Before my first marriage, I had four years of dating and fighting and breaking up and getting back together and doubts upon doubts and a handful of people telling me maybe we shouldn’t be together.
I was probably 90 percent sure I was willingly walking into a hard marriage, but I moved forward anyway. And my marriage was hard almost the entire time. We eventually divorced after almost 19 years.
Before my second marriage, I felt peace. We were given the go-ahead by our counselor after much intense counseling, and I couldn’t wait to marry that man.
I was probably 97 percent sure I was willingly walking into a good marriage. And it has been good between us almost the entire time.
I’m going out on a limb to say that if, like me 25 years ago, you are pretty sure your future marriage will be harder than the average hard, you might want to reconsider marrying this person. Because marriage is LONG and DAILY and ALL-CONSUMING. (Marriage is even longer and DAILY and ALL-CONSUMING if it is difficult.)
If you are pretty sure your future marriage will be harder than the average hard, you might want to reconsider marrying this person.
The reality is, marriage is hard. Marriage is work. People change. People don’t change. Life is crazy and throws unexpected twists and turns right in front of us, things like children and stepchildren, job changes, health issues, deaths in our family, et cetera. There’s sin. And we’re human. You get the picture.
So if you have doubts more than or even simply as much as you feel good about your relationship, that should be a red flag.
A friend of mine, years ago, was talking about her marriage and said in passing, “My husband just cherishes me.” I started to cry because that wasn’t my experience in my first marriage. I not only didn’t feel cherished, I actually felt disliked. So ask yourself the following: Do I feel protected, treated with tenderness, nurtured, held dear, indulged from time to time? In other words, according to author Gary Thomas, do you feel cherished? I believe you should feel confident that you are cherished on your wedding day and leading up to it.
- If you’re not sure if your partner loves you or wants you as much as you love or want him …
- If you’re not sure you can picture him excitedly proposing or looking at you with a big goofy grin on his face as you walk down the aisle toward him …
- If he seems annoyed with you and who you are and some of your most basic personality quirks …
- If you are going back and forth in your head, daily or weekly …
- If you’re just not sure, sweet one, RE-EVALUATE.
My little sister just got engaged, and she said the most brilliant, perfect thing to me about her fiancée: “My head and my heart agree.”
I truly believe you can know, or at least have a really accurate, educated, prayed-up, counsel-sought “guess” that can lead you to making a decision you feel confident in.
And if that confidence ebbs and flows before the engagement ring gets slipped on or even before the wedding day, I beg you to listen to that. The lack of peace is there for a reason. God might be speaking.
- You have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16).
- You have the Holy Spirit living within you (1Corinthians 3:16).
- And, you have been given a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind, not of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).