When I was a kid growing up, I recall spending a lot of time with my family. On special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, etc we would all gather at a selected family member’s house and celebrate. Typically, it would be The Bostock’s/Smith’s which consisted of myself, my siblings, my mom and my step-dad, the Wallace’s, the Stewart’s, and the Cornish’s. What I grew up seeing in each family was a husband, wife and kids; no one family was perfect, but they were stronger when they stuck together. Seeing such family values displayed at such a young age gave us something to model after as adults.
I always thought to myself that I would want to have the same amount of kids my parents had (5 or 6). Now that I’ve had my first child, I simply want to have as many as I could afford. Lol It was fun growing up with 5 brothers and 1 sister; I don’t know how my parents managed to give us everything that we wanted and needed, but they did it and I couldn’t be more proud of them. There was a time or two when my mom and step-dad separated, but when they got back together, my mother was literally glowing. She would cook more, sing more and smile more and I knew my step-dad had a lot to do with it.
I’m quite sure that if there were no value in the marriage, my step-dad would’ve never come back. I mean we weren’t the best step-kids in the world, but we certainly weren’t the worst, and we loved having him around. My step-dad was without a doubt a “yes man”, and in many ways that worked in his favor. The saying goes “Happy Wife, Happy life!”. My mom would make a special request, (one of many) and he would figure out a way to get it done. They were perfect for each other I suppose, my step-dad needed something to do, and my mom needed someone to do it.
In a marriage, there are certain requirements that need to be met in order for it to work. Of course there are certain gender roles that should be taken into consideration, but outside of that, each individual may have their own personal preferences. For example, as a man, you may feel it’s a deal breaker if a woman doesn’t know how to cook. For a woman, it may be a deal breaker if you don’t know how to fix things. Figuring out what that thing is for your wife and mastering it will not only add value to the marriage, but it will also add peace to the marriage.
Typically speaking, it’s women who look forward to the wedding, but men certainly appreciate the value in a marriage. Most men are simply too afraid to risk their name and reputation on such high stakes. They feel as if they’re going to lose something from making a life-long commitment. The great thing about marriage is, you’re not giving up your independence, but rather gaining interdependence. It’s the beginning of a new period in your life, and the end of and old one.
People ask me all the time “Cheyenne, you seem to have the principles of relationships all figured out, why aren’t you married?” The answer is simple and I’m sure many of you can relate. Marriage isn’t for everybody; marriage is only for the ready. The next time someone asks you “Why aren’t you married?”, reply simply by saying, “I’m not married because I’m single! I can only claim one relationship status at a time.”. Marriage is forever, so the preparation for the marriage is equally as important as the actual marriage.
When I think of marriage, the words that come to mind are “protect, provide and serve”. In order to handle this job, you will need to be strong enough spiritually, physically and emotionally to protect your family. These are things that you can accomplish while you are single and working on building yourself up as a man. A woman will feel secure in knowing that your strength goes beyond the physical and into the spiritual. Being in good physical health gives her confidence of knowing you will be around to also protect your family physically. Your portrayal of humility and servitude shows your ability to be an effective leader.
Marriage is an investment, not only of your money, but also of your time, energy and resources. It’s a man’s role to provide for his family; you won’t need money to get the girl, but you will need money to keep her. There’s the cost of food to consider, shelter, clothing, health and dental insurance, life insurance as well as many other unforeseen expenses. Now, don’t be afraid, taking care of others is a part of life; you’re a man, you are built for this. If you’ve never experienced taking care of others and providing for others, start practicing.
The key to a successful marriage is taking steps to plan and prepare for longevity. Instead of looking at all of the expenses that are associated with marriage as a liability, start looking at them as assets. When you wake up in the morning and see your beautiful wife and kids, you’ll go that much harder at work because you know that the funds are going to a great cause. Now that you have a wife and family, you’re more health conscious because you want to be there for them. Providing for others has helped you become more financially responsible, and better at budgeting money. Your time is spent more wisely now because the people you love are waiting for you to share it.
It’s so easy to be selfish when you’re not obligated to share your time, energy, money and resources with anyone. In a marriage, you’re expected to do be selfless and do the exact opposite. Not everyone is able to do that, and for many it will take some time, but before long it will only be a matter of time before you settle down. The random sex partners, late night parties and binge drinking gets old and so will you. In fact, those things never brought a man happiness to begin with; they are simply ways to forget about the areas we are lacking.
Once you reach a certain level of maturity, you will begin to not only see more value in your women, but more value in yourself. You will take greater pride in getting to know a woman because now, you are dating with a different purpose in mind. You’ve already experienced one nightstands, friends with benefits, and relationships that you were convenient but weren’t a priority. The one thing that they all had in common was they lacked substance. You knew deep in your heart when you first met them that they would never meet your mother, have your child or bear your last name, you were simply biding time until you got your life together.
Every man wants the benefits of a marriage, (i.e. Food, Sex And Peace Of Mind), but most aren’t willing to invest or can’t afford what it costs to have a wife and family. There’s a reason why you are attracted to women whom you feel aren’t worthy, and it’s because you yourself aren’t yet worthy. You haven’t built yourself up enough to be a qualified candidate for marriage, and you know it, so you settle for women who aren’t worthy as well. You’ll be the perfect match for as long as you choose to remain on that level. The moment you decide to upgrade yourself and improve yourself, you’ll start to attract more quality women of substance.
Of course you don’t want to marry her, she’s just as broke as you are. Of course you won’t introduce her to your mother, you met her at a bar and slept with her on the 1st night; not only does it speak to her character, but it also speaks to yours. Indeed you’re ashamed to introduce her to your friends because she’s ridiculously out of shape, but the real reason you settled for her is because you too are out of shape and can’t complain. It’s no wonder you’ve been living with her for years, even had a child together and still haven’t asked for her hand in marriage, you have no plans for your own future, let alone a future with her.
It’s time to take control of your life and start taking steps towards self-improvement. Marriage is without a doubt a blessing, but can be a curse if you are not prepared for what comes with it. My grandfather Francis H. Bostock Sr met my grandmother Ethel Novella Epps in the spring of 1942, and they got married the following summer. They lived happily together in Brooklyn, NY and were married for almost fifty-two years. My grandparents are long gone, but it’s something that I’m still proud of today. I’m sure they’ve had marriage and money problems just like any other, but they loved each other enough to face them together.
In today’s times, people are getting divorced just a couple of years, months, and even weeks after the marriage. Before getting into a marriage, come up with a way to define it. To me, marriage means “coming together, fighting together and staying together.” Growing up, I’ve had quite a few friends, but not all of them would help fight my battles, and not all of them are still around today. On the day I get married, I foresee looking into the eyes of a woman who is like no other woman from my past, but the woman I need in my future. She will be someone I want to be with, fight for, and stay with until death.
After a certain age, you no longer want to be known as “The Bachelor”, you want to be known as “The Husband”, “The Father”, or “The Family Man”. That makes sense because that’s what maturity is all about; most men simply haven’t reached that point in their lives yet. Being a husband will bring out the best in you if you are willing to let go of the worst of you. Take pride in honoring a woman through marriage, building a legacy and raising a family by God’s standards. If you show a woman that are you are capable of leading, providing, protecting and serving, she will do everything in her power to support you. Let her upgrade you!