Preparing to Get Married
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (I Corinthians 7:2)
I truly believe that one of the most frustrating points of a person’s life is when they are of age, as an adult, to date and eventually marry the spouse that they intend to spend the rest of their life with. Young men become frustrated because the object of their interest does not return the interest; and young ladies become frustrated when they cannot get the attention of the man they admire. Both are frustrated and torn dealing with the desire of their heart while at the same time seeking to please the Lord in the selection of their mate.
I experienced such frustrations when I was single and in college. I would find myself discouraged and confused at to what the Lord was doing in bringing my future wife and I together. I often would seek counsel and advise on the topic of dating and people I was interested in. Once when I was feeling particularly discouraged one of my counselors told me something that I have never forgotten. He said, “You focus on being Mr. Right and Mrs. Right will come along.” I must admit that at the time I did not take much comfort in those words, however as the months and years would play out, I found this advice to be so true. I began to focus on being what I needed to be and I saw the miraculous working of God’s hand as He brought Mrs. Right (aka Faith Smith) to me as a perfect match in marriage. I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that I am happier in my marriage and with my family than I had ever dreamed would be possible. However, I had to wait though my patience was tested. I was tempted to try to make it happen myself. I endured frustration, and discouragement. It has been worth it all! The marriage I enjoy with my wife was well worth waiting for.
Young person, you must believe that God has a plan for your marriage. Marriage is a good thing. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) Marriage is something that God intended to be special, but it must be done the right way in His timing.
We live in a day and age where people are afraid to wait. They feel that if they do not get what they want now that they will die. My advise to those of you who are single is to focus on your relationship with God and being what you need to be, and God will absolutely bring the right relationship along to you in His timing according to His will.
How then can a single person prepare for marriage while waiting on God’s timing? God has given us the answer.
Stay Pure (I Corinthians 6:18 “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”)
The Bible tells us to flee fornication. The greatest gift you can give to your future spouse is the gift of your purity. I can look my wife in the eyes with the deepest honesty and sincerity and tell her that she is the only girl I have ever held hands with. She is the only one I have ever kissed. I have never known any other woman like I have known my wife. This is the greatest gift I could have given her on our wedding day. This not only is a great gift but it also leads to a natural strengthening of the bonds of trust and love and overall creates a much deeper relationship. Thus, while you wait for God to bring you your future spouse flee fornication and keep yourself pure.
Consecrate Yourself (I Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”)
Never forget that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. You should therefore adorn and keep yourself in such a way that would be pleasing to Him. Ladies, if you dress and adorn yourself modestly to please the Lord then you will catch the eye of a godly man who will also be pleased with your modesty. Gentlemen, keep your hair short and trim and look tidy and neat to please the Lord and you will also catch the eye of a young lady who is impressed with your sharp appearance. Your body is the temple of the Lord, if you are saved, you do not need to use the world’s methods to attract your spouse. You should not loosen your dress standards to be more revealing or be flashy with jewels and money. God is not impressed with such an appearance and the mate He has planned for you will not be either.
Glorify God (I Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”)
Seek to glorify God with your body and your spirit. Your body and your spirit will be affected by your relationship with God. Focusing on your relationship with God will prepare you to have a relationship both in dating and in marriage. I truly believe that a young person who has a shallow relationship with God will have a shallow relationship with their future mate. Therefore, so many Christian marriages are failing these days. There is a lack of relationship with God, and therefore a lack of relationship with our spouses. You must first glorify God as single person before you will be ready to glorify God in your marriage.
Touch Not (I Corinthians 7:1 “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”)
You need to have a standard that you hold to in your dating. There is one major moral rule that God has set in dating. That is that a man should not touch a woman. Therefore, when you do begin to date there should not be a physical touch exchanged between you and the person you are dating. God said it is not good when this happens. Unmarried couples should not hold hands, or hug or kiss. Such physical interaction leads the mind to go further than it should and could possibly lead to fornication, which we are told to flee. I am sure there are some who would scoff at such a statement. “Pastor, do you really believe that a simple holding of the hand could lead to fornication?” I absolutely do, for every instance of fornication has begun with a touch. The strange woman of Proverbs began her temptation of the simple man to sin with a physical touch. Even so, every young person who seeks to glorify God and keep themselves pure will also have a standard of no physical touching or contact.
The wise young person must have standards in place to keep the desires of their flesh in check. Chaperones are a part of such safety measures we should use. After my wife and I were married, and we got into our car and drove away from the church that was the first time we had been alone together. While we dated, we used chaperones, and our purity was left intact. It is important for young people to have chaperones, who are like-minded in this standard, when they date. The chaperone is there, not to hover over or to interject themselves, but rather to assure that proper space between the dating couple is maintained and that all is appropriate in their conduct.
There is so much that a single person can do to prepare themselves to get married someday. Work on these things and be patient letting the Lord do His work, you will be pleased with the results!
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4