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What Everybody Ought to Know Before They Commit to Marriage
By Bernard R. Branson
Copyright © 2013 Bernard R. Branson All rights reserved.
Contents Introduction Intention of a Marriage Leadership and Vision Submission and Servant hood A Need for Maturity Integrity and Trustworthiness Resolving of Conflicts Financial Status Conclusion
did I write this book? I have witnessed so many
marriage relationships of those close to me and those around me. In all the marriage relationships I have witnessed, the greatest percentage has similar or common challenges. Please bear in mind that a marriage relationship can be likened to a project. There should be always room for growth and improvements. Nevertheless, there are basic foundations that are required and necessary to be understood to have a solid and strong marriage relationship. I want you to know that you can never do what you don’t know. In as much as you desire to do what is right, if you do not know what is right, you will never be able to execute it. The majority of singles approach a marriage relationship with blind eyes. Some have never read even a single book on marriage relationships. Others don’t even know the roles of both men and women in a marriage relationship. They have no understanding of the emotional needs for both men and women. All they know is that they are feeling lonely and need someone to show up to take away their loneliness. Loneliness is the absence of purpose.
I have seen women pursuing men who have no idea where they are going with their lives. If you come into agreement or join someone who has no clearly defined destination, you are going nowhere fast. Your sexual appetite should never be the pursuit for desiring a marriage relationship. Purpose should be the driving force. Please don’t get me wrong here, sex is very important. In fact a man cannot function without it. Sex to a man is like gasoline to a car. It is his need. I can prove this to you. Within the premises of a marriage relationship, if a woman closes her legs to the husband, the man will go and find somewhere else where they are opened. It could be a secretary at the workplace or some mistress in town. This then becomes dangerous. So we understand that sex should not be a primary drive, purpose is. What is purpose? Purpose can be defined as the original intent of a thing. If the original intent is not known, abuse becomes inevitable. This book is a must read not only for men but also women. A woman has to have a thorough understanding of the purpose of a man. This book has been written to challenge the men to rise to another level of understanding in the area of marriage relationships. Man, can I ask you a question just for a
moment, what should make a woman to leave her family and the environment of protection provided by her family to follow you and call you her husband? There has to be a strong reason for a woman to do that. If I were a father, I would never allow my daughter to leave her place of comfort to follow a man who has not proven his productivity or the capability of taking care of my daughter. I would give a thorough examination of his past, what is important to him and where is he going with his life. What is his focus? His vision is what will sustain him. That is why it is so critical that a man discovers who he is and what he is about before committing to a marriage relationship. I hope that this book will be an eye opener to many. To the men already in a marriage relationship, I hope that you will be challenged to live above mediocrity in your marriage relationship.
Intention of a Marriage
What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. —Leo Tolstoy
is quite intriguing that many would approach a
marriage relationship without the understanding of its intention or purpose. If the purpose is not known, abuse becomes inevitable. Why is there so much divorce around the world? It has also begun to creep into the so-called third world nations. There is such a loud cry for help for many marriage relationships. Something must be wrong. There should be an ingredient that is missing. Many attribute marriage failures to incompatibilities. It is impossible to find a person you will ever be compatible with. Marriage has nothing to do with compatibility; it is about adaptability. Many do not know what it takes to make relationships work. A successful or good marriage relationship does not happen by accident or chance. It requires a lot of work.
Marriages are built. It takes some time to build. The deeper the foundation, the stronger the marriage will be. What is a marriage? Marriage is two people joined or coming together to become one. It is a commitment to meet the needs of another for life. It involves two different people or with different and backgrounds, worldviews perspectives
personalities. It is important that these two people share the same or common values. Please do bear in mind that a marriage is a process. It becomes better as you grow together as a couple. Some people take pride that they have been married for 20 or 30 years. Long marriages are not the proof of happy or healthy marriages. You could have been enduring each other for 30 years. The majority of people just endure their spouses. Others are afraid of going separate ways because of the children and other commitments involved in their relationship. A marriage relationship was not designed to be endured. It was designed to bring joy and fulfillment. A happy marriage relationship is possible. It comes with a thorough preparation. Many people never take time to prepare themselves. They just jump into it hoping it will work out.
Everything was designed with a purpose or intention in the mind of the designer. A woman has a unique purpose in a life of a man. The purpose of a marriage relationship is not to have another who will complete you as some say, but to share your completeness with them. She is a helpmeet. She is not the chef of the house, as many men know her to be. She was never designed or made to be controlled and dominated. Someone recently told me a very moving story that nearly brought me to tears. The mother suffers from mental disorder because of the husband’s abuse. The husband always beat her up. Listen, you are not a man if you beat women. You are a disgrace. You need help. You have a lot of insecurities. Why would you now beat a woman that you took from the comfort of her home to make her your wife? You made many vows to honour, cherish and protect her. Be a man, don’t be a child. Grow up! There are lots of good men who could have loved and protected that woman you are abusing. May I be frank with you? All women are made of the same material anyway. If you think there is a woman out there who can bring you more joy, you are mistaken.
