Engagement is an insane time for brides and grooms to be. There is planning for the biggest day of your life, there is enjoying events in celebration of your story, and there is preparing for a lifetime of love and service with your wife.

Yesterday, my wife shared a post filled with wisdom for brides-to-be.  It’s no secret that for the bride and the groom, this sliver of time can look vastly different. So that’s what I want to touch on today. As you prepare to become one–both separately and together–I hope you would check out my eight nuggets of wisdom for future grooms.

1. Seek to serve.

As soon as you are married, your adulting meter will go through the roof! I remember being so confused why my wife was adamant that I stay nearby two weeks before our wedding day. Needless to say, I was no longer confused after a long and stern talking too about everything that goes into the wedding preparations. Ask and notice how you can serve your lady. Seriously, set the tone in your heart and in hers that this will be a relationship lived for one another.

2. Pursue Christ first.

This is a time where grooms need to be passionately pursuing the Lord. In your 15027803_10207710425215546_3623723065941616914_npursuit of Him, pray that His love will abound all the more in the way your treat your bride-to-be. Give Him your whole heart; do not wait until you are married to be vulnerable. In His presence, we can find freedom from any doubts we may have about His plans for our lives. Pursue Him with a passion that you might better know how to passionately love your wife.

3. Be Patient.

If ever you become the brunt of wedding planning frustrations, stop. Take a deep breath, and hold it. Keep holding it. Now let it out slowly. Understand it is probably her stress. When we react harshly, we will set the tone in our future marriages that unrighteous anger is acceptable. We grow comfortable in unforgiveness and make a habit of throwing verbal daggers. Be patient at this moment, and pray that she may do the same when you are in the wrong.

4. Control your own attitude.

Do you know how many moving parts make up a wedding day? When you add all the plans that come afterward–the honeymoon, the housing, the list goes on–you can both be in a taxing environment. Be pleasant, and give her your whole heart while you are around her, neglecting to allow anything to steal your attention drastically. When your time is hers, let it be hers. Put your phone away. Forget about the stressors. Prepare for the rest of your life together in each moment you set aside for one another.

5. Spend time learning.

15078935_10207710030365675_6503276621071791071_n.jpgTrust me, marriage does not come naturally. Our human nature makes us prone to love ourselves more we can ever love another.

Find someone to sit across from week-by-week and ask questions. Let him shower you with wisdom from the marriage he has already been part of. No marriage is perfect and no marriage goes exactly as planned, but the more we know, the more we can prepare for the warfare that may come our way.

6. Pray always.

Speaking of learning from someone, sit in great lengths with your Father. He is the only one who knows what is to come. Ask Him to guide you through your struggles. Plead with Him that He might strengthen you in your weaknesses and help you lead your loved ones well. Create this habit in yourself so that it may be passed on to the family you are soon to create.

7. Be Playful

Do not forget to have some fun! Surprise her with tickets to a small venue concert. Grab donuts and meet her after work. Don’t stop dating now or you may forget to date when you’re spending day in and day out with one another.

8. Be Purposeful

Whether your engagement lasts two months or two years, you are working toward something incredible. Marriage. You have heard us say it before and you will hear us say it again: Marriage is the most sacred relationship you will ever enter.

It is hard. It will challenge you. It will sanctify you.

Don’t wait until the day after your wedding to begin planning your marriage. Begin thinking about your weaknesses now. Write them down and cover them in prayer. Consider ways you grow impatient easily. Ask your brothers to pray for you in those struggles. Whatever you do, let your excitement for becoming a husband override anything else.

This is going to be exciting. You may not love talk of flowers or guest seating, but you are setting the tone for every day to come. Love and cherish this woman you are soon to take as your person. Practice kindness. Exude peace.

Love well as you prepare to love forever. 

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