I have heard it said that it is harder to get a driver’s license than to get a wedding license. That’s totally true!
Today you have to study and drive with a licensed driver for at least a year before you are illegible to receive a driver’s license. On the other hand, two people can walk into a courthouse and get a marriage license right on the spot. In my opinion, something is not right with that picture.
But what if we spent time preparing for marriage before the “I do” rather than trying scramble to fix problems that could’ve been avoided afterwards? A novel idea, I know, but here are a few of the things I believe every couple needs to know before they exchange vows and say those two powerful words of commitment.
1. Marriage is God’s idea: Before you say “I do” you need to know that marriage was created by God. It is His design, not ours. God created Adam, and when He saw that Adam was alone, He created Eve to make Adam “complete” and one. Since marriage is God’s idea, that means that a healthy marriage brings God glory. That also means the enemy will try to break your marriage in an attempt to rob God of His glory. Finally, it means that if marriage is God’s idea, then God is the One who knows how to live in a healthy marriage. Marriage works best when the One who created the concept of marriage is at the center of the marriage.
2. The concept of Marriage is not broken, but people are: A pastor once said, “Marriage is not broken, people are. All marriage does is show people up.” In other words, marriage is challenging because you have two imperfect people trying to get along with each other and trying to meet each other’s needs. The reason people are broken is because we have sinned against God. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they had a perfect relationship. It wasn’t until they disobeyed God and chose their own agenda that the problems started. Once Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God. They were eaten up with guilt and shame and started blaming each other for their struggles. Only after Christ restores people’s relationship with Him can the broken pieces in human relationships be restored.
3. Marriage’s function when they are founded on the Word of God and the Spirit of God: The Bible is the instruction book for all of life, including marriage. When we study God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we are more likely to be able to experience a healthy and functional marriage relationship. The Bible speaks to every situation and problem that arises within a marriage. The Bible instructs couple’s in communication, conflict, finances, working through differences, sexuality, and more. The Holy Spirit is the One who changes us and makes us more like Christ. As a person yields his or her will to Christ’s will, that person is transformed and slowly becomes more like Christ. When two people are consulting the truth of God and are actively being changed by the Spirit of God, they become more like the Son of God.
As you think about these principles, take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:
How would you describe your parents’ marriage or your view of marriage prior to your current relationship?
What do you think some of your greatest challenges will be in making your marriage successful?
What things are you doing to ensure that your marriage will be built by the Word of God and the Spirit of God?
What would you say is the ultimate goal of marriage and how can you move toward that goal?