Do Not Say "I Do" to the Representative.
We’ve all heard the old saying “love is blind”, and although it’s just a cliche to some, there is a lot of truth packed inside those three simple words. When a person first falls in love, everything about the person they are dating seems great. Normally in the earlier stages of the relationship, their partner is wonderful because they’ve only been introduced to the best sides of them, which is also known as “the representative.” This is why it’s important that a person does not allow the initial feelings they have in a relationship drive them to the altar without seeking direction from God. In their time of prayer, they should ask God to remove any blinders they are wearing about that potential partner, so they do not enter into a marriage wearing rose colored glasses.
A majority of people who have been divorced will admit that they overlooked some serious red flags before they got married. Although the person they were with at the time seemed like they were the man or woman of their dreams, the expectations they had going into the marriage never became their reality. I’ve come to learn over the years that although a person thinks they know what they want, God knows exactly what they need.
In some cases, the qualities that a person is searching for in a partner can be in complete conflict with what they ultimate need to help them actualize their destiny. When it comes to choosing a life long partner, God’s purpose for their lives must be taken into consideration. Even if their calling hasn’t been revealed to them yet, they need to identify if they are dating someone who is helping them actualize their God given gifts. It’s also important to understand that love alone cannot be the determining factor in a person’s decision to marry someone. A person can love someone, and yet the individual they are dating is not the right person for them. Beyond just the feelings of love, I encourage everyone who is thinking about getting married to reflect on a few questions before making a lifelong commitment.
-Does this person help to sharpen you, and encourage you to continue to grow as a person?
-Is this person not only a Christian, but do they understand the power of prayer and can point you to the throne of God when times get tough?
-What type of company does this person keep? Are their closest friends individuals who are in complete opposition to your values or do they have solid friendships that help them grow in their relationship with God?
-Have you gotten past the point in the relationship, where you are no longer dating this person’s “representative” who is always looking good, saying the right things, and on their best behavior. Have you seen this person upset, under stress, and in spaces where they are comfortable?
-Do you trust each other enough to demonstrate some level of vulnerability concerning difficult or traumatic moments you had in your past. Although many people want to leave their past behind them, undealt with trauma or painful moments from your past will manifest itself in future relationships. It’s important for you to be able to talk about this with your partner on some level, and based on the severity of what happened in the past, seeking professional counseling to help you work through those issues can serve you well.
These are just a few of many questions that a person wants to be sure to ask prior to getting married. If the answer to more than one of these questions is “No”, a person might want to consider pumping the brakes before walking down the aisle. The last thing a person ever wants is to get married, and after the honeymoon stage is over they wake up next to someone they don’t know or don’t want to know for that matter. When a person takes the time to be prayerful, seek Godly counsel, and evaluate the relationship they are in from a holistic standpoint, they can confidently enter into God’s covenant of marriage knowing they will enjoy spending the rest of their life with the person they said "I Do" to.
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