Plan For The Marriage, Not The Instagram Post

By Chanah Trevorrow··  5 min read
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What has social media done to our brains? It’s all about the post, the likes, and the feedback. We want our buckets filled. And many of us use our relationships to do it.

Our social media-driven culture is so wrapped up in the perfect engagement and the most beautiful wedding day, but maybe this is partially why our marriage rates are plummeting. We put our focus on finding a romantic boyfriend who will sweep us off our feet or make a viral TikTok with us, rather than finding the man who will make a good father and be the leader of our home. 

Plan for the Marriage, Not Just the Wedding

In his book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, Gary Chapman writes, “The decision to get married will impact one's life more deeply than almost any decision in life. Yet people continue to rush into marriage with little or no preparation for making a marriage successful. In fact, many couples give far more attention to making plans for the wedding than making plans for marriage. The wedding festivities last only a few hours, while the marriage, we hope, will last for a lifetime.”

I myself was guilty of this. I get migraines frequently. They become so debilitating that I have to drop everything going on, get in a dark room, put an ice pack on my head, and sleep. Never once while I was dating did I consider how important it was to marry someone who would aid me in these kinds of times. 

When I first started dating, I wanted someone funny and cute – arm candy. I rarely thought about finding a man who would be the leader when we were in a crisis or the father of my future kids. But when real life hits, the picture-perfect Instagram post becomes less important, and we need a real man.

When real life hits, the picture-perfect Instagram post becomes less important, and we need a real man.

Over the years I've had more health issues, and fortunately, the man I married is with me through all of it. I’m still a newlywed, so I’m not trying to act like I have all the secrets to a successful marriage, but I’m thankful I took the advice of the married couples I know before I got married. All of them specifically pointed out that the lovey-dovey feelings will come and go, so it's important to be with someone who is a good life-partner for you, because you will have to make a choice to love them everyday. 

Qualities of a Good Husband

The marriage material man might not know all the right words to say to make us blush, but he'll have the values and the qualities we need to raise children who are disciplined and wise. His proposal might not make it to the Instagram explore page, but when tough times come into the marriage he is steadfast and caring. He will take care of you, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. He is patient, kind, and forgiving.

We need to shift our focus from making a picture-perfect life, to asking our dating partners the hard questions so that when the wedding day is over, we’re married to a real man and not a man child. 

Find out if your morals and beliefs line up. It’s okay to have differences, but the big differences will become huge when you’re in a life-long partnership with someone. It’s good to know if your spiritual, moral, and even political beliefs are similar because these things determine your choices and your family culture when you're married.

Here are some good questions to ask your boyfriend:

  • Do you want children one day? If so, how many?

  • How would you go about disciplining your children?

  • Do you have debt? What are your spending/saving habits like?

  • How do you handle conflict?

  • Are you close with your family?

  • What are your religious and political beliefs?

Here are more questions if you want to go deeper.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t let all of these things overwhelm you. Just keep them in mind before entering marriage. I still married a guy I think is funny and handsome. We have lots of fun spending time together. Our Insta pics are still cute. He’s my best friend. Your wedding day can still be amazing. But don’t let those things be the main focus. My wedding day was over in the blink of an eye. 

My husband and I did premarital counseling and asked each other some hard questions before we got married. Certain things were awkward to discuss, but I’m so glad we did. I felt so confident going into this marriage with him because I knew we were on the same page. Neither of us is perfect but we have the same goals. Don’t let social media influencers or celebrities fool you – there is no perfect person or life. Look for someone who will love you as you are and grow with you no matter what life may bring. 

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