My priest loves to say that the future begins NOW when trying to motivate the young to become more involved in their Faith and parish. This week for the Not Alone Series we are looking at we can do to prepare for our future vocation NOW.
Most of what I do now and what I am about to suggest is targeted to a future vocation of marriage but many can be applied to any future vocation.
Most important and top of my list. I pray for and about my future vocation of marriage. I pray for my future husband, besides the millions of prayers that have been lifted up for meeting him I also pray for him. I pray for his health, his job, his character, his prayer life, his relationship with God and with others, his family, his Faith, etc. I also pray for myself.
Do It Now
All those things that you plan to do "when...", do them now where possible. If you are going to eat healthier when you have kids, read better books when you get married, ... You are not suddenly going to stop swearing in the delivery room, in fact it just may be harder to break the habit because didn't you just clean the "bleep bleep" living room, what have those kids been doing you have guests coming over in 10 minutes and it looks like "bleep bleep bleep".
There are great books out there not just for marriage preparation but you preparation. Books that empower, encourage, educate, inspire. There are many things that you cannot learn from a book but a book can turn your mind on and have you thinking what you never have thought of as well as expand on what you already did. "The Five Love Languages" "How To Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul" "Fill These Hearts" "The Life God Wants You To Have" "How To Find True Love"
Make Great Friends
A couple years ago someone told me that while I was waiting to me my groom and should work on meeting my bridesmaids. Those great friends who will pray with you and for you, laugh with you but never at you, cry with but won't make you cry. The friends who will risk your friendship to tell you a hard truth. The kind who are a bad influence on your kids in the best possible way. The ones who will never bad talk you husband even if you said it first, they will sit, listen, probably bring the wine and if need be utter a few words of encouragement and support. They are the friends who will send the world's biggest bear for your first child, say congratulations when you announce you are pregnant with the sixth (even while everyone is asking if you never heard of birth control) and remind you what a blessing #7 who is going to be born before #6 is 1 although you were trying to avoid is without even having to say the words.
Don't Date Jerks
If he spits, sniffs, scratches and swears, you know you could never marry him then do NOT date him. If you think you can change him, he is just misunderstood or no one understands him like you do... you probably can't, he most likely isn't and I'm pretty sure you don't, time to move on.
Become The Person You Want To Marry
If you want to marry a devout, Catholic man, then become a devout, Catholic woman. While considering what you want your future husband to bring to the altar you need to ensure your basket is just as attractive.
Pay Down, Get Out of Debt, Avoid Getting Into Debt
If you have a huge debt try your best to pay it down or eliminate it altogether. If you have no debt avoid getting into any unnecessary debt. The huge unexpected medical bills are unavoidable but that flat screen t.v probably could have waited.
Have an Idea of What You Want
If you want to be a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, a home-schooler, have ten kids then have cultivates these ideas and why. Compromise will be the order of the day when you actually meet Mr Wonderful but these won't just be random ideas floating around in your mind, these will be solid opinions and it is so much easier to have a rational conversation when you know what you are talking about.
Spend Time With Your Married Friends
Seeing is believing. While trying to gawk as if you are watching wild animals in their natural habit or the zoo, gently observe your happily married friends. Marriage is not all bliss but when you listen to and watch those couples who work at their marriage you just may be able to take away something that you can use for yourself. Everyone is different, every marriage is different, every relationship is different so don't try to copy verbatim. Happily married friends are also great for vetting, encouragement and support.
Don't forget to check out the bloggers linking up this week, Jen is hosting the link up.