I was recently granted the opportunity to help a couple in need of advice on how to go about a relationship GOD’s way and how to prepare for marriage. It reminded me again of how many are seeking advice in this area. This post is not for everyone. It is for those wanting similar wisdom.
It is not an easy feat learning to court, which sounds much like an ancient concept in these modern times. But there are those still longing to live in purity, discover the secrets to a successful marriage and enjoy their lives without divorce. These ones have the mentality of success from Day One of their relationship.
They are beginning with the end in mind. They are counting the cost of a serious union. They are ready to create a foundation that will last through trials, time and difficulty.
If you are one of these few, keep reading.
If not, you are welcome to read as well!
When finally making the decision that you want to make the relationship you believe is leading towards marriage a holy, different type of connection than you may have had with any other; you may wonder how to begin this journey. How do really lay a strong foundation for a marriage and why has the church prepared you for so many other life events, but left you in the dark in this area?
This is the question many are wondering behind the scenes. After counseling hundreds of couples and individuals desiring strong families, I decided to write a post anyone can reference in the future. This includes a few simple steps to assist in moving towards success.
I have combined what has worked for my own blissful union and what I have learned from the past ten years of working through joyful, painful and insightful situations. The reality is marriage takes work, commitment, strength and humility to maintain.
Below are a few tips/steps that should help you and your beau (or future lover):
- Pray. Including GOD in the beginning is so vital to seeing victory in days to come. Don’t worry. If you did not initiate your relationship this way, you can start afresh today.
- Ask. Ask GOD if this is His will. Is this really the person for you? When you hear from GOD it brings a inward peace, a settling and a foundation that life difficulty can never take from you.
- Confirm. Upon praying and asking, repeatedly if necessary, gaining confirmation is essential to seeing long-term victory. This may come in the most unexpected of ways- through a friend, a mentor, but most importantly, the Word of GOD. Remember, GOD will never tell you to do anything He has stated against in the Bible.
- Counsel. Get Godly Counsel. Find a mentor- someone older or wiser than you. This person should preferably have experience in this area. They can help provide you with preventative care. Many times we wait until issues occur before seeking counsel.
- Unity. Begin praying Together. Read the Bible Together. Go to church Together. Seek confirmation Together. Get Counsel Together. Have fun Together. As you build a strong foundation, learning to develop a relationship with GOD together is so important. It sounds obvious, but does not happen unless we are intentional.
- Love. When Corey and I began our relationship we prayed 1 Corinthians 13 over ourselves hundreds of times. We laid a strong foundation in this area and determined this is how we wanted to treat one another. Praying Scriptures like this is key to a beautiful marriage. This is preventative care.
- Fruit. We also prayed for the Fruit of the Spirit. 90% of the situations people come to us for in relational crisis come down to fruit. We either have bad fruit- the flesh, or good fruit- the Spirit. We prayed Galatians 5 over our future marriage because we knew we needed the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our flesh (sin) nature.
- Truth. Knowing the truth sets us free. Communication is key to any healthy union. We had to learn to identify the difference between the truth (what is really in the other’s heart), our preference (how we would like things to be done) and a lie (misconstrued facts regarding the other party). Many arguments have been avoided or initiated due to operating out of preference or lies instead of truth.
- Background. Understanding one another’s background is key. Knowing basic facts about your family experiences is paramount as you are about to start a new family. These experiences can and probably will affect the way you see family differently.
- Boundaries. Establishing clear boundaries is beyond important. If you want to be holy, this is a must. Each couple may have different standards they feel will keep their goals in tact, but this should be discussed and worked through with care. Be realistic about what you can and cannot handle. Get mentors involved for accountability.
- Confrontation. Confront your past issues, pains, fears and failures. You do not have to be perfect to get married but when a past issue is highlighted it is for a reason. Muster up the courage to deal with it head on and get help when need (which is often necessary). Do this for the one you love, even if it is really hard. You are not alone and it is worth it.
- Marital Counsel. Find a great minister or counselor that can help you through marital counsel once you are engaged. I will write another article later on preparing for marriage through counseling. Sometimes a professional counsellor may need to be involved.
These are a few tips on how to live out a different type of relationship, one that will last through time and prepare you for the future. There are many, many more nuggets of truth that will get you ready, but this is a simple blog. More to come soon.
Do you have more ways to ensure a happy marriage? Share your tips or thoughts in the comment section. Your experience just may save another from years of heartache.