I have known many women who have conjured up in their minds what a perfect marriage proposal would look like. For some of them it came out of a movie like Sleepless in Seattle – and they wanted to be proposed to on the top of the Empire State Building. I’ve known women who only wanted a large diamond and wouldn’t take anything less. I’ve also known other women who wanted it to be a quiet proposal between their soon-to-be fiancé and themselves. Whatever the case, many women have an idea of what they consider the perfect marriage proposal to be.
May I suggest that it isn’t important how you are asked for your hand in marriage, but rather the most important proposal is one that you’ll create to live by ’til death do you part?
What do I mean? I’ll explain.
I personally was the type of woman that couldn’t care less how I was proposed to – it just didn’t matter to me. I knew that if I was truly in love with a man, that I didn’t need anything beyond that love to solidify giving him my hand in marriage. However, what was important to me was whether or not we were in agreement about living our lives and marriage to reflect that of a Biblical worldview.
The perfect marriage proposal isn’t about where it’s done or how big and expensive the ring is. Rather, the perfect marriage proposal is developed between a man and a woman as to how they will live their lives together, ‘Til death do them part.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the many unique ways that proposals occur – to each his/her own. However if there is nothing beyond the flash and smoke of a proposal then it all becomes meaningless. And if I was a betting woman, if you didn’t base your engagement off of mutual agreement and deep discussions about family and marriage, I’d bet that your marriage is going to have more rough spots than smooth that will likely lead to a failed marriage. And let’s be honest, no one gets married thinking they will get a divorce. But sadly we see a lot of divorce in today’s day and age due to many preventable circumstances. I know that not all divorces can be prevented, but I truly believe if a marriage was founded on a real and meaningful agreement between two willing people, it can last ’til death do you part!
But there is GOOD NEWS!
Regardless of how your proposal went or the current state of your marriage, it is never too late for two willing people to take the steps necessary to have a wonderful and fulfilling marriage covenant. Remember, I’m not talking about having a perfect marriage, because those do not exist. Rather, I am talking about having a marriage built-to-last that considers a plethora of things that many people avoid talking about prior to marriage. Some of these topics may include (but not limited to):
- Will you have children? If so, how many?
- How often will you make love?
- Do you promise to not let anyone come in between you spouse?
- How will you take care of your financial obligations?
- How will the household chores be divided up?
- Who is going to cook?
- Where do you plan to live?
- Are you willing to move if one spouse gets a promotion?
- How do you plan to educate your children?
- Will you have a savings account?
- Will both spouses work?
- Do we have the same religious beliefs?
- and the list goes on and on.
There are some serious benefits to having these in-depth discussion prior to marriage — and even better if you have them prior to your proposal. But it’s never too late to do the right thing. If you and your spouse are hitting some trouble spots right now (and we all do) then go over the important, foundational things again. Never neglect to start from the beginning and problem solve together.
It is my belief and life experience that the perfect marriage proposal is more in the details of your covenant prior to marriage rather than the circumstances surrounding the actual day you said “I do”. I encourage you to focus on building a life-long relationship by really sitting down with your future spouse and really getting down to the nitty gritty of what is important to each of you. What are the deal breakers? Get it all out there and talk about it and pray about it. It’s better to know before you say “I do” whether or not your marriage has a fighting chance. And of course if you are already married but are not sure if your marriage is going to last, it is never too late to head in a different direction as long as the both of you are on the same page and willing to do so.
While it isn’t always easy, marriage is a beautiful thing when husband and wife work hard at dealing with issues as they arise and remembering to give lots of love, grace, and forgiveness!