6 Things You Should Know Before Saying “I Do”

Marriage gives us the best hands-on training for life.  From your experience, what words of wisdom would you offer couples considering marriage?

Here are a few nuggets Facebook readers offered:

6 Things to Consider before Marriage

1.     Marriage is covenant, not a contract.

* A covenant

  • Is based on faith and trust
  • Is permanent
  • Cannot be broken by circumstances
  • Is based on unconditional love and commitment
  • Gives to please the other

*A contract

  • Is based on distrust
  • Has an end date
  • Is voided by unforeseen circumstances
  • Is based on performance
  • Gives to get

2.    Put God first.

It won’t mean you will have a trouble-free happily ever after.  As Christ-followers, you have a supernatural advantage that marriages without Him don’t have.

Most who responded to my question on Facebook said putting God first and being equally yoked were most important.

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?  2 Corinthians 6:14 MSG

A marriage must be built on a solid foundation.  Our marriage has had many difficult challenges, but Dennis and I are living testimony that marriage founded on biblical principles provides the “possible” we needed in those “impossible” situations.

The three pillars on which such a relationship is based are a deep and unshakable faith in Jesus Christ, an ironclad commitment to each other, and a dependence upon the eternal truths of the Holy Scriptures. With those weapons in the family arsenal, nothing can tear down the fortress of love.                        ~ James Dobson

3.    Observe your future spouse in interactions             with others.

Take off the rose-colored glasses of romantic love and look through the lens of reality. Be a “fly on the wall” and watch how stress and adversity is handled, how family dynamics operate—pay close attention at holidays and family gatherings.

Be aware what type of friendships and leisure activities they take part in.

 Becoming acquainted with their family of origin before you marry will give some insight into mindsets, habits, and behaviors that you may contend with in marriage. The way they act– and react — with their family is most likely how they’ll eventually act with you and the family you build together. ~ Susan

Rarely are there two people who come from stable, functional families. How marriage is modeled in our upbringing tends to be all we know.

If there are any danger signs, take them seriously!

4.     Don’t expect marriage to change them. 

Our personalities are what make us unique. Couples who set out to change one another’s personalities will embark on a journey of frustration.

If personality quirks or behaviors irritate you before marriage, matrimony may only intensify them.

Can you accept all their imperfections and shortcomings if they don’t improve?

5.     Forgiveness is never an option. 

 It is a requirement.

How are you at forgiving? How is your future spouse?  Your forgiver muscle will be stretched, toned, and developed in marriage.


Sometimes daily.

6.    Understand Leaving and Cleaving.

A scripture often used in marriage ceremonies is Genesis 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Leaving doesn’t just mean physically and geographically separating from your parents. Leave your childish ways and behavior, then embrace adulthood with its expected grown-up responsibilities.

I’m a Mamma’s boy or I’m a Daddy’s girl are mindsets that must retire with  when I was a child.

The very definition of Genesis 2:24 emphasizes the bond between a husband and wife is to be stronger than the bond between a parent and a child.

Leaving your parents means recognizing that your marriage created a new family and that this new family must be a higher priority than your previous family…  Cleaving to your spouse means recognizing that you are joined, essentially “glued,” to your spouse.

Cleaving is key in building a marriage that will endure hard times and be the beautiful relationship that God intends it to be.

Do you know an engaged couple? Please share these points with them.

Our goal is to divorce-proof marriages.  Look for more nuggets here.

Do you have any nuggets of wisdom you’d offer to engaged couples?

 Image credit:unsplash@Thom Yang


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