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Great Advice For Single Ladies Who Want To Get Married | Time Honored Tips

Great Advice For Single Ladies Who Want To Get Married | Time Honored Tips

Great Advice For Single Ladies Who Want To Get Married | Time Honored Tips 

There is no state of life more honorable useful, and happy than that of a wife and mother. There must and ever will be inequalities of station, but happiness is equally attainable in them all. To be happy, however, you must be good.

Of course, I do not mean absolutely good, for “there is none good but One”; but I mean that you should be relatively good, and should aim at becoming better and more innocent as you advance in life. Now, you cannot respect yourself unless you know that you are worthy of respect; and if you do not respect yourself, you cannot expect that anybody else will; and in such case you will not be worthy of the love of any good man, and none such will be likely to pay court to you.

If, however, you take the right means, in which I include prayer for divine guidance, you will have the respect and friendship of all your acquaintances, and then in God’s own time, and, let me add, without your seeking it, the man whom you can make happy will present himself and propose to make you his wife, if it be God’s will that you should become one.

Here are two very important points for your consideration:

First, that it should be your constant endeavor to make your husband happy:

Second, that before you consent to marry him, you should ascertain that he has those qualifications that will secure your happiness.

It most nearly concerns yourself that you do your duty to God and your neighbor at all times, so that it becomes your habit; and you will find it much easier, and safer, too, to do it every day rather than on only particular occasions; for this would require a special effort, and for the time, perhaps, put you into a state of excitement, which, in all probability, would be followed by a depression of spirits.

What you should rather aim at is a uniformly cheerful state of mind, resulting from a conscious and confident dependence on Providence. If your husband knows from experience that such is your character, he cannot fail, provided he be worthy of you, to be content and happy.

It is the nature of young women to be affectionate, and it is pleasant and usual for them to have several dear friends, enjoying more or less of their confidence. Among these may be included some of their male acquaintance.

Now, while they may esteem each of these as they would a dear cousin, they should know and act upon the knowledge that it is only to one they can give their unlimited confidence and individual affection as a wife. It is the height of cruelty and wickedness for either a man or a woman to trifle with another’s affection.

Such base conduct has cost many a young woman her health and peace, and even her life, and cannot, therefore, be too much depreciated and avoided. Let me, then, advise you to be very cautious before before you allow a young man to pay you such marked attentions as may lead to marriage.

It is not, you know, to terminate in seven years, like an apprenticeship or a commercial partnership, but it is an engagement for the life of one of the parties. I want you, then, to profit by the experience of others, too many of whom enter into marriage from light and low considerations, and not to settle in life till you, and also your friends, see that there is a reasonable prospect of your securing happiness, as well as comfort and a respectable position.

When a young woman has property or expects it, or is possessed of superior personal attractions, she should be especially prudent in her conduct towards the numerous admirers which such qualifications usually attract.

No woman should allow herself to accept the attentions of any man who does not possess those sterling qualities which will command her respect, or whose love is directed to her fortune or beauty rather than herself.

On such a one she can place no reliance, for should illness or misfortune overtake her she may find herself deprived of that love which she had valued as the great treasure of her life. Possessed of this, she feels that earthly riches are but of secondary importance, and that the want of them can never make her poor.

Moreover, a worthier man than any of her interested suitors may have a sincere respect and affection for her, but be kept in the background by the overzealous attention of his rivals. Still, if she has sufficient self-command to patiently and calmly investigate their general private character, she may find reason to decline their suit, and may discover that the more modest and retiring youth is the one that is deserving of her love.

While on this subject, let me caution you against the foolish affectation which some girls practice in order to attract the attention of young men. In their company be natural in your manners, open and friendly and ready to converse on general subjects; not appearing to expect that every one who pays you the ordinary courtesies of society is going to fall in love with you.

This mode of behavior, which is more common with those who are vain of their beauty than with others, frequently leads to such young women being more neglected than their less pretending sisters; for prudent young men, who are impressed with the necessity of a right decision in the all-important step of marriage, instinctively shrink from those who seem unwilling to give them a fair opportunity of judging whether their hearts and minds are as attractive as their persons.

You may innocently admire many a young man for the noble qualities God has bestowed upon him, without at all entertaining the idea either that he would make you happy as his wife, or you him as your husband. Thank God we are constituted of such different temperaments that all may find suitable partners without clashing with each other’s tastes, if they will only be content to watch and wait.

It is the part of a young man to watch, to be actively desirous of meeting with a suitable partner. In doing this, his first consideration should be to seek for such a one as he can make happy; not to look primarily for beauty, fortune, wit, or accomplishments—things all very good in themselves, but by no means constituting the essentials of happiness.

