Marriage is designed by God to represent the relationship between Christ and His church.
For marriage to really be all that God designed it to be – with the most profound intimacy spiritually/emotionally/sexually/financially it needs to be between two people who passionately love Jesus more than life itself. Both spouses, ideally, would love God with all their hearts, with all their souls, with all their minds and with all their strength. Both of them would be committed to obeying His Word in everything. Both of them would be committed to loving other people out of reverence and love for Christ. Marriage is at its best when both spouses are FULLY submitted individually to Christ and seeking His will above their own.
TWO PITFALLS – BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!
1. Being married to an ungodly man is a SURE recipe for disappointment, resentment and an incredible amount of emotional and spiritual pain. Once we are married, ALL women expect their husbands to act like Jesus. They want their husbands to be patient, kind, loving, tender, selfless, forgiving, generous, faithful, good, self-controlled, protective and emotionally and spiritually intimate and engaged – with them and with their children. Men who do not have a real relationship with Christ CANNOT act in these ways. They are living in their own power, the power of the sinful flesh. Apart from Christ – any husband will ultimately be selfish, unkind, impatient, unfaithful, passive or aggressive (and a whole lot of other sins will come up, too – addictions, lust, greed, pride, etc.)… It is only when a man wholeheartedly submits all of his own will to Christ and is empowered by His Spirit that he can be the kind of husband his wife truly needs and wants.
2. Having stepchildren and a blended family adds TREMENDOUS pressure and friction to a marriage. I would suggest you read all you can about this subject (from a Christian perspective if possible) before agreeing to such a situation.
- There is a huge chance that the children would resent you and not accept you as a “mother.”
- If the biological mother is still alive – there will likely be MAJOR DRAMA with her about every little issue with the children.
- Your husband will still be in contact with his ex frequently – that creates much anxiety, jealousy and insecurity for many wives of blended families.
- When the children are with you, often the step-mother feels extremely jealous of the attention her husband gives to his children – especially daughters.
- It is very likely that you will disagree with your husband about how to discipline the children. Are you prepared to allow him to make the decisions and to allow him to lead even when you strongly disagree?
- Many children do not accept a step mother as a disciplinarian or authority or parent figure. Are you able to accept this and how will you deal with that kind of frustration?
- If you also have children – that makes things INSANELY MORE COMPLICATED! Then there will also be friction with your ex and between your children and your new husband’s children and between your new husband and your children and between your new husband and your ex. You will likely not agree with your new husband about how to raise your own children – and if you refuse to cooperate with his leadership as a parent about your own children, he will resent you deeply.
If you marry this man, you must be able to accept him completely as-is and respect him even if he never changes at all. Men do not change for the better after marriage. Flaws and sins will be MORE noticable after marriage. Your love will not and cannot change him. Only God can change people. And you can’t control whether God will change him or not. If you can respect him and admire this man as-is, and you can honestly say that he loves Jesus way more than anything else in his life and you love Jesus more than anything else in your life and you can accept his leadership and not try to control him – then this may work.
But please do not be blind before marriage and just assume you will be able to MAKE things work out the way YOU want them to. That is not a viable plan!
You will need to be able to respect this man as your leader and as the disciplinarian and father of all of the children involved. You will need to be prepared to cooperate with his leadership unless he is asking you to sin or condone sin. You will not be in charge – he will be in charge. Be SURE you can handle that BEFORE you marry him!!!!!
If you cannot truly and deeply and genuinely respect him BEFORE you get married – spiritually/emotionally/physically/financially – then please do some very deep soul searching about whether it is wise to marry this man. He NEEDS your respect. He will be the God-given leader and authority over you once you are married (Ephesians 5:22-33). Be sure that you are prepared to obey God’s Word for you as a wife so that you can live in God’s power and in the blessings of walking in obedience to Him.