Wai Jia and I brought a number of books to Uganda. One of them is Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life, The/The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life by Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth. The whole premise of this book is to emphasize the first year of marriage as the most important investment for the couple. This is actually two books, one for the groom and one for the bride. Even though we are married for almost two years now, we still find this book highly relevant and beneficial for our marriage.
One of my friends are getting married next month. I quoted this from the book to encourage him to spend the first year to focus on his wife:
It’s often assumed that marriages fail because a lack of investment – time, effort, focus, and intentionality. That’s true, but only partially.
Mark and I have talked with countless couples whose marriages are flailing – or failing. Many are more than willing to work at it, and work sacrificially. As a matter of fact, some of the guys we know who struggle in their marriages are investing exponentially more energy, anxiety, and money trying to keep their marriages alive than couples with healthy marriages will have to invest during their entire lifetimes.
The question must be asked: if these couples are working so hard, why are their marriages failing?
It’s exactly what Jerry found out with ihs successful investment in CompuCalls. It’s all about good timing. Failed marriages are not the result of the lack of investment but the lateness of that investment.
We’ve seen it happen over and over. Men have come to us for help only after their marriages are in deep trouble – in some cases, headed perilously toward divorce. A man may become motivated to work on his marriage when it’s in critical condition. The work and the sacrifices he makes may be nothing short of heroic. But tragically, they come awfully late.
I’ve never met a man who said, “I am choosing to invest poorly” – financially or in marriage. But many men simply do. Their minimal net worth has been the result of neglect. Sheer default.
If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married. – Deuteronomy 24:5
I’m pretty sure what you’re thinking. C’mon, be reasonable. I’ve got work to do. If i were to take a whole year off, I’d be fired from my job – and that wouldn’t be good for neither of us.
Don’t worry. I’m not advocating unemployment. Just intentionality. Your job in your first year of marraige is to become an expert on one woman – your wife – and to learn, better than anyone else in the world, how to “bring her happiness.” And the OT advice is to take one year, ONE WHOLE YEAR. A weekend seminar or a great book about marriage will not be enough – not even the standard five-session premarital counselling commitment. There’s no other way to say it: It’s a big investment!
Because you’ve checked “get married” off your life, you may be tempted to pay more attention to other unfinished things, such as going on to graduate school, landing a good job, or staying in shape physically. But now that you’re married, your most important assignment is working on building this relationship with your wife.Page 15-19 – The Most Import Year In A Man’s Life
Wai Jia and I read one chapter at night whenever we are free. We will read one chapter for the husband to be and then one chapter for the wife to be. Another part that really struck me is the average bride spend 150 to 500 hours to prepare for the wedding. Yet, when it comes to marriage maybe ten hours if they are committed (read a marriage book or attend a marriage preparation course).
One of the things I am grateful for and also helped strenghten our marriage is attending the Marriage Preparation Course (MPC). We attended the MPC about one weeks after we started dating. I know and understand that attending Marriage Preparation Course as a date might not sound exciting or enjoyable. But for me it was a great idea since both of us know our relationship is heading toward marriage. It is through the instructors (later became our marriage mentors and good friends) at Marriage Preparation Course we learned how to live with one another.