If he is influenced by pure and simple motives, he will not find, or expect to find, more than one that can satisfy his desire, and he will not be in much danger of exciting the envy or the rivalry of his companions.

On the other hand, it is becoming in a young woman to wait patiently till, from the assiduous and respectful attentions of a young man, she can have no doubt that he is in earnest, when, and not before, she may freely give him her company, and with every expectation of a happy result.

Be assured that no sensible young man is ever attracted by a young woman whom he sees on the lookout for a lover; he is more likely to think meanly of her, and to avoid her society.

It may, however, happen that a young man makes the offer before the young woman knows enough of him for it to be right for her to accept it, and before he, on his part, ought to take the step.

In such case it would be well for her, even supposing she is inclined to like him, to tell him that he has taken her by surprise, and that she cannot think of entering on so important a subject without consulting her friends, to whom she accordingly refers him.

It would then become her duty to intimate to him that, although his attentions are agreeable to them, he must wait a while, till, from further acquaintance, they are enabled to judge whether it will conduce to the mutual happiness of their daughter and himself for her to accept the offer he has so kindly made.

But it is not only young men who are apt to be hasty in these matters. It is, as is well known, not uncommon for parents, especially mothers, very soon after a young man has begun to pay attention to their daughter, to give him to understand that they wish to know his intentions in reference to her.

By such proceedings a young man may be taken aback, and either hurry into a match, which turns out unhappily, or be led to withdraw from a union which might have resulted in the happiness of all the parties concerned.

That your parents should wish you to be married is only natural, especially if their own marriage has been a happy one. It will be gratifying to them to see a worthy young man paying attention to you, and most probably they will let things take their own course. Marriage is too important a matter to admit of being hastened.

There are, I am aware, unwise parents, who, from various motives, will throw obstacles in the way of young people who are desirous of coming together. Some are so selfish as to be unwilling to part with their daughter, preferring their own happiness to hers.

Others are so silly as to think no ordinary man good enough for her, and therefore, if they had their own way, would have her to become an old maid. Fortunately, such shortsighted people are not infrequently outwitted.

If your parents are, as I hope they are, reasonable in their views and expectations, one of the chief concerns of their life will be the promotion of your happiness, and it behooves you to pay the utmost deference to their opinion; and should they, from circumstances they become aware of, deem it advisable that you should either postpone or even break off an engagement, they will doubtless give you such weighty reasons as will justify you in acting on their advice.

Where, however, as sometimes happens, they unwisely refuse their consent to their child’s marriage at a time when she well knows from her own feelings, and also from the sanction she receives from the opinion of trustworthy and judicious friends, that she would be making a real sacrifice were she to comply with their wishes; if, I say, under such circumstances she acts disobediently and marries the man she loves, more blame attaches to the parents than to herself, and the sooner they forgive her the better.

It is very common for young men, when going into the company of young woman, together with their best dress to put on their best behavior; in fact, to assume a character which is not their natural one, but far superior to it.

Some hold the opinion that, “All is fair in love and war.”

To me it appears there cannot be greater folly and wickedness than for young people who are thinking of marrying to attempt to deceive each other. What is the good of it? A very short period of married life will entirely dispel the illusion.

I suppose people of the world may [think it fair to overreach one another in their dealings, saying “everyone for himself.” They have no intention of seeking to promote the other’s happiness; present gain is all they want. But a married pair, to be happy, must

Respect and esteem, as well as love each other; and this cannot be attained except by the constant endeavor to be as well as to appear true and good. That young men should behave well in the presence of women is only natural and right; none but a fool would do otherwise.

But you, long before thinking of marrying, should take all fair means to learn what is the general conduct and habits of your male acquaintance in their family circle and with their daily connections. “Are they good-humored and kind—able to bear the troubles they meet with?

Are they industrious, frugal, temperate, religious, chaste? Have they had the prudence to insure against sickness and death?” Or, on the other hand, are they addicted to drinking, smoking, betting, keeping late hours, frequenting casinos, etc.? Your mother and other prudent friends will assist you to find this out.

Those who do not come up to the proper standard, however agreeable they may be as acquaintance, certainly cannot make good husbands. In company of such, it behooves you to be well on your guard, and accept no attention from them. Should you marry such a one, you would be sure to be miserable.

While, however, it is quite right that you should be careful about the character of the young man who is paying court to you, it is of far more importance to you that you should be careful about your own, and this whether you marry or not. Indeed, a chief object in our being placed in this world is that we may acquire good habits, and so be fitted to associate with the just made perfect in heaven!

