Hey friends, what are your plans for the rest of the summer? We have quite a few travel plans coming up, which I must admit, I am looking forward to, this summer. As a wife, mom, homemaker and also someone who works outside the home, every trip is a good one. The month of July takes us to Atlanta, Georgia and soon after, New York City. Although we live in NY, we are still about four hours away from NYC. Then in August, we are off again to Ohio and then South Carolina. I love long car journeys; they usually seem to foster better fellowship.
Guess what? Benny and I will celebrate our twenty fifth wedding anniversary on the 30thof this month. Twenty-five years married, twenty-seven years together; that’s older than some of you following this blog. Wow! Every year, as the years continue to accumulate, I am amazed at the goodness and grace of our God. In an age, when most Christian marriages end in divorce, the Lord has kept us together. All the glory belongs to the Lord. A couple at out church just celebrated sixty two years of marriage. Wow! The Lord has blessed our union with two beautiful girls. This is advice, I’ve had the honor to share with them, here are six things you should know and do, before you get married:
Marriage is a union between three people; man, woman and Holy God. Everyone in this relationship has a specific job to perform (Genesis 2:24). As a woman, my job is to submit to my husband’s authority (Ephesians 5:22-24; Titus 2:5, I Peter 3:5, Colossians 3:18), his job is love me (Ephesians 5:25, Colossians 3:19), our job is to submit to God’s authority (James 4:7) and to each other (Ephesians 5:21). Our Lord is the literal glue that keeps the marriage together. He does that because He keeps us as individuals. When one turns away from the Lord, the marriage is in jeopardy. Do your part; develop and nurture a consistent relationship with the Lord for yourself. Obedience to the Word of God is your responsibility; not ours, but yours. Your relationship with the Lord is a personal walk and although spending time together with the Lord will definitely strengthen the bond with your future spouse, you need that alone time to grow and draw closer to the Lord.
As a Christian, your Lord is the Creator of the Universe, He is Holy and Righteous. DO NOT MARRY SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW THE LORD AS THEIR SAVIOR! Did you get that? This is very important, perhaps more important than anything else here. I think the Lord says it very succinctly first; (II Corinthians 6:14) no need to add, well… let me just say this: if you find you have much in common with someone who isn’t a Christian , it’s probably because you’ve compromised your relationship with the Lord.
Be counseled by a godly couple or your pastor, and please do listen to what you are hearing. It’s harder, when you’ve grown up in the church, I will admit. You’ve heard it all before; more than likely, you’ve perhaps heard it a thousand times before. But marriage is forever isn’t it? Listen and take note; I promise, you will not regret it. You think now, its no big that he leaves the toilet seat up, but after a while; honey… that can become very frustrating.
This is a big one too; deep breath. here goes: Lower the expectations for your future spouse. Let me say it again; lower the expectations. Perfection does not exist, we should always strive toward that goal, but grace, mercy and forgiveness are three of our closest friends. Be prepared to reach for these friends again and again. Also, keep these friends very close, because you will have to share them with your spouse. Practice in the meantime with your immediate family and friends. Are you quick to extend grace, mercy and forgiveness? If not, maybe you’re not as ready for marriage as you think.
Everything I’ve said here can be summed up in this: Christianity is your identity. It is who you are; it sets the precedence for every decision, every action, every word. It is the foundation of your entire being. The depth of your maturity in Christ will determine the type of spouse you will be. Your identity as Christian comes before your role as a wife. You are a Christian first, a wife second. Believe it or not, the two are not co-partners; one sets the standard for the other. Your relationship with the Lord takes priority, it determines your relationship with your future spouse. The closer and deeper your relationship with the Lord; the closer and deeper the relationship with your partner.
Begin now to pray for your future spouse. Get into the habit of bringing them before the Lord, ask the Lord to strengthen his/her bond with Him. Remember, the one who says he loves you, loves the Lord more. If he doesn’t love the Lord, perhaps his love can’t be trusted, because ultimately God is love.
This list is in no way exhaustive, what are some other advice you would give to those desiring to be married?