Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Pastor Joe, Should we get married?

Couples ask me this question. Some don't ask, already knowing what I will say.
But I love couples. I love marriage. But I don't love failed couples or marriage. So I say:
Yes, you can pray about getting married. If you can answer yes to 7 questions:

Love question- Do you love your intended with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 love? Do they love you that way? This is what love is supposed to be- if you don't have it, don't call lust or infatuation love.
Faith question- Does this person help you grow closer to Christ? If they don't, being with them now IS NOT God's will for you. I am sure.
Purity question- Do you love Jesus and the person you love enough to say no to sleeping with each other? - This is a test of faith, self-control and character- Matthew 6:33!- Also, if you can't say no to illicit sex now, what makes you think you can once you get married? Living together before marriage triples the possibility of divorce or infidelity in marriage.
Time question- Have you been in an exclusive relationship more than 24 months? That's how long infatuation lasts- then you are left with what might or might not be under that. Don't confuse passion with true love.
Honesty question #1- Do you lie to each other for any reason? Then don't get married
Honesty question #2- Have you talked with this person and another (preferably a pastor or counselor) about your past, plans and structure of family, faith, plans, dreams, money, sex, communication, fighting, health choices and family influence? If you haven't, you set yourself up to fail.

Family question- Do your friends & family, & your intended's, think this person is good for you? If they don't, do you know why? Could they be right? Approach this in the cold light of possibility. Listen to those who love you, even if you don't agree right away.
Future question- are their dreams for career, family, finances & faith compatible with yours? If not, understand that something will have to change, and make that change BEFORE you get married. Don't start a failed marriage because you were headed different places to begin with!
Final question- did you ignore any of these? Have you gone through these issues in prayer and with your intended? Are there Godly people who agree that this could be God's plan for you? Then go ahead, seek God for a final answer, and plan to serve this person in love, no matter what they do, for life- that's what marriage is about.

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