Be very guarded in your actions and demeanor. Cultivate purity of heart and thought. No woman is fit to become a wife who is not perfectly modest in word, deed, and thought. No young man, who is worth having, would ever entertain the thought for a moment of taking the girl for a wife who is habitually careless in her conversation and displays a levity in her manners.

Young men may like your free and hearty girls to laugh and talk with, but as to taking one for a wife, let me assure you they would not tolerate the idea for a moment. You may at times be unavoidably compelled to hear a vulgar word spoken or an indelicate allusion made; in every instance maintain a rigid insensibility.

It is not enough that you should cast down your eyes or turn your head, you must act as if you did not hear it; appear as if you did not comprehend it. You ought to receive no more impression from remarks of this character than a block of wood.

Unless you maintain this standing, and preserve this high-toned purity of manner, you will be greatly depreciated in the opinion of all men whose opinion is worth having, and you deprive yourself of much influence and respect which it is your privilege to possess and exert. Courtship, after all, is a momentous matter.

After taking all the counsel that may be offered, you must at last, in a great measure, rely on your own judgment. Within a few short months you have to decide, from what you can see of a man, whether you will have him in preference to your parents, friends, and all others that you know, to be a life companion. What can you do? How shall you judge? How arrive at a correct conclusion?

My dear young girl, there is only One who can assist you. He, in His mercy to your helplessness and weakness, has given to every virtuous and pure-minded woman a wonderful, mysterious, and subtle instinct; a peculiar faculty that cannot be analyzed by reason, a faculty that men do not possess, and one in which they do not generally believe.

At this all-important period, this eventful crisis in your life, this womanly instinct guides and saves you. You can feel in a moment the presence or influence of a base, sensual, and unworthy nature. An electric-like thrill animates you, and you are naturally repulsed from him.

When your suitor is a man of incongruous temper, ungenial habits, and of a morose and unsympathetic disposition, this same precious, divine instinct acts, and the man feels, though he cannot tell why, that all his arts and aspirations are in vain.

It will seldom be necessary for you to tell him verbally of his failure; but should such a one blindly insist upon intruding his attentions, do not hesitate to tell him kindly but firmly your decision.

Should your suitor be one who is worthy, who will make you happy, this same blessed instinct will whisper in your soul the happy news. From the first interview there is frequently thrown around the maiden a peculiar, undefined spell; she will feel differently in his presence, and watch him with other eyes than she has for the rest of men, and in due time, when he shall ask her to decide upon the question which shall seal the temporal and eternal destiny of two human souls, she will gladly respond, giving in loving trustfulness that which is the most precious, the most enviable thing on earth: a maiden’s heart, a woman’s love.

Many persons, of both sexes, however amiable and pure their minds may be, should conscientiously abstain from marriage. This applies to all who have a tendency to consumption, scrofula, insanity, or any other of those diseases which are so frequently transmitted to offspring.

This very important matter is not sufficiently known, and therefore is not attended to as it ought to be; hence the great amount of sickness and early death among children.

The tendency to inherit qualities is very evident in the case of drunkards, whose children are often inclined to practice the vice of their parents. The children of the blind, and of the deaf and dumb, are also liable to be afflicted as their parents were.

These facts go far to show that it is literally true that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children. It is, however, gratifying to know—and there are many well-attested cases to prove it—that whereas the children born to a man while he was addicted to drunkenness were similarly addicted to that vice, those born after he gave up his vicious indulgence, and by that means improved his bodily health, were free from the evil tendency.

One strong reason why near relations should not intermarry is that, as the same general tendencies prevail in families, when the parents are nearly related they are very likely to have the same evil tendency, whatever that may be; and, therefore, there is a great probability that their children will also have the same, but more strongly developed, and, consequently, the difficulty of their overcoming it will be much increased.

How plainly, then, is it the duty of those about to marry, as well as of those who are married, to strive to their utmost, with God’s help, to overcome disorderly habits of every kind; for, be assured, it is only by such means they can hope to be blessed with good and healthy children, and thereby contribute to their own happiness, and at the same time to the improvement of the race as subjects both of this world and of heaven.

As it is by no means certain that you will marry, and the time may come when it will no longer be convenient to your parents to support you, it will be good for you, keeping these contingencies in mind, to qualify yourself to earn your own maintenance by some honest industry.

You will then have a right feeling of independence, and not be tempted to marry, as too many young women do, not from the true principle of sincere affection, but mainly for a living. They may thus obtain a competence, and jog on comfortably, but they have no right to expect that genuine happiness which I recommend you to aim at.

