S-Spiritual Development: So you think you’re ready for Marriage

The Spiritual Development is the seventh post continuing with the PEMFESS+P Series; So you think you’re ready for Marriage.

In my opinion, the Spiritual Development, should actually be the first step because all the other developments build upon it. But, as I previously stated, the acronym, PEMFESS, just fits in better.

Spirituality means different things to different people. To some, it’s about doctrines, morals, and laws. To some, it’s about nature and its effects. To others, it is about nothing.

I tend to use the terms religious and spiritual interchangeably. The difference is that the latter does not follow organizational doctrines whereas the former does.

Whatever spiritual or spirituality means to you, one thing common among all is faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a belief; a belief in something without seeing the evidence. A belief that could be of a higher and bigger nature or of an earthly and lower being or thing.

We all believe in something whether higher or lower. The higher for me is God, Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The lower is believing in someone or something, for example a parent, a spouse, sibling, or a friend, or believing that your car will drive you daily from Point A to B and back, or believing that the chair you seat on will not crumble under your weight or that the food you eat will not poison you but nourish your body and soul.

Spiritually, we make idols of those people and or things we depend on when we should be looking up to God. The ultimate is for us to believe in and trust God

Most of us have our spirituality handed down to us. As children, we had no choice. But on becoming adults, we have the choice to either continue to embrace those religious or spiritual paths or venture to find our own. I know a family of six, the parents and their four adult children, who each practice different religion/spirituality. I can only imagine how issues are deliberated on inside their home. The wife, who was once a colleague, said, “I’m used to the chaos.”

The key is to find your spiritual path soonest so that it can be developed and perfected before marriage. Hence, you know who you are spiritually. Knowing who you are spiritually also means that you will know to say “No” to certain things while dating, on in marriage,

For spiritual development, therefore, your goal is to find that higher and bigger path, cultivate the relationship, grow, and stick to it. Fully immerse yourself in the knowledge, with a strong foundation, that can only be built upon stronger when you finally marry.

It is dicey to be a spiritual vacuum that can easily be sucked or filled up by someone else’s. Being grounded in your own chosen spirituality, though open to learning, means that you cannot be easily deceived by others spiritual lies or ignorance.

It is always better to be on the same spiritual path with your potential spouse; it just makes life smoother, easier, and more understandable. Should both partners have different spiritual paths, it becomes difficult deciding which paths to raise the children with. Irrespective of the differences, the goal is to agree on how best to raise the children spiritually. However raising and inculcating a spiritual doctrine into children, though it helps, does not guarantee that they will continue with the doctrines as adults.

To every young adult, I pray that you find your spiritual path soonest, if not already, and maximally develop it before you decide to marry.

Part II: So you think you’re ready for Marriage; how are you in your S-Social Development?

Credits: Unsplash / Duy Pham

It is advisable to have a good and diverse social network.

In the Psychology and medical worlds, healthy social development skills begin at infancy and follows us through adulthood. These skills are necessary and important in order to develop into a healthy child. A lack of, or delayed, development in one skill will impact another and, if not dealt with, could lead to one being an adult with poor or inadequate social skills.

These skills are equally essential to master at the appropriate ages. The Danville Schools gave examples of such skills to include:

  • Displays self-control
  • Expresses feelings with words
  • Listens and pays attention
  • Pride in accomplishments
  • Has a positive self image
  • Asks for help when needed
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • Aware of other peoples feelings.
We all need good social skills

Adults need complementary social skills, too. Reminds me of the television commercial about phone conversations being distorted as a result of bad network. It was a phone conversation between two friends; one asking the other for recommendations on what to wear to an office dinner. She showed up to a formal office dinner in a halloween costume, dressed like a fairy godmother. That’s how it is sometimes when one has poor social development.

Also, ever heard someone being tagged as clumsy? Or one who chooses to continue talking or asking questions when everyone is ready to move on? There’s nothing wrong with asking questions, but such folks ask questions that have been previously discussed. If they had listened or paid attention (an essential social skill), they wouldn’t be repeating the question. This is because they have not mastered the appropriate social skills required at the specific developmental ages.

Etiquettes

Etiquettes, according to the dictionary, the conventional requirements as to social behavior, is lacking in many. They have being replaced by individualism and/or when corrected, misconstrued as “judging” and/or termed as unsolicited advices.

Anyhow, the social development I am referring to is that of the social networking. Having a myriad of human resources to call upon should the need arises. Yes, we need all the important skills to develop a healthy social network, without which we will be unstable in our relationships and/or left without friends.

This has nothing to do with being an introvert or extrovert; nor the networking required for work, career, or business though some may be interconnected. But more to do with not having the capacity to maintain true friendships.

