Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I hear many people and sermons saying that most people get married without being prepared for it, causing many marital problems later. How do I prepare myself for marriage? What books should I read? What specific things can I do?

Marriage is the holy union between two people. Many people simply assume that just because they have reached an age for marriage, become attracted to someone, meet the financial obligations associated with marriage and a family, and have the blessings of their confession father, then it is OK to marry. Although all these requirements are necessary, it is not enough, because marriage is more than the process of leading up to the marriage ceremony and the honey moon. Holy Matrimony is an ongoing growing relationship amongst the husband, wife, and God. It will entail work, resilience, and overcoming many obstacles while on this unique and incredible life-long journey. It is incumbent upon each person to reflect on the following before and during marriage:
  • Have an ongoing growing relationship with God.
  • Know yourself honestly.
  • Recognize your own shortcomings.
  • Be willing to change some things about yourself.
  • Learn how to accept the other completely without need for change.
  • See your spouse's inner beauty at all times.
  • Learn to be less critical.
  • Be willing to contribute to the household needs.
  • Take care of your personal appearance and hygiene (not just for vanity sake).
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be a positive thinker.
  • Trust.
  • Forgive.
  • Feel free to be yourself.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Work at your marriage.
  • Try to be a better spouse at all times.
  • Be a friend.
  • Be selfless.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Always put your spouse's happiness before your own.
  • Be a giver (not necessarily in materialistic ways).
  • Give your attention, care, time.
  • Enjoy your mate's company.
  • Have a spiritual father to whom you can confide wholeheartedly and to whose advice you will comply without question or hesitation.
Recommended Reading:   Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy By: Gary L. Thomas
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