When, too, you see so many left widows, with small families, and, as we say, totally unprovided for, you will become sensible of the soundness of the advice I am offering you.

As the Lord’s tender mercies are over all His works, it is evident, from what is occurring around us, that trouble and adversity are better suited to the state of some people, to prepare them for their eternal destination, than any amount of prosperity would be.

The poor are no less His children than the rich, and he cares equally—that is, infinitely—for them all. It is certainly wise, then, to be prepared to meet adversity, should He suffer it to come upon you.

Again, suppose you should not have any suitable offer of marriage, such as you would feel it your duty to accept, you are not on that account to be disheartened, and fancy yourself overlooked by Providence.

Single life is evidently the best for some persons; they escape many troubles which perhaps they would find it very hard to bear. There are many ways in which single people can lead a useful life, and be as happy as the day is long.

No one that is actively useful can be unhappy. What do you see around you? Many, I admit, who are not so happy as we should like them to be; but in most cases, if we could fully investigate the matter, it would perhaps be found to have arisen from their thinking too much about themselves and not enough for others.

But, on the other hand, it not infrequently happens, when a woman is left, and sees that the support and welfare of herself and children depend on her own exertions, she is enabled to so successfully put forth her energies and to employ her talents which, till she needed them, she hardly knew she possessed, as to surprise both herself and the most sanguine of her friends.

Now, it must be confessed that we are fallen creatures, and therefore prone to evil. We are consequently always in danger of going wrong and forming bad habits, but our Heavenly Father watches over us at all times and gives us power to “refuse the evil and choose the good.”

We are, I know full well, too much inclined to yield to evil influences; still, as we always have divine aid if we implore it, I am not sure that, on the whole, it is not as easy to acquire good habits as bad ones. This much is certain, that whichever we acquire, they are likely to remain with us and are not easily to be got rid of.

Among the subjects deserving attention as affecting our happiness is one on which, perhaps, I am not entitled to say much. I refer to dress. Now, I hold it to be a duty for people to dress well—that is, according to their position, means, and age; and this not so much for their own sakes as for the sake of giving pleasure to others.

It is, I admit, difficult to determine how much of one’s income should be devoted to dress, but I think few will deny that at present dress occupies too much time, attention, and money. For my own part, I confess I am most affected by female dress, and although certainly I like to see women well dressed, and would rather see them a little too fine than slovenly, I am often pained at witnessing the extravagance and, to me, ridiculous taste exhibited.

Whenever I see a handsome and expensive dress trailing in the dirt, I regard it as culpable waste and in bad taste, and when I see it accidentally trodden on I am not sorry. I am inclined to believe that many women can hardly find time or opportunity to perform any useful duty; they have quite as much as they, poor things, can do to take care of their dress.

I also believe (and this is the serious point of the matter) that many a young man is deterred from soliciting a maiden in marriage by knowing that his means would not enable him to let her dress as he is accustomed to see her, and this is doubtless one of the many reasons why so many of both sexes remain unmarried. I hold, too, that whatever forms an obstacle to marriage has a tendency at the same time to obstruct the entrance to heaven.

I will now allude to some of the duties which will devolve upon you as a wife; and recollect that it is on the faithful discharge of these duties that your happiness, here and hereafter, mainly depends. All labor is honorable, and you know who it is that says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Being married, you must make your husband feel, there is no place like home.

His business will probably take him from home most of the day, and it should be your care, as I doubt not it will be your delight, to see to his [comfort, both before he starts and when he returns. It may sometimes happen in his fighting the battle of life that he has to encounter much that is unpleasant, and he may return home depressed. You will then have to cheer him, and be assured no one can do it so effectually, so pleasantly—aye, and so easily—as yourself.

It is not to sweep the house, and make the bed, and darn the socks, and cook the meals, chiefly, that a man wants a wife. If this is all that he needs, hired help can do it cheaper than a wife. If this is all, when a young man calls to see a young lady, send him to the pantry to taste the bread and cake she has made.

Send him to inspect the needlework and bed-making; or put a broom into her hands and send him to witness its use. Such things are important, and the wise young man will quietly look after them. But what a true man most wants of a true wife is her companionship, sympathy, courage, and love.

The way of life has many dreary places in it, and a man needs a companion to go with him. A man is sometimes overtaken with misfortune; he meets with failure and defeat; trials and temptations beset him; and he needs one to stand by and sympathize.