If you think you’re ready for marriage, your relationships are essential before marriage, during marriage, and sadly ‘after’ marriage. I refer to the “after-marriage” events as a result of death, separation, or divorce.

Men do better in social networks during marriage than women. It is not unusual for women to disperse off their pre-marital relationships once they tie the knots and or start a family. I get it. The topic for girlfriend conversations on ladies nights-out shift for the married ladies for obvious reasons. Sooner than later, the conversations become boring and so does the gathering. But it doesn’t have to, does it? Even if it does, it’s always a good idea to reconnect with one another.

Here are My Tips

  1. Don’t lose all your pre-marital friends. Your pre-marriage friends include childhood, high school, college, and or work friends. Try to keep (or develop) at least one from each category. If you do, you will have at least four friends who know you very well, and can possibly vouch for you hopefully for life. They will be friends whom you can call on anytime.
  2. Granted that some will drift away for different reasons, try to keep at least two (more, if possible) close. Who knows, one of those will probably be your chief bridesmaid (do they still have those now? lol)
There are three types of friends:

1. Friends for a reason
2. Friends for a season, and
3. Friends for a lifetime.
  1. Having both horizontal and vertical friends in your social (network) development is also helpful. The horizontal are your peers in different social groups, while the vertical are your superiors (or older) and juniors. We all learn from each other. Most learn from a superior/older, few learn from their juniors. All are important and each are apt to teach you something new; what you don’t know or thought you do know.
  2. Marriage shouldn’t stop your social development. Continue your social development, and friendships as well, once married. The exception here though will be that you now have to be cognizant of your spouse/hubby. How will he/she feel and/or react to your friends or even to you when you’re meeting with, or having dinner with them? (A probable post for another day.)
  3. Pay attention to “faults” or concerns folks have repeatedly told or accused you of. I’m not saying that the folks were right. You could have been right, but the communication or attitude might have been off. You will be able to pinpoint why you’ve continuously received those accusations.

I pray for your rich and mature social development; to be so grounded and ready for the marriage you desire.

So you think you’re ready for marriage. How’s your E-Educational Development?

Credits: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.

Mahatma Gandhi

Education does not stop after graduation from high school or college/university. Real educational development continues way after receiving your diploma and throwing of your cap. Completing the education was only the foundation in life.

Your educational development will continue way past graduation and will be tested in various areas of your life. How much you knew (or thought you knew), what you know (or thought you do know), and how much you are willing to learn or know. Are you teachable or rigid; open or closed to learn from others?

I have written two prior posts on Education. They serve as preambles. Please read them before continuing.

If you stop learning after graduation, you will degenerate.”

Chris Adedoyin @VarsityExperience

After graduation, your first test will come on-the-job from your boss, team members, or the company’s clients or vendors. Or if you’re one of the few who delved right into building a business upon graduation, it will come from everyone you deal with; such dealings can determine your success or failure in the business.

Are you willing to learn new things and follow instructions? Not following instructions can sometimes cost businesses, and personal, dollars. No matter what you’ve learned, every organization has its way of doing business and things; also known as its culture.

First things first (credits to Stephen Covey), never squeeze yourself into a culture you don’t fit into.

Your first job will often be a test of everything you know, thought you knew, are humble to acknowledge you don’t know, and are willing to know and learn. Yes, I recognize that I’m repeating this and might probably do once more during the post. But, life itself is all about this. It is when we acknowledge that we really don’t know as much as we thought we knew, that we’ll be open to learning.

Simply, you can continue your educational development by:

  1. Reading
  2. Being in company of those you deem intellectually superior than you
  3. Having mentors; either professional or personal
  4. Taking classes, and/or
  5. Willing to return to college.

How does your educational development apply in marriage?

It depends on who you marry and/or the family you married into. For example, if your spouse is highly educated, it will behove you to be on the same educational level. If not, you should return to the classroom, else s/he might not deem you “an intellectual equal.” That might put a wedge in that area in your marriage.

Likewise, if your spouse’s family are all intellectuals, and you are not, they might be condescending leading you to being of low self esteem if yours is underdeveloped or non-existence. The reverse is equally true – if you have a higher degree but married one who has a high school diploma. And if you come from an intellectual family but married into a family of laid back education-is-not-for-us kind.

Please note that I am not condemning one or the other, merely stating my opinion and life observations/experiences.

I must point out though that these scenarios are not edged in stone; they are the general life experiences. As we all know, there are always a few exceptions that defy generalizations. Such instances are often the God-kind.

An instance of marrying into a family of intellectuals should, in my opinion, rub off on one to motivate such a person to return to college.

Sean K. Fletcher reminded me/us of the recent development of folks aspiring for “the PhD or doctorate as the highest level qualification today …”. Imagine competing for a job/position with such holders if all you have is high school, some college, or BA/B.Sc.

