DISCLAIMER: Read the title. I do not intend this to shame or belittle anyone. If someone you know could benefit from this advice, a kind, private message will be more powerful than a public, shaming call-out. In short, any “You go, girl” comments calling others out will be deleted.
Just a few thoughts I had recently from conversations with friends. These are my opinions. While they are based on some biblical principles, this isn’t the Word of God. Just my thoughts from observation, experience, and wisdom shared by other people.
If you’re a single guy and you like a girl and are thinking about pursuing and marrying her,
DON’T talk to single women about your love life. A woman can’t teach you how to act like a man. And to get that kind of emotional intimacy and support from a woman who isn’t your wife is dishonest, cowardly, and weak.
(And they’ll probably talk about it amongst themselves. That’s not their fault alone. It’s yours for being foolish with your feelings.)
Go to other men. Real men can stand shoulder to shoulder with other men.
To any woman reading this: If a man is making you his sounding-board and it’s making you uncomfortable, then you can politely tell him to stop. If he doesn’t, feel free to put the necessary distance between you. No need to feel guilty.
DON’T just go to single people. I’m sure your friends will give you advice about many other things. But when it comes to coming to getting advice about preparing for marriage, go to people who are there or have been there. I’ve been shocked by some of the advice I’ve heard people living by, especially when it’s traced to the source which is a single person who’s never been married and speaking from theory, something I’ve been guilty of myself.
I remember my friend, JA, calling us out on some advice I gave years ago to a friend who was getting married. He told our friend, “My advice for you? Don’t listen to us. You talk to the married men and you teach us when our time comes.” Smart guy.
DO get advice from single brothers who you are accountable to. Let them tell you the honest truth about yourself. Get brothers who will tell you the harsh truth, not ones who will only soothe your ego or gladly see you on self-destructive, sinful behavior. Those kinds of brothers are rare and hard to find.
DO get advice from married couples, especially men, who can help demystify and de-complicate the process. If you don’t know people who can advise you like that, then look around! Most of the time, these couples with healthy marriages are happy to share their wisdom with younger couples. Your dates don’t need to be purely romantic (expensive) gestures, they can also be learning moments with an older couple. I know my wife and I enjoy those moments because we are happy to pass on to others what has been freely given to us as well. And we always make time for wise meetings with our mentors as well.