He has some stern battles to fight with poverty, with enemies, and with sin; and he needs a woman that, while he puts his arm around her and feels that he has something to fight for, will help him fight; that will put her lips to his ear and whisper words of counsel, and her hands to his heart and impart new inspirations.

All through life—through storm and through sunshine, conflict and victory, and through adverse and favoring winds—man needs a woman’s love. The heart yearns for it. A sister’s or a mother’s love will hardly supply the need. Yet many seek for nothing further than success in housework.

Justly enough, half of these get nothing more; the other half, surprised beyond measure, have got more than they sought. Their wives surprise them by bringing a nobler idea of marriage, and disclosing a treasury of courage, sympathy, and love.

And I would here caution you against giving way to little misunderstandings in early married life. Sometimes trifling matters, for want of some forbearance or concession on one side on the other, perhaps on both sides, accumulate into serious results.

These differences might be avoided by married partners studying each other’s peculiarities of character, with the aim of mutually correcting, in a kindly spirit, any wrong tendency or temper which may sometimes show itself. Should you find you have inadvertently given pain to your husband, do not rest until you have ascertained the cause of his disquiet and succeeded in allaying the unhappy feeling.

The earnest desire to please each other should by no means terminate on the wedding day, but be studiously continued through married life. Each should always endeavor to think the best of the other, and instantly reject every thought that might tend to weaken the bond of mutual preference and perfect trust.

If he be wise, he will leave the housekeeping entirely to you; his time and attention can be better employed elsewhere. To enable you to do this wisely, you should, long before you marry, become familiar with the quality and prices of articles of consumption, and where they can best be obtained.

Every wife should be able to cook well, whether she has to do it herself or not. Health and good humor greatly depend upon the food being of good quality, well cooked, and nicely served up. She should also be able, if needful, to make and mend her own and children’s clothes.

Too much importance cannot be attached to cleanliness. Men may be careless as to their own personal appearance, and may, from the nature of their business, be negligent in their dress, but they dislike to see any disregard in the dress and appearance of their wives. Nothing so depresses a man and makes him dislike and neglect his home as to have a wife who is slovenly in her dress and unclean in her habits.

Beauty of face and form will not compensate for these defects. The charm of purity and cleanliness never ends but with life itself. These are matters that do not involve any great labor or expense. The use of the bath, and the simplest fabrics, shaped by your own supple fingers, will be all that is necessary. These attractions will act like a magnet upon your husband. Never fear that there will be any influence strong enough to take him from your side.

An experience of many years of observation has convinced me that where a pure, industrious, and cheerful wife meets her husband with a bright smile on the threshold of her dwelling, that man will never leave the home for any other place.

As all people are liable to illness, every young woman should aim at being an efficient nurse. In case of illness, it is now generally admitted that good nursing is of more value than medicine. To a sick husband, a little gruel or other trifle prepared and given by his wife’s own hands will confer much more benefit than if prepared and given by another.

Should it happen to you to fall ill, you may expect your husband to do his best; [but you must not be surprised if he is not your equal in that department. Nursing is one of the many useful things which women can do better than men. A practical knowledge of nursing will enable you to be useful beyond your own family, and will enhance your value as a neighbor.

You have often, I trust, experienced the pleasure of serving others from disinterested motives, and found that the pleasure has been deeper and purer when you have engaged in doing good to those who could not make you any return.

This you have found to be the case wherever you have had charge of a baby—one of those little ones of whom the Lord says: “Their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” You have perhaps been surprised to find how easy it was to perform such a duty, and let me assure you that you may always expect to find it easy to perform your duty in that state of life to which it shall please God to call you.

He never requires anything from any of His creatures beyond what He gives them power to do. He is no hard task-master. You have only to look to Him and do your best, and then you may safely leave the result in His hands.

Of all God’s creatures, I know no happier one than a young mother with a good husband and a healthy baby. I say a healthy baby, for that implies healthy parents, especially a healthy mother. She may justly feel proud that God has intrusted a young immortal to her care, and she should at all times bear in mind that it is His gift.

While it is on all hands considered honorable to hold a commission from the President, and to fill a high office, contributing to the welfare of many people, a mother may feel her office at least as honorable, seeing she has intrusted to her the rearing and training of an immortal being, and that she holds her commission direct from the King of Kings.

For, recollect, it is only by God’s blessing that she becomes a mother; for such is the present state of society that many very worthy married people have not the privilege of offspring, although they are intensely fond of children and seem to have no other earthly want. They may, nevertheless, be very useful, and therefore happy, in a different sphere, by the adoption of nephews and nieces or in some similar way.

Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.

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