Life Lesson # 8: Don't Just Jump into Marriage
Today I came across this blog that really struck a chord with me. It is a really powerful blog and highly encourage all Singles to it, it will change your life!
Everything she talked about, especially what we women (talking from experience when I was single) do and say and think before our Mr Wonderful comes in our life, was exactly how i once felt. For a long time as a single woman I thought that I couldn't fulfill the will of God for my life if i wasnt married (which is SO UNTRUE) in fact the Apostle Paul talks about how it is better to be single so you can fulfill the work of the Lord with out the cares of life that becomes when having a family. (See 1 Cor 7:25-40)
I have some pretty amazing single friends (guys & girls) that are beautiful inside and out are true followers of Jesus that also really want to have someone someday beside them doing the God stuff with them. I have had many conversations where waiting for the One to come along, can be one of the biggest struggle for them. But as the blogger said waiting doesn't bring contentment it can bring bitterness & frustration along the way. But when you make our hearts desire about making the Lord the only focus then when or if that special someone comes along they really have to ask yourself if you really want to give up what they have going with God for this person that is coming into their life.
When I was a little girl i can remember daydreaming about when I would get married. In elementary school, we would even play like we were getting married with the little boys we liked (i dont know we got those boys to do it) and sometimes I was the minister that would marry them ;) In Middle school & High school my friends and I would stay up at sleep overs and talk about "when we get married..."
Why are we so consumed with Marriage? We treat it as being this ultimate goal or some type of right of passage rather than abiding and resting in our love for Jesus and making that our only Goal!
Don't get me wrong I love being married , but when I finally laid down the idol of marriage in my life the Lord healed me, changed my perspective and brought Erik into my life. I have an awesome husband and I love doing life with him and worshipping God with him and planning our future with him. But Marriage is hard, fun, scary, adventurous, interesting, exhilarating, stressful, and did i say hard?
Melding two lives together, with different experiences, cultures, backgrounds and even sometimes varied perspectives on God, love, children, sex, money and the Pursuit of happiness can be difficult to merge together. That is why even in the church there is such a high divorce rate. In the 11 years Erik and I have been married, we know of close to 50 couples (majority believers) that have gotten divorced. I know this breaks God's heart.
I have such a burden for dating/courting, engaged and newlywed couples. I want to sit them all down, have a "come to Jesus Meeting" tell them the truth about marriage and the wonder of marriage. We have seen too many that are so focused on getting married, mostly out of loneliness that when they do get married it is a VERY RUDE awakening. It wasn't what they fantasied in their head that it would be then some eventually just go through the motions, dont cultivate the marriage, then one day begin to believe the Lie that God wants them to "Be Happy" so getting out of the marriage is the only way they will be happy. I am speaking generally here, so please don't take offense to it cause i know some people have some pretty horrible experiences: spouses just leaving the marriage, or adultery and even abuse. But on the other side of it, I don't know how many people that have gotten a divorce that told me "I knew deep down that i wasn't supposed to marry them, but i did it any way. Why didn't I listen?"
I do think that during the dating/courting & engagement process every couple needs to do their due diligence in vetting the person they considering to marry. It especially needs to be covered with prayer and biblical accountability and ALSO they must really listen to the Holy Spirit for Guidance. The other person needs to prove themselves worthy of your love.
Much like a job interview, you need to see if the person is qualified to even be a potential candidate to date and possibly even marry some day. See how they work under pressure, give them opportunities to show you their true character. You need to ask the hard questions,
What's your experience?
Have they dated alot?
Do they have the same perspective on relationships that you do?
Tell me about a bad experience and how you over came it?
If they were in previous relationships, why didn't the work out?
What was their home-life like?
Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
Are they a true Follower of Christ?
How did they come to Know God?
Do they have the same belief and expressions style?
What is their Church Background?
What are they bring to the table and why do they want this so much?
Do you have references?
Seriously, I think this is really important, this is where you can see patterns in a persons life
Do they have mentors and friends that can tell you honestly about this person?
Do they communicate with those past relationships?
Where do you see your self in 1, 5 and 10 years?
What do they want to do with their life and their future?
Far too many Christians rush into a relationship without even really knowing the other person. Just because you are physically attracted to each other and may have some common interests, is not a reason to pursue a relationship with someone. While this is somewhat comical to think about interviewing a potential date or spouse, I am very serious about this. Ask the questions early before you have given your heart away. If you have any checks you need to RUN not walk. Don't let your feelings of loneliness over shadow the purpose and will of God for your life.
Never let anyone get in the way of you Pursuing God, because trust me it is a very difficult process of getting back to where you once were. It's possible, it just takes a lot of healing, deliverance, vulnerability and discipline to no allow your feelings and emotions sweep you away and make God your single devotion once again. No earthly relationship can satisfy you like the one you have with the Lord!