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How to Get Married Right! describes five areas to examine before getting married so that the couple might have a good marriage foundation: discerning a spouse, readying your heart, have a good marriage plan, working as a team, and having a vision for the future. This page introduces the series and share what is needed to discern the right spouse.
"Hello, my name's Heidi. I am engaged to an awesome man named Peter and we want to have a marriage based on God's will for our lives and have him as #1 in our lives.
We realize you are incredibly busy, so we won't take up much of your time, but do you have any information we could have or know of any on line stuff we could find? I would be grateful for any thing you could do. God bless you and your work. Bless you, In Jesus Name."
Let's look at each of these five areas a person needs to focus on to live out God's will for his or her marriage. We are concerned with building the right marital foundation for a beautiful family that pleases God. God's way is always the best way!
An brief outline is first given with the longer discussions following on this and the next pages.
Most couples tend to jump over this first step. We get so excited about someone loving us so, that we couldn't believe God's will is anything but him or her! He is 'Awesome'!
Although you might be totally convinced, we strongly suggest that you be open whether this is God's person for you. Go through the following steps. You will not regret it.
First, are you both Christians? If not, then you should not date, court or consider marriage. Your question assumes you are, but one never knows. Our emotions at times block out God's perspective.
Second, do both of your parents agree to your courtship and marriage? Again, many couples go astray when they are not willing to submit their marriage to their parents' decision even if they are non-Christians. God can and does work through non-Christian parents. We must not despise God or our parents because of this fact.
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise)" (Ephesians 6:1-2).
Third, check and see if you are both physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. ready for marriage. Our parents sometimes consciously and always subconsciously think about these things, but it is good for the couple to see what areas need to be worked on before they get married too. If we look at these things objectively, then we can muster up that extra discipline to get where we need to be at. Oftentimes, our parents do not know some special aspects about our lives.
We need to be completely honest with our parents and potential partner. We should divulge our financial affairs (incurred debt), social obligations (is there that other girl left hanging out there, sexual affairs, divorces), physical problems (STDs, cancer, etc.), and other issues that might influence the evaluating of what God's will is. For example, one partner might be HIV positive. How is this going to affect their lives? Blood tests for getting married? Having children? We want nothing hidden that is later revealed.
Fourth, are you spiritually compatible? If the woman is much ahead of the man spiritually, then there are going to be a lot of frustrations for that marriage. It would be better for the man to take a year alone with the Lord without the pressure of an engagement and grow.
He could take special time serving the Lord in the local church and have special times of Bible memory, meditation and prayer. In order to be a good husband, he needs to be a spiritual leader before they get married. This does not mean he is a deacon, but it does mean he loves the Lord and knows how to disciple others.
Last, one needs to see whether God is leading them in the same direction. We need to understand that the woman chiefly gets her guidance from her husband. Once she is married, her goal becomes to make him a great man, successful in all that God has called him to be.
But if before marriage, she senses God has a special mission or purpose for her life, she must contemplate what that is. At times, it will be fulfilled in her future life with her husband. It is difficult for her to struggle through these questions alone in her heart. She should talk about them with some trusted people.
Many of the above issues have to do with the timing of marriage; some have to do with whether one should get married at all. Those who really seek God's will, will offer up their potential marriage to God as a sacrifice. They will choose to do what God wills for them because they believe it is best.
We should mention that if any of these areas are neglected or ignored, one is already building a very poor base for their marriage. This is the foundation of a house. If they marry not in the Lord, then how can the building be rightly corrected? Not easily, if at all.
We will next look at preparation for marriage. Next ->