To a daughter, a future Mrs. Right,
#1. Choose your man wisely. All my advice from here on out will be based on the hope you choose a good man to marry. A man who loves God with his whole heart. If you are following God too, finding Mr. Right won't be a problem. "A woman's heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her." (C. S. Lewis)
#2. Always be your husband's girlfriend. He fell in love with the sweet, funny, entertaining, thoughtful girl you were when you were dating. Keep finding her even when she is hiding in sloppy work-out clothes. Even when she is hugely pregnant. Be his girlfriend.
#3. Kick nagging to the curb. It is annoying, doesn't remind him of his beloved girlfriend (see above), and doesn't work for long. Pray for your husband daily. The only way to change him is for God to work in his life.... not you and your almighty reminders.
#4. The fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. My grandma was right. Cook foods for him that he loves. He will feel loved.
#5. A man will think it is necessary, appropriate, and downright funny when he farts. He will think it is unnecessary and disgusting if/when you do.
#6. Treat your man like a king and he will treat you like his queen. Men's list of needs is a short one. A satisfied man will swim through shark-infested waters to fetch you a lemon-aid. Is he grumpy? Then he isn't feeling like the king of his castle and fetching your lemon-aid certainly is not on his radar. We women like to mess with this concept, hoping the formula will change so we can sit around being pampered without any effort. It won't change because God created it this way (the man is to be the head of the family - Ephesians 5:23).
#7. Keep yourself looking hot for him. Don't spend money on an image that he doesnt find attractive. You know what he likes. Men are so visual. He'll appreciate the effort, even when he doesn't say so.
#8. Use the household money wisely. Respect his hard work by stretching every dollar and not complaining about having too little. Much of a man's worth is tied to what/how he works. Make him feel capable of taking care of his family and he will rise to the occasion.
#9. Your hormones are completely real and will make you act completely irrational at times. It's better to take a time-out instead of taking it out on him.
#10. Your man can not read your mind. No matter how much he loves you, talks to you, prays for you, thinks about you -- he still can. not. read. your. mind. Stop hoping he will know what you are thinking and tell him about your expectations. If you want a surprise birthday party, you might just have to plan it yourself and have him put stamps on the envelopes for the invites. It's okay. You'll get what you want and save him loads of stress.
#11. Your mood will drastically effect everyone who lives with you. Yes, the job is incredibly difficult, but the God who created you with love and care did not give you an impossible task when he asked you to serve your family with joy. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for God, not man." Colosians 3:23.
#12. There will be things that drive you crazy about Mr. Right. You can stew over each inadequacy and the discontent will destroy your marriage. Or you can drive out those "crazy" thoughts with thanksgiving. Every sock not thrown in the hamper or cupboard door left ajar shows that there is life in your home. Thank God for each moment you have with the man you married.
#13. Give your girlfriends, not Mr. Right, an ear-full about your latest decorating scheme, fashion foibles, or the fantastic updos you saw on Pinterest. They care. He doesn't.
#14. Be an encourager. Every man is still a boy who needs an ego boost now and then. Sing his praises to him and to others in public. Tell your friends how amazing you think he is. If you won't be his cheerleader, who will be?
#15. Your parents love you and pray for you. We will always be available if you are hurt or in danger, but otherwise: do not share your marriage problems with us. God is the source of wisdom in your marriage (James 1:7). Cling to your husband, cling to God's promises. Seek unbiased, godly counseling (your parents have a bias!) before things get ugly. When your conflicts are resolved you will be thankful because your husband's in-laws will still think highly of him instead of giving him the snake-eye at every family gathering for mistakes you've forgiven him for.
#16. If you fish for compliments, expect to be handed a line. You know whether you look fat in those pants, so don't ask unless you can take his honest answer.
#17. Every now and then, forget bedtime and stay up late talking and cuddling (with benefits) with Mr. Right. The missing sleep will not be as important as the intimacy gained.
#18. Invest in a deep relationship with God. It will improve your marriage. “An ongoing relationship with God through His Word is essential to [your] consistent victory” (Beth Moore, Believing God).
#19. Give 100%, even when things don't seem "fair." 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your (husband) as yourself.' Matthew 22:37.
#20. With all this hard work, you will probably find yourself longing for your carefree little-girl days, free of responsibilities. It's okay to still want to be a princess. Just make sure you are following advice #1 thru #19 and then wear your tiara with joy.