7 Things I Wish I Had Done Before I Got Married
I know I do. I would do a lot of things differently.
I wasn’t saved until age 24 (you can read my testimony here), and so many of my regrets stem from a life lived for self-glory instead of God’s glory.
Sometimes, I wish I could have a little sit-down with my pre-married self. As I reflect back over my years as a single woman, there are several things I wish I had done before I got married. Some of them I knew then, but some of them I didn’t.
Today I want to share with you what I would have done more (or less) of as a single woman, if I had only taken a moment to consider my life in ten years, to consider my life in light of eternity.
I’m going to get a little vulnerable here. And quite frankly, I’m a bit nervous. This post has sat in my drafts for two years … Nevertheless, here is what I would have told my pre-married self.
7 Things I Wish I Had Done Before I Got Married
Learned to live on a budget
I will never forget the first time my husband and I sat down to talk about money. We had only just begun to date, but in one night, we discussed how many kids we wanted, when we wanted to have them, and how we’d live on a budget.
As we sat around his hand me down table in a run down old house, the “B” word was brought up.
My finances were laid bare, and after several moments of quiet, Mark gently insisted that I begin to live on a budget now.
Is this guy serious? Thankfully, I wanted to please him (and I knew he was right…).
Living on a budget was so hard! I wish I had started living on a budget sooner.
Developed a daily habit of meeting with the Lord.
Now that I am a mom of a toddler and baby, I think of those single years with frustration.
- The time I had to spend with the Lord without distraction.
- The time I had to memorize scripture during those years.
I wish I had stored up the word in my heart when I didn’t have children and husband to care for.
I recall mornings of rolling out of bed five minutes before having to be out the door because I was too lazy to get up. I wish I had worried less about my beauty rest and more about my relationship with the Lord when I could do it without interruption.
Now I beg for just five minutes.
Focused less on my social life and more on my service life.
Every Friday night, I awaited the call from friends to tell me where we were heading that night.
- What if I had asked a married friend if I could take their children for the evening so they could have the night out?
- What if I had taken time to volunteer at the homeless shelter on Saturday morning instead of wasting those years nursing a hangover?
If I had it to do over, I would focus far less on my social life and more on my service life.
Spent more time with other mothers.
Gosh, I was clueless about motherhood when I became pregnant with my first. I still am in a lot of ways.
I wish I had spent more time getting to know other moms and learning from them how to manage a home smeared in peanut butter fingerprints and smelly diapers.
Opened my home for hospitality.
As a single woman, I squandered the gift of hospitality. My home was a bombshell of chaos.
I didn’t learn to care for my home during those years let alone open it to others.
But what a blessing it would have been to invite other singles over for dinner or for game nights.
I could have invited neighbors from my apartment building over for pancake breakfasts, or had another family over for an evening of food and fun.
I wish I had opened my home for hospitality more.
Spent less time praying for a mate and more time praying for my mate.
Oh the pleading prayers that so often met my bedroom ceiling. Dear God, will you ever give me the man of my prayers?
I wish I had spent less time begging for God to meet my needs and fill my void, and more time praying for Mark.
I didn’t need to know his name or face to pray for him.
Oh, dating. If I had it to do over, I would only have accepted the hand of Mark. I wish I had guarded my heart with greater tenacity.
There you have it. Seven things I would have done differently!
Though we cannot get back one second of our lives, we can move forward in grace, trusting that God is sovereign over all. The years I wasted only give me greater motivation to live intentionally now! I want my life to be a life of obedience and a picture of redemption.
If I could go back 40 years (!) I would go through emotional healing then so I could have reaped the benefits of it through all these years of marriage.
I can agree with all of these. Wish I would have spent less time with friends and more time at home with God, family, and homework. 🙂 And planning for the future. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated college 2 years ago, so I often wish I would have realized then that I wanted to be a Christian writer, so I could have started sooner . . . But aw, well. I’ve learned firsthand God’s gracious perseverance and patience with me through it all. 🙂
This is a great list! I am curious as to why you say you wouldn’t have dated? I feel like dating was one of the healthier things I did.
This answer could take me days and should involve coffee while we sit across from one another chatting like friends. This is a sensitive issue for many. I don’t think that my opinions and experience are for everyone. Let me say that at the outset. But as I’ve grown older, as I reflect back, I see that I gave my heart away before it was time. I ignited passions before it was time. I divided my heart between God and “man” before it was time. I personally was consumed with many worldly things during this time, and boyfriends were just one of the cultural things that was expected and what everyone else did. I didn’t prayerfully consider dating. I didn’t consider the effects of dating. I wish my heart had been kept for my husband and my husband alone. Do I think dating can be done well? Yes. Sort of. Do I think I think it’s worth it? I just don’t. With dating comes temptations and those temptations can certainly grow us, but in other ways I wonder if my time couldn’t have been better spent doing other things. This is the WAY TOO SHORT answer, and it doesn’t do justice my answer. Not in the slightest. But it’s a start, and hopefully when you read it, you can get an idea of why I wish I hadn’t dated. However, i don’t think this is a prescription for everyone. We are all created differently. I just think for me that God would have been much more glorified if I had spent time on other things instead of igniting and dividing my passions before it was time.
I totally get that. I think dating is also defined differently by different people and that makes it even trickier. While everyone has different paths, Song of Solomon is specific about not awakening love before it’s ready. Thanks for the reply!
I have a hard time letting go and telling the whole story on my blog, but what I’m learning from your blog is that God works the most beautiful art with our brokenness and mistakes. Thank you for sharing these so that single women (like me) can make better use of their time. Thank you for your honesty. It is truly beautiful.
The one thing I wish I would have done was put myself in the position to where when i met my husband, I was where i needed to be to add to him as his helper and not take away. I was just getting to the point where I felt like my children and i were getting a fresh new start. I was a single mom. Had my first child at 16. When I met my husband I was 27-28. I just wish I would have given God time to do His work on me as an individual before my husband came along.