Marriage Reveals, Not Creates Problems

"In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery." (Proverbs 28:23 NLT)

If you are prolonging a relationship that you know is going nowhere, don't continue it. "But I won't have anybody to take me out on Friday night," you say. A bad marriage is a million times worse than not going out on Friday night! The longer you're in a relationship, the more difficult it's going to be to get out of it.

Proverbs 28:23 says, "In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery" (NLT).

Size that person up quickly. Make sure he or she is emotionally healthy. Don't be afraid to ask questions like, "Do you have uncontrolled anger?" "Can we talk about me?" or "Will you pick up the tab?"

Regardless of the emotional state of your partner, you need to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ yourself. If you haven't done that, you need to start there. You need to get spiritually connected to God.

Then I want to challenge you to commit yourself to God's standard and not let oceans of emotions sway you into making a stupid decision. Given the right situation, you can get a quiver in your liver and fall in love with the idea of being in love. But don't make a stupid decision!

Don't date until your own emotional hurts are healed or at least in the healing process. Get rid of the bitterness. Get rid of the anger problem. Get rid of your baggage.

I remember marrying a couple many years ago at Saddleback. About five years later we had them over for dinner. The woman told me, "When I walked down the aisle in that white dress, I had no idea that I was carrying an entire bag of emotional garbage on my back. And I took all that garbage into the marriage."

Friends, marriage does not create problems. It reveals them. The more you can deal with it before you get married, the happier, more God-honoring, and more fulfilling your marriage is going to be. You will have that deep soul intimacy that is personal, relational, sexual, and spiritual. It is the oneness that comes from being unified by a relationship to God, your purpose, and your calling.

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