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Preparation for Your Marriage: Readying Your Heart is part 2 of 5 from the How to Get Married Right! series getting couples ready for marriage.
Once one knows it is God's will to get married, then each person needs to work hard at eliminating as many spiritual problems they have in their lives.
Many of the more serious problems should have already been brought to the surface. Others might yet come to the surface. I am still facing problems in my life that I didn't know were there earlier in my life. I have contaminated my marriage and children with such attitudes.
Isaiah 40:1-5 shows the process of discipleship where we need to get rid of the things that shouldn't be there in life. Pride, bitterness, anger or divisive are just a few of these examples.
There are other problems too such as incurred debt that puts a lot of pressure on the marriage and should be eliminated as much as possible. Other things like fear, anxiety, stress, doubt, etc. destroy the ability to take hold of the beautiful things that God has given the married couple.
In many cases, as the courting couple discusses different issues, they will discover that they have wrongly responded and sometimes imitated their parents evil words, attitudes and deeds.
This frequently happens after visiting their parents. The couple should take an inventory and begin working on it, keeping one another accountable. At this stage, the man might consider not being too frank about sexual lusts and instead have a pastor, father or brother that keeps him accountable.
For every problem area, think of it as a target that must be shot down. God wants none of these things in our lives. Through the power of the cross of Christ, we have forgiveness and through the working of the Holy Spirit, He enables us to overcome the sins grasping onto our souls. We need to be godly men and women in order to have a blessed marriage.
You might wonder, what is acceptable? We learn that no bitterness, no wrath, no anger, etc. is our standard. We look at the scripture and accept that as our standard. We make no excuses, but instead repent. Look at this passage below on what should be put aside and what attitudes and behaviors should be adopted.
As a couple memorizes this passage, they should go through each phrase and in love evaluate how they are doing. Even better, though much more difficult, ask your partner how are you doing!
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:25-32, NASB).
We are not saying that we can get all these sins totally out of our lives, but when we get serious, we can go a long way in eliminating different kinds of sins. Anything evil that is not eliminated, will plague our marriage and family until it is eliminated. God's will is holiness.
Our goal is to get rid of all known sin by His grace and for His glory dedicate ourselves and bodies to serving His glory.
Couples talk a lot about love, but most do not know about love but only infatuation. They are thinking only how the other one fulfills their needs. A couple needs to put away sins which keep them from truly loving and start focusing on serving the other's needs.
A by-product of this pursuit of godliness in the premarital stage results in wonderful, genuine, honest and humble conversations. My wife and I had many of these discussions.
I wish we had more. We were so spiritual immature in some aspects that we couldn't even see so many sins. But others thankfully were being dealt with. A guy, for example, must realize that unless he puts away sexual lusts and fantasies, then he is not going to be a faithful husband but an adulterous one (at least in mind)!
Since those early Bible studies and open discussions, we have continued on in these same type of discussions and prayer times.
Next => 3 The Plan: Becoming a Christ-centered home.