight honey. *Kids & Christmas analogy* have every argument outside of the bedroom. Keep children out of the bedroom. I told my wife “this is our love den.”
- Be his friend. Talk to him about everything. and put in parentheses “everything means EVERYTHING”). Keep a calendar and create initials for “honey I love you, I missed you, I was faithful to you today so that you can see that and make sure you express that everyday.
- Have a hobby, an outlet, or a means of relaxation.
11. (cont’d) Of a husband?
- He must be a Godly man-rooted in God
- Han a goal, an almost unattainable one. It keeps you from being bored
- Know where he is going–helps you recognize distractions.
- Have integrity for himself, wants to be faithful for himself and not just because the Bible says.
- Discipline of body & mind. He must read, have knowledge of the world around him, have a large world view.
- Direction and goals for your family
- Be a model of everthing you want to implement, lead the house in a spiritual manner.
- Romantic–not overkill. “He wants to to have some of that Pepe Le Pue in him” *LOL* Ain’t nothin’ wrong wit bringing a flower. He knows how to show affection.
- Knows how to handle money. The husband is the provider and has the financial responsibility. The wife may help him with the money and she may work, but he has to she that bills get paid.
- Knows how to step back from work and spend time with his family.
- Leader in the church in some capacity
- Have a hobby, an outlet or a means of relaxation.
Whew! That is more than enough to chew on (and comment on) for one post) I will be posting the second portion of this interview later on today (won’t make you wait to long!”