Now, is there a difference in people? Yes, there is a difference in people. The difference in people is: What they are willing to pursue. Who they have chosen to believe. The weakness they have decided to ignore. It is always interesting that the grass always looks greener on the other side. You must understand that the reason it looks greener, is because someone is putting efforts in maintaining it. Part of the marriage is to perfect each other. Man, you can bring the best out of the woman that you have decided to spend your entire life with. If you choose or decide not to do anything, there can never be any improvement in your relationship. You must be ready and prepared to work in your relationship to make it what you desire it to be. No one can ever do this for you. It is your duty and responsibility. You made a choice and you need to live with your choice. I want you to know man that if you will effectively meet the needs of your woman; you are guaranteed to have a happy marriage relationship. Do bear in mind that the needs of a single woman and the needs of a married woman are not different. They are the same.
The needs of a woman do not change when she walks along the aisle to the altar. You must take time to educate yourself about her needs. You do not choose or decide what her needs are. She came to this earth with them packaged. I challenge you man to start reading books that will educate you about the needs of a woman. There is countless number of books out there that have been written on this subject. If you want to lead, you must read. Leaders are readers. You must also take time to educate yourself about your own needs as a man. The more understanding of each other’s needs the greater the chances of you having a successful and fulfilling marriage relationship.
Leadership & Vision
A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him. —John C. Maxwell
Keller who was born blind and deaf, said, “The
greatest tragedy to befall a person is to have sight but lack vision”. There are many men who travel through the journey of life with no clear direction of their destination. A destination not defined is the destination not reached. I submit to you that the greatest source or root cause of many challenges in a marriage relationship can be attributed to a lack of vision; a lack of vision regarding the direction of the marriage, a lack of vision regarding money matters in a relationship, a lack of vision as to what kind of a home you desire. The list can go on and on. What is a vision? A vision is a preferred picture of the future. It is a clear mental picture of what could be. As a man, where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years from now? What do you see yourself doing? What do you want to do with your life? A man without a vision is a man without a future; a man without a future will always go back to his past.
If you do not have a clear picture of the future, you will always become a slave to the immediate. Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. It is imperative that your vision is written down. When you write down your vision it forces you to clarify it. Your vision was never meant to stay in your head. If it is in your head, nobody knows about it. Your vision must be written down so that those who see it should run with it. A man of vision is unstoppable. I challenge you to dream big. Begin to elevate the picture of your future. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. No one can help you until you discover and develop your own vision. I strongly believe that every man should have a vision for his life before even thinking about considering marriage. It is not the titles behind your name that matters. Ladies should know that the degrees are not the key deciding factor in choosing a man that they want to spend their entire life with. Some men have more degrees than a thermometer. They are degree collectors. They have no focus in mind. Please, don’t get me wrong, I love knowledge. I have a couple of degrees. I earned them with a focus in mind and
I am still under continuous learning. You should never stop learning. The moment you stop learning you stop growing. All the degrees BA, BB, BC, MA, MB, MC, PhD etc, without a vision, they are of no benefit or value to your future. Having said all this, I must say that the greatest challenge a woman can ever have is to be around a man who is dull. It is vital that you develop your intellectual capacity as a man. Invest time and energy to better you. Increase the value of your life. The woman should be proud that she married you. Remember that women tend to security and significance. They find their significance from what their husbands do. That is why they drop their second name and take yours after marriage. It will be worth talking briefly about leadership in a context of a marriage relationship. An area that is so misunderstood like nothing on the face of the earth is leadership. Leadership is not synonymous with titles. Just because there are people under your supervision doesn’t make you a leader. Some even take pride that they are managing directors of such and such corporation. Who knows, they might just be damaging directors. Titles do not confer
responsibility. There is such a great void of visionary leadership in the homes. What is leadership? There are many management books that talk about the subject of leadership. Management gurus have come up with various descriptions and definitions of what leadership is. The greatest definition of leadership I have ever come across is that of Dr Myles Munroe. He describes leadership as the capacity to influence or inspire others through inspiration ignited by pursuit generated by a passion that is produced by a vision, which is motivated by purpose. The key development is: purpose, inspiration and influence. Leadership is a very crucial ingredient in any home. As the leadership goes, so goes the home. Leadership becomes the radar, which provides the direction towards the vision that has been cast. Good leadership is essential in a home. The most crucial element in a definition of leadership is influence. Man is never meant to control and dominate a woman. The role of a man is to influence her. You influence her by your lifestyle not just only your words. The woman has vision, to leadership pursuit, passion,
to see you walking the talk. You are supposed to be an example to her. You are supposed to be someone that she looks up to. A vast majority of men have abdicated their roles as husbands in their homes. become a visionary leader as a man. Discover, develop and refine your leadership capabilities so that you can be the best husband to your woman in the future. The more refined you are as a man, the better are the chances of getting a refined woman. Remember that you were not born qualified to be the best husband, you must become qualified. I challenge you to
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