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to continue your educational development beyond graduation and to have an open mind towards continued learning and educating yourself. The benefits, both tangible and intangible, will be both personal and beneficial to your marriage.

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Albert Einstein

Do not let anything interfere with your learning; not even yourself.

So you think you’re ready for marriage … How’s your F-Financial Development?

Our fourth post in the pre-marriage series, PEMFESS + P, is the F-Financial Development. Click here for the M-Mental Development.

Preamble

Money. Money. Money. We can’t do without it and only few can live wisely with it. To be respected in most marriages, you must contribute financially to its success. It’s sad that love is no longer enough to keep marriages together forevet. Not all men (or their families) recognize or appreciate the non-financial contributions that a woman/wife brings to the marriage. Sorry if you thought otherwise. Sometimes though, it could be the wife (and or her family). If it ain’t dollars, it ain’t matter.

The love of money is the root of all evil. Yes, many have been known to commit murder because of money. Families and friends have also parted ways as a result of this five-letter-word. And several marriages have also been destroyed as a result of inadequate money and money issues. Even those marriages that “end amicably,” in the western cultures, turn monstrous at the mention of alimony, child support, or distribution of assets.

Preparation is key

So how do you prepare to tread the marital waters as far as finances are concerned? The answer is to prepare wisely and financially before marrying. There’s not a set amount of money to set aside (save); that is an individual prerogative.

“Financials” is a wide topic. For the purposes of this Series, we will compress it to:

vow to be an asset and not a liability.

I’m not going to write a finance or an accounting post explaining what an asset or liability is. Please do your research to better understand the terms if interested. For this post, simply remember that assets (+) add (or bring) in, while liabilities (-) subtract (or take away) money.

How do you become an asset?

To be an asset, you need to have your own money, tangibly stashed away, such that your prospective spouse recognizes that you can hold your own and contribute meaningfully in, and to, financial matters. The contribution should not be in a corky arrogant manner, but gently and meekly. Except you have wealthy parents who are willing to set you up financially once married, never ever start marriage wholly dependent on your spouse. It’s a different story if after marriage something happens that necessitates the dependency. Even at that, you should still strive to hustle to bring something to the financial table. It doesn’t matter if your prospective hubby (or husband) tells you “honey, I don’t want you working; I’ll take care of it, you and our family!” Do it for your own self value. The contribution also doesn’t have to be a 9-to-5 deal.

Some cultures still live in the “fantasyland” (aka husband-does-it-all) mentality. The one who gets the rude awakening is the lady/woman when love fades and the man begins to act chauvinistically mean and controlling the matrimonial funds, no longer giving her any, and depriving her of access to the money or accounts. “Afterall, it’s all mine – you never worked!” Sad if the couple have been married for ample number of years.

Statistics

“Data released by financial firm TD Ameritrade found that 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.”

“Money problems are the #1 cause for divorce in America and money causes the most stress in relationships.”

Start now

To be financially smart, start investing diligently now while single, in both liquid and illiquid assets. Rule of thumb is to save 3-12 months salary as emergency fund; the more, the better. The truth is that once married and you start having children, it gets harder if not impossible to save and invest. Doing it now also yields benefits because the money will continue to compound (of course , depending on the amount) even if you got married and are unable to add more to it.

Ponder on these

In addition, the following are questions you should have answers to before marriage:

  1. Know your money habits and attitudes: are you a saver or spender? What type of hubby do you want or need: a compliment or complement
  2. What’s your money management technique? Do you use a budget or make impulsive purchases
  3. Do you know yourself financially? Are you flexible or rigid as to who you are financially?
  4. Do you have debts, such as student loans, credit cards, etc., that needs to be cleared or reduced
  5. What’s your financial goal(s) and/or fears?

Being cognizant of answers to the above, including mapping out strategies for implementation, will bring a sense of financial peace that will be beneficial, to you, your future husband, and family, when it’s time to get married.

To your financial and holistic development

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’

An essential guide for those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’


— Read on www.centreforemotionaleducation.com/an-essential-guide-for-those-who-are-overly-emotional-or-very-emotional/

Sharing Thursday: Towards your Emotional Development

Have you ever felt that you over-react often or always? Or been told that you’re too emotional?

Could it be true that you are and there could be a latent reason? Or could it be that the one who made the statement to you is just emotionally deprived? Find out by reading the post.

I find this post very informative and apropos having just written my E-Emotional Development blog.

“An essential guide to those who are ‘overly emotional’ or ‘very emotional’” is good read for those wondering why they exhibit deep emotions. It also provides steps for how to develop emotionally.

Also visit the website for a free e-book download. I hope you find it equally informative.

Towards your Emotional Development and Intelligence. Happy Thursday! 😍