Don’t get married too quickly

Unless you’ve been set up with an arranged marriage, your spouse is the only family member you get to choose. Parents, siblings, cousins, kids—they are who they are. God just plops them into our lives. But a spouse—that’s someone we get to pick. Since we get to choose who we’re going to marry, it’s best to not get married too quickly.

Now, by that I don’t mean you have to have long engagements.  I also don’t mean that you shouldn’t get married young. (It’s a huge blessing from God if you get to share the last part of your “younger years” with your spouse.)

Here’s what I do mean: Don’t rush into getting married. You get a choice. And there are some big things to consider before saying, “I do.” If you’re thinking you’d like to get married someday or if you know someone who might want to get married someday, here are a few important factors to carefully think through:

  • Pick someone who shares your faith. Your faith shapes your values, your perspective, your spirituality, your relationships, and your parenting. Marriages can last when husband and wife don’t share the same beliefs. But I’ve also seen way too many cases where it’s caused lots of friction and difficulty. Marry someone you can pray with, worship with, and read the Bible with. Choose a spouse who will encourage you to follow Jesus and forgive you like Jesus does.
  • Pick someone you don’t have to change. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but don’t go into it thinking you’re going to change him or her. If he’s terribly critical of you, drinks too much, or fails to stand up for you when you need him, don’t expect that to change once there’s a ring on his finger. Likewise, if she’s a gossip, flirts with other guys, or hates your mother, you can probably expect that to continue after the wedding day.
  • Go to premarriage classes. Seriously, if you and your special someone are getting pretty serious, this is the best! Go to your pastor and let him know you’re thinking about tying the knot. He’ll be thrilled. And he’ll also be able to give you great tools from God’s plan for marriage to set you up for success. You’ll get to know each other even better through it and grow in your capacity to show love meaningfully and unconditionally. One of the best things about premarriage classes is that they get you thinking about and discussing things you didn’t even know you needed to talk about yet. Which leads to the next one:
  • Talk about everything ahead of time. Kids? How many? How do you deal with conflict? What role will you both play in the marriage? What role will the in-laws play in your marriage? How about money management? These are all things that have the potential to strain and even destroy marriages. But when husband and wife have talked this all through before they even become husband and wife and the stress points are there, they can actually use the difficult things to grow closer together. 
  • Start practicing for your marriage now. Think of your time together while dating and engaged as the time to practice getting it right. Work on settling arguments lovingly rather than storming out and driving away. Study your significant other to understand what really makes him or her tick. Look for ways to serve and be there for this person so that he or she feels uniquely loved by you.

The returns on these marriage investments are tremendous! And trust me, you’ll thank yourself for not rushing in.

Proverbs 21:19 says, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” But Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” I once heard someone put it this way: “Your choice in a spouse will be the difference in whether you set up for yourself heaven or hell on earth.”

Choose wisely.

Kurt Wetzel met his wife, Stephanie, in college and they got married a month after they graduated. Marrying her was the best decision he’s made. They live in Boise, Idaho, where Kurt is a pastor. They have three children (Hannah, Teddy, and Eva) and another on the way.

 

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