How To Marry the Right Person For Life
Everywhere I go, people ask me, “How can I marry someone, like Melanie, who will stay together with me for a lifetime?” Now, after 40 years together with her, I think I can help you in that.
1. Start with the basics
- Their family—You are not only marrying a person, you are marrying a family. You will interact with them a thousand times in a lifetime. Their values better be very close to yours or there are a myriad of “situations” dead ahead…literally.
- Their personality—All incompatibility can be overcome in Christ. However, you sure don’t want to start with obvious personality clashes even in the dating stage! “Looks” will only take you so far.
- Their values—We give a values test to every couple in pre-marriage. It shows over 100 areas of opinions about critical values. These are things like kids, money, etc. If you are very, very far away in most of these values, keep looking.
2. Keep your hands off the merchandise
- Sexual purity is hard. It is especially hard the closer you get to each other. Walls come down, romantic movie images come into your head, and it can be all over.
- Trust me when I tell you that you will regret every small action you take to violate their privacy. It shows dishonor and disrespect.
- You will have years of intimacy. When you abstain from sexual advances, then that part of the equation no longer figures in to your decision about each other. Big plus.
3. See what you see
- When you date a person for a period of time, their true attitudes surface. They cannot suppress those attitudes for months. That’s good, because you are going to get a ton in marriage of whatever you see a spoonful of in dating.
- Don’t deny what you see. Do they easily lose their temper? Are they selfish about decisions? Do they flirt with everyone else? No one is perfect, including you, but discernment means “to see.”
4. Listen to your parents
God gave you parents as protection. One of the greatest mistakes I ever made as a pastor was doing a wedding against the blessing of the wife’s parents. Her fiancée had all his reasons for their opinion, but soon after the marriage he was exposed as a total imposter.
- Wait for the blessing. Don’t try to persuade or intimidate your parents. God will change their hearts if you will submit to them. Stepping outside their protection will cost you more than you could ever imagine.
5. Listen to your pastor
- Your pastor will tell you to marry a believer (2 Cor. 6:14). You can never anticipate someone’s commitment to Christ, only observe it. It’s not judging…it’s “fruit inspecting.”
- Pastors are watchmen. Get them in on any relationship early. They watch for your soul and really want you to be happy. Trust your pastors.
I can’t tell you how important these five things are. I’ve picked up too many pieces of wrecked lives.
You WILL select well. Follow God’s wisdom and prepare for a lifetime of happiness!