What comes after the proposal is marriage. Settling down together to start a family is a huge commitment. Thus, making it one of the biggest life decisions you’ll have to make in your lifetime. As such, a lot of preparations are involved. Our wedding will happen in a year’s time and the thought of having to plan a wedding is kind of overwhelming.
Marriage is not something to be taken lightly. It’s more than just two people who are in love with each other. Leading up to the big day, besides planning our wedding day, we also have to be psychologically and spiritually prepared.
As Christians and regular church-goers, we are advised to go for a wedding preparation seminar which is usually conducted by the church. I recently just attended the session last week. Albeit a little dry and boring (because we have some of the truths mentioned during our weekly Church sermons), there’s always something new to learn about love and marriage from the bible.
Below are some of my takeaways during the wedding preparation seminar. Whether you’re a believer or not, learning about these truths will benefit your relationship with your partner and prepare you before your big day.
1. Marriage is meant to be eternal.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.”Genesis 2:24, King James Version
Before marriage, the man is still under the authority of his parents. But after marriage, he will leave his family and joined with his wife to start a new family unit. Because both are joined to form ‘one flesh’, nothing should separate them apart. As Christians, what kept us held together for long is none other than God. Our God is full of grace. When both husband and wife are in a rocky situation, God will be in the midst to calm the storm. He is always there to reconcile our differences whenever we call for Him.
Divorce, on their hand, is never meant to be part of this marriage equation. Who knows what will happen in the future? People can change over time but God’s love for us remains the same. Instead of holding onto one another, hold on to God’s mighty hand and put your trust in Him to turn things around. I’ve read testimonies that how a husband and wife got back together after God came into their picture.
“So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”Matthew 19:6
The problem is real. Even on Social Media, we do see celebrities and social media personalities who chose divorce. Divorce rates have been increasing every year and the very last thing marriage couples would want is to be part of the statistics.
2. Getting married does not complete you or your life.
Marriage is a union of two complete individuals who have something to contribute to each other. You need to know how to be happy and whole even before you marry someone. If you have not figured that out, then you should spend some time alone and discover more about what makes you truly happy. That is why I am truly glad when I discover about Jesus and God’s everlasting love for us. I realised that only God could complete me and supply my needs to make be complete and whole.
Since marriage does not complete you, there is no one perfect person for you. But God will also appoint a suitable partner for you. For those of you who are single, don’t give up. Ask and pray to the Lord for that appointed one to appear in your life.
3. Friendship, not romance, develops a marriage.
Contrary to what the media portray, romance isn’t the key to success in marriage. A healthy marriage doesn’t always consist of two romantic individuals who are constantly proving their love for each other.
Mutual respect, empathy and the ability to give and receive love are some of the key aspects of building a marriage and deepening a healthy relationship. Your spouse should be regarded as your best friend whom you can communicate and team up together to work through problems. He or she is your best teammate whom you can trust and rely upon. Romance will come as a result of this beautiful friendship you’ve developed with your spouse.
4. Sex is holy and thus it is to be enjoyed after marriage.
The media makes you think that sex is just a physical act of pleasure. But the truth is sex is more than just a physical act. It is designed by God to be enjoyed after marriage. It is meant to be holy and sacred. When the two bodies become one flesh, there’s a union in terms of spirit, body and mind. And it is out of this union, that an offspring is created. Thus, it is not something to be enjoyed outside the context of marriage. Now that I understood this powerful truth, I am glad that I wasn’t swayed to think otherwise.
5. Avoid being unequally yoked; come to the feet of Jesus together as a couple
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”2 Corinthians 6:14, New International Version
I was always puzzled as to why Christians believe that we cannot be yoked together with believers. Is there anything wrong with dating a non-Christian? I finally understood why the bible would advise us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
When I first met Sam, I fell out of Church and chose to be a free thinker. After all those negative experiences I had in my previous church, I decided to break away from God. Sam, on the other hand, is a fervent and dutiful Christian who understood God’s love for him. There were times we quarrelled over our beliefs and value system.
But he was patient and he constantly prayed for me to receive Christ again (which I did). After accepting Christ as my saviour and redeemer, I started going to church and my life transformed so much for the better. With the same set of beliefs and values, our relationship grew stronger and with God in the picture, I found it so much easier to compromise and settle our indifferences.
As such, I don’t think it is entirely wrong to yoke with unbelievers but it would have been so much better if we yoke with believers of Christ. After all, God is constantly after our hearts, hoping that all of us will turn to Him one day.
Before the big day…
The above are powerful truths that were also reiterated by my pastor and writing this article also serves as a way to remind myself about God’s purpose for marriage. At the end of the day, marriage is a celebration of the union between two people. In the midst of my wedding planning, I hope to be able to engrave these truths in my heart and prepare myself mentally and emotionally before that big day.