For any given profession, there are some standard training and for most, the training culminates in certification. In recognition of evolution and advancements in the said profession, even after obtaining the certification, many professionals are often required to engage in continuing education to obtain credits towards periodic re-certification. All of this is to be able to do well and excel on “the job”.
It is not the job or the people you work with that essentially make for exceptional performance on the job (though these may contribute). It is the skill, knowledge, expertise, experience, etc. that you bring that increase your chances of doing a good job. Prior to looking for a job, you are intentional about investing in yourself – trainings, certifications, books, workshops and what have you. You want the best shot at landing the best job and doing it well of course! And even after getting the job, you continue to invest in yourself professionally. . .
BUT ironically, most people do exactly the opposite when it comes to marriage. They channel their energy towards finding “the right person” rather than focusing on investing in themselves in order to be “right for the person”. The principles that make for a good marriage do not change to adapt to what you want. To have a good marriage, you have to possess and grow in the characteristics and skills that make for great interpersonal relationship, but more so at the level of intimacy and exclusivity required. It is more important to be the right person than to seek same.
In a nutshell: Much like one aspiring to land that great job, who checks out the qualifications, skills, expertise and/or knowledge base required and works towards acquiring those, the one who is desirous of a good marriage should seek an understanding of what makes for that outcome, and work at building him/herself in order to have what it takes. A good marriage does not happen by chance. It takes work . . . and it is intentional.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? [Luke 14:28 NIV]
To do: Whether you are already married or yet intending, this week, engage in at least one activity that is guaranteed to build you up with regards to marriage - buy a book, attend a seminar, listen to a message, watch a relevant movie or anything else . . .