Marriage requires preparation. For those of us already married it is too late to make preparations. Hopefully, we all were mature enough to get married when we did. But no matter what our age, we must still become more mature. All Christians should continue to grow spiritually and emotionally.
If you are already married, this lesson should help you teach those who are not married.
If you are not married, you must wait until you are old enough and mature enough. A person's age is not always a good measure of the level of maturity. Many people get married before they are mature enough. A few people are never mature enough to get married. If you are already married and need to grow up, perhaps this lesson will direct you better in the ways of the Lord.
How can a person know if they have found the right person to marry? In the next lesson we will discuss what a Christian should look for in a spouse. Right now we will just consider what an unmarried person should do before getting married.
One's body must be physically mature. We should be an adult before we get married. There are no examples of children getting married in the Bible. Therefore, we can conclude that God does not approve of the marriage of people who are too young.
A man must be old enough to provide protection for his family. Husbands and wives must be old enough to act responsibly.
Certainly people should not marry before they are old enough to have children and care for them.
Marriage requires a person to be moral. Before getting married one must be old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. He or she must be willing to live a life that follows what is right. If a person wants to continue to do things that are wrong, that person is not ready to get married.
Before getting married a man should be willing to give up living in a manner that is not right. A woman should be willing to give up any sinful behavior. When a husband and wife have children, they become examples to their children. Children will almost always become like their parents. If the parents are unkind, the children will grow up to be unkind. If the parents are bad to drink alcohol, the children will grow up and drink alcohol. If the parents are dishonest, the children will grow up to be liars. If the parents are following Jesus, the children will usually grow up to follow the happy life of a Christian.
Before getting married, a man must be old enough to remain faithful to one woman. One should be old enough to control his behavior. A woman must be willing to be obedient to a husband. Both husband and wife should be willing to follow the ways of the Lord.
God can teach us what is right.
A Christian should be growing spiritually all the days of his or her life. A person is not spiritually mature enough to marry until he or she realizes that God is more important than any person on earth. Only when God is loved more than anything or anyone else is a person ready to know how to begin properly loving another person.
Our love for God must be much greater than our love for anyone else. We must be dedicated to following God's will for our own life even if everyone we know and love turns away from God.
We grow spiritually by serving the Lord, by studying the Bible, and by prayer.
Everything each of us has belongs to God. He is just letting us use it. We should use possessions wisely.
Before I can get married I must consider whether I have the means to support a wife. Can I provide her with food, clothing, and shelter? Do I have the necessary skills to make a living? Have I saved enough money to pay the fee for a marriage license? Am I willing to share everything I have with her?
Both the man and woman should ask, "Am I able to afford to get married?" "Am I able to be wise in the way I spend the money that the Lord has provided me?" "Am I able to save money for future needs?"
Is the woman skilled in the ways of keeping house? Can she cook healthy meals? Can she attend to the health of a family?
One should be prepared to live without assistance from parents before thinking about getting married.
We must be emotionally prepared before we can hope to be happily married.
When a child is born it thinks only of itself. A baby has love only for itself. It is very selfish. It is perfectly normal for babies to act like that.
As a child grows it develops love for the mother and later for the father. People who do not grow beyond this stage never see anything in this world more important than themselves and their parents. Anyone with such an attitude is not ready to be joined to a husband or wife. When such a person marries, the spouse finds that their mate will be constantly returning to parents instead of leaving father and mother as the Lord has commanded.
In the normal development of a child we find the child will learn to reach out to others of the same age and sex. The boy or girl learns to deal with those who are his equals. The child learns to make friends outside the home. This is how we begin to learn to get along in the world.
As children grow older they begin to become interested in those of the opposite sex. A boy first notices one girl and then another. A girl discovers she is attractive to boys and is attracted to boys.
Finally, we find that a person becomes old enough to focus attention upon just one other person. I decide that this person can be my life's companion. Emotional maturity is necessary for a successful marriage. When a man learns to love a woman more than any other person on the earth while loving God even more, then he is emotionally mature enough to marry.
Love is not just a warm feeling that a person has for someone else. The Bible teaches us that love is an attitude where another person's needs are placed ahead of our own. Love is willing to sacrifice. Love is not selfish.
(I Corinthians 13:4-8.) A loving person is patient. A loving person is kind. A loving person is not jealous and does not envy. A loving person is not boastful. A loving person is not filled with pride. A loving person is not rude. A loving person is not interested only in himself or herself. A loving person controls the temper. A loving person does not hold grudges or remember insults. A loving person is not happy when someone else does wrong. A loving person is happy when the truth wins. A loving person never quits loving. A loving person always trusts. A loving person always hopes for the best. A loving person always keeps on going. Love lasts forever.
In conclusion let us remember that a successful marriage requires preparation. Before getting married, people must be prepared physically, morally, spiritually, economically, and emotionally.
Who Has the Right to Marry?
Preparing for Marriage
What to Look for in a Spouse
How to Destroy or Strengthen a Marriage
What God Expects and Commands Husbands and Wives to Be
Marriage Should Glorify God
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