Wise Counsel Before Marriage
This piece is written to those who are not yet married or maybe considering marriage. I write this article to enlighten the young lovers before they say "I do" in holy matrimony. I am married and have been for 24 years. I can tell you a few things about marriage that no one willingly shared with me. If you are brave enough, I challenge you to think long and hard about this lifelong commitment you might be enter into.
Wise Counsel Before Saying I Do
There are several questions you should consider:Am I willing to put aside my needs for the sake of another human being's need?
- Am I willing to forgive no matter what the "crime" maybe?
- Would I be able to handle feeling lonely at times?
- How would I react if my needs for companionship or physical contact were not met very often or too often for that matter?
- What if my spouse became an alcoholic and drank every night until he/she couldn't walk?
- What if my spouse got involved with another person outside the marriage?
- How would I react if we were not able to have children together?
- Would I be able to support my unemployed spouse who couldn't find work in more than 2 years?
- How would I handle giving birth to a special needs child?
- What if my spouse didn't compliment me or flirt with me or "wine and dine" me after we married?
- What if my spouse or I contracted a life threatening disease?
- What if my spouse was in some type of accident that left them paralyzed? What then?
- How would you react if your spouse changes his/her thinking years into your marriage and now no longer believes what you believe? Could I still love them?
- What if you and your spouse disagree on how to raise the children? What would you do then?
- What if your spouse is bi-polar, manic-depressive, or has other mental issues?
Marriage is for a lifetime
The list above is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope is shows a variety of things can happen over a lifetime together. The key is whether you are brave enough to persevere through all these storms. For when you decide to marry another human being, you are committing to stay with them "until death do us part." Are you able to handle anything that comes your way?
My husband and I were married for almost 11 years before trouble began. I can honestly say that only by the grace of God we are still together after all we've been through. You see when we said our vows to each other in the presence of witnesses and before God Almighty, we vowed to be together forever. That means forsaking all others. The vow means staying together whether we become richer or poorer. Even if we had health issues that make us sick rather than healthy. Vows are a serious matter. Vows are not to be taken lightly.
Divorce - more common than marriage
In today's society, it is more common for people to get divorced than to get married. Where do you think this will lead us as a society? How will our children ever know what it means to be faithful to one another? You might be asking "why is this important?" and "What's the big deal, my parents divorced and I turned out alright." Marriage was meant to display the full expression of God in both male and female qualities. The marriage union was meant to be sacred because it demonstrates God's characteristics such as unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Without these qualities demonstrated in our marriages young people will not see what is so important about marriage. Yet only when a marriage endures the test of time is God's glory evident to a lost world.
So I ask you to ponder these things. Pray about them. Seek the Lord's counsel. Search for wisdom and understanding. Do not enter flippantly into this holy union we call marriage. Should you decide you are brave enough, I encourage you to make God's Words your refuge. You will need every bit of sound advice as you navigate a lifetime relationship with another imperfect human being.
In God's Grace, Elizabeth Marks