I have a number of posts on this issue where I try to examine both sides – being prepared to be a godly wife and evaluating a potential husband to try to be sure to choose a man who is truly living for Christ. Once you marry a man, you are in a covenant with him for life. This is a decision that requires great discernment and godly wisdom.
Preparing to Marry a Man on a Mission – great post for all of the ladies to read, it will all apply even if your man is not planning to go into official ministry.
The basic messages I want to send are:
- Be sure to allow God to be in full control in your life. Let His Spirit, not the sinful flesh, be in charge. Submit to Him as LORD in everything!
- Deal with any sin in your life immediately. Don’t let it fester and become a stronghold of the enemy. Take care of any strongholds of the enemy that you are aware of before marriage. If you are not willing to do this, please wait to get married.
- Stand back and watch the character of a guy you are considering. Don’t just believe what a man says, “I am a Christian.” Watch his life for real fruit of the Spirit.
- Respectfully ask your man to deal with any major unrepentant sin in his life. Don’t get married if he is unwilling to repent of major sin (sexual sin, major pride, lying, hatred, an explosive temper, abuse, addictions, etc… – look for these things in your own life, too). If he is willing to deal with the sin thoroughly and wants to change and is willing to take the steps necessary to walk in obedience to Christ – awesome! Give him some time and watch to be sure that he really is willing to change and that he wants to change to please God.
- Get to know him over a period of time and see him in difficult situations and how he responds.
- See how you respond in difficult, stressful situations to him.
- If either of you had a lot of scars and wounds from the past – do all that you can to deal with that and get the help and healing you need before marriage as much as possible. Marriage will bring these things to the surface – so be prepared that even if you do all of the work you can before marriage, there will be a lot more work to do together after marriage. Be sure to reach out for the mentoring and counseling you need from those who have experience in these areas and are living for Christ now.
- There will be a big learning curve after marriage. That is normal. No one starts out being the most godly husband or wife. Both of you will have much to learn, even if you have studied godly marriage and becoming a godly, biblical wife/husband beforehand.
- Go to a godly mentoring couple or trusted pastor/Christian counselor together, if possible, to be discipled and counseled before marriage.
- If there are major sin issues in a man’s life, or in your life, that one of you can’t or won’t deal with – wait. Don’t jump into marriage until you deal with those issues prayerfully and in a way that honors God.
- Be willing to accept this man as he is without trying to change him. Accept that his personality, priorities, perspective, and ideas will be different from yours and that is not bad. In fact, that is a good thing!
- Once you are married, your focus can no longer be, “Is he the right man for me?” It will need to be, “God, make me the wife and woman You want me to be and that this particular man needs. I want your greatest glory in our lives!”
- Be prepared to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness a lot in marriage and to need these things a lot.
- Don’t try to force your personal convictions on your man.
What I am NOT saying:
- You have to be perfect to get married. (None of us will be perfect until heaven.)
- Marriage is better than singleness. (It’s not. Both are good.)
- A man has to be perfect for you to marry him. (That is not possible.)
- If you deal with sin well before marriage, you won’t have any problems after marriage. (You will be better prepared, but there will still be problems in this life, including in marriage.)
- If you do everything right before marriage, you are guaranteed your marriage will be all that you dream it will be. (There are no guarantees of “happily ever after” until heaven.)
- God can’t heal broken people. (He CAN most definitely heal broken people!)
- If you find a “godly enough” man, he will never sin against you in marriage. (Again, that is not possible. Hopefully you will be sinned against much less with a godly man. But don’t expect perfection.)
- People can be perfectly prepared for marriage before they get married. (There is a steep learning curve for all of us after marriage at some point.)
If you want to talk about any of this, let’s have a discussion! I don’t want there to be any confusion about such an important topic!
It seems like a lot of people are hearing me say, “I have too many red flags. I can never get married.” That is not usually the case. And that is not my message! Normally, we just have to deal with issues first in a godly way before going forward with marriage.
Ultimately, what we all need is to listen carefully to God’s Spirit and His prompting. He can give us the wisdom we need to know whether to move forward, to know whether to not marry a specific person, or to know if we just need to wait and let Him work on some things first. His voice is the one we need the most!
Much love to each of you!