As I approach one year of marriage I want to share with you what you should know before you get married. If you desire to one day say, I do, consider these important points of a Christian marriage.
The Death of the Self
Doctor John Thomas, a Christian marriage counselor from Cincinnati, Ohio, gave Ron and me these words of wisdom. Marriage is the death of the self. I put this at the top of my list of what you should know before you get married because in my opinion, it is the most crucial. We have heard that marriage is about give and take. Yet, some forget to disclose the real figures of the giving part. You and your spouse must both give 100 percent. Giving your partner 50 percent and consuming the rest of your energy on yourself will not work.
You are no longer flying solo, but have become part of a team. Support each other. Build each other up. This sounds like a hard task to the natural mind, especially if you have been single for awhile. You are used to having things your way, but remember that true love does not put itself first. Both the husband and wife will be fulfilled and happy when they receive the best of their spouse. This practice demonstrates true love. Love will sacrifice. Love will be selfless. And in the end, true love (the death of the self) will overcome all things. God bless Dr. Thomas, for we will never forget this principle.
Master the Art of Encouragement
Do you know how to encourage? This may seem like a silly question, but I have found that some people are terrible at encouraging others. Mastering the art of encouragement is another crucial element to marriage and it is on the list of what you should know before you get married. You want to put this into practice before you marry, because you will find that you will need to implement this early in your relationship. Many are frustrated because they discover that when they enter a season of hard times, the person they love the most doesn’t give them the encouragement they desperately need.
I am learning that I need to be an encourager in every season of our marriage. I don’t have to understand all the details to lift my husband’s spirits up. I don’t have to know the answers to every problem to give him confidence. You may need to be an encourager when you have had a bad day as well. This is what true love does. Until you both are able to find the solution to the problem, find ways to keep each other smiling. When you do not have the words to say, pray and ask God for an inspired word that will increase their faith in Him. Master the art of encouragement now with your friends and family. Knowing how to lift up a bowed down head makes a tremendous difference in every relationship.
Take God with You
Some pray and plead with God for a spouse. They get the mate and forget about God. Do not let this be said about your actions. We understand well the need for God in our lives as single Christians, but the need remains the same after we are married. As a single woman, I needed a friend, a counselor, a comforter, and a provider. Someone may ask, isn’t Ron all these things for you? If so, why do you still need God as you did before?
First, let me say that no love should take the place of our love for God. Our spouse should never become a god to us. The comfort, provision, and blessings that we receive from our mates ultimately come from God. Jesus is the source from which all blessings flow. Although we envision ourselves being the best wife or husband we can be, the truth remains that we are fallible and capable of making mistakes. Your man or your lady won’t get it right every day. You will need the Lord. This is another key element of what you should know before you get married so that you may prepare your heart to be forgiving of those imperfect moments. God is the third cord that will bind your marriage with love, strength, joy, patience, and grace. As you walk down the aisle on your wedding day, take God with you.
So here’s to what you should know before you get married…more tidbits to come soon!
“We long to find someone who has been where we’ve been, who shares our fragile skies, who sees our sunsets with the same shades of blue.” – Beth Moore