Before you say, “I Do” (Part Two)

by Dec 16, 2021

Statistics tell us that about half of marriages end in divorce in the United States. So imagine this, if the brakes failed on half of every car built in the U.S., our government would issue a recall on every automobile. 

That statistic on marriage is unbelievable and clearly indicates couple’s need more preparation before they say “I do.” We need to do all we can to prepare for marriage before we are actually in one. 

Having been a pastor for more than three decades, I’ve officiated countless weddings and facilitated marriage counseling with many couples. Continuing the principles I gave in my previous blog, here are a few more things I believe every couple needs to know before they say, “I do.”

4. Marriage needs to be built on the model of Christ and His Church: The apostle Paul reminds us that husbands are to love their wives like Christ loves the Church. and wives are to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Christ. That is the perfect model for how a marriage was designed to function. The more a man loves his wife and lays down his life for her, the more she will want to follow where he leads. Likewise, the more a wife submits to her husband and lays down her life for him, the more he will want to love her and sacrifice for her.

Christ’s death and the Church’s surrender to Christ is the perfect model of mutual submission and the perfect model of how two can become one.

5. Marriages must be managed and maintained: I’ve known more than my share of couples who think after they say, “I do” that they are finished with the work. Not true! Every marriage needs to be managed and maintained in order to be successful. Imagine driving a vehicle off the car lot and never doing anything to it after that. Imagine planting a garden and never watering it, weeding it, or harvesting it. What a waste of time and effort! Every garden needs to be stewarded. Every marriage needs to keep growing!  

Your marriage will require continual work and development. You will need to continue to “date” each other as you learn and grow together. So many couples get divorced after their children leave home because they never took the time to care for their relationship. Couples grow apart because they did not grow together. 

6. Marriage is intended to be a permanent union: When you say the words, “till death do us part”, will you truly mean them? I know people who have said those words, but when they were faced with challenges that went beyond what they expected, they threw in the towel. It is easy to lose sight of the permanence of the marriage covenant. The covenant of marriage is not kept based on feelings or circumstances, but on commitment. When you say “I do”, mean what you say. As you think about these principles, take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:

How do you think Christ and His Church could be an example for how to approach your future spouse?

What things could you prioritize to continue growing the health of your marriage? What challenges might inhibit growth?

Would you consider the marriage models you’ve experienced to be healthy or unhealthy? Describe those what was modeled for you. How can you make different choices in your marriage?

How prepared do you feel for this marriage covenant?

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