As a Pastor, one of my favorite job perks is having the privilege to Marry couples. It’s such an honor to be s small part of their “Big Day” where their dreams of “Happily Ever After” begin in a beautiful exchange of vows and rings. It’s usually one of the happiest moments in a person’s life, and I get a front row seat.
Sadly, I also talk to a lot of married couples whose love for each other has drifted and “Happily Ever After” has been replaced with Divorce Papers, Custody Battles and broken hearts. As a bride and groom say “I Do” with hearts full of joy, none imagine that they will end in divorce, but far too many do.
I’m convinced that the best way to prevent divorce is to enter marriage the right way. Couples need a solid foundation on which to build their lives and that preparation largely happens before the wedding ceremony even takes place.
Here’s a checklist that I wish every couple would follow before walking down the aisle.
1. Fall in Love…with Jesus! Until Christ is the primary relationship of your life, you’ll never be able to fully commit to marriage the way that God intended. Our spouse can’t “complete” us; only God can. Once your life has been made whole by Him, you will be able to fully commit your life to your spouse that way God intended.
2. Marry the right person. Choosing a partner is so much bigger than just physical attraction or “feelings,” it goes to a deeply emotional and spiritual level. For more info on how to make sure you’re marrying the right person, please read this short post on “6 Questions to ask before you get married” https://soulcaffeine.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-get-married/
3. Know where you’re going. It was Yogi Berra who once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else!” You need to know where you’re going in life before you can ask someone to take that journey with you. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page with your life’s mission, then decide in advance how you can help each other get there.
4. Throw away your “Exit Strategy.” When I see couples enter into marriage with separate checking accounts, separate last names or separate dreams, I know that it’s probably just a matter of time before they’re separate in everything. If you can’t fully commit your hopes, dreams, finances and life to your spouse, then you shouldn’t get married. If you need a pre-nuptual agreement, I believe you’re better off not getting married in the first place. Be willing to say, “Til death do us part” with no Escape Clause or you’re undermining the sacred foundation on which marriage must be built.
If you’re willing to follow these four simple steps before your Wedding Day, I’m convinced that nothing will be able to come between you. I wish you all the best in your life together! God bless and Congratulations!