A few months into our marriage, it dawned on me: I was unprepared, as though I had studied for the wrong exam. Before our wedding, I had thought daily devotions, church and small group, and premarital counseling would sufficiently prepare me to be a godly husband. They did not.
After a short season of bliss, we began to struggle and argue. So much, in fact, that our counselor literally sat between us and warned us we were in danger of fulfilling Galatians 5:15: “If you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”
My lack of preparation showed up in other ways too. I didn’t understand how to lead my wife spiritually, bring up hard conversations, or help us reconcile after an argument. My status as a seminary student and pastoral intern added layers of shame. Worst of all, I had no idea how to make our marriage better.
I now know that we were not alone in our experience. My wife and I have walked with many Christian women who are deeply frustrated by the relative lack of marriage-ready Christian men, as well as with many Christian men who either don’t know they need to prepare or have no idea how. If I could go back and give my younger, not-yet-married self some advice, I’d tell him men need a good plan as they prepare for marriage. More specifically, I’d tell him to pursue God above all else and work on growing as a leader, provider, and protector.