Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.(Genesis 2:24, NKJV)
We do a lot of marriage coaching as well as premarital coaching. What’s nice about premarital coaching is that we can, many times, catch some issues before the wedding that might crop up later in the relationship. Sometimes, we’re able to reveal any red flags that could potentially cause a great deal of harm if not dealt with in our sessions.
All too often, people decide they want to be married without considering what would make themselves good spouses. They, instead, only think of what they will personally get from the marriage. So, one of the questions we like to ask is, “Why should someone want to marry you?” and the follow-up question, “Would you marry you?” We get a variety of responses, but most of them boil down to, “Because I’m a nice person and I have a lot of love to give?” They don’t understand that it takes a great deal more than that.
The two questions I posed above are especially pertinent to single people who really want to get married, but do not have a partner yet. I mean, seriously, would you marry you? Why is that question important? It’s because most people don’t ever really take an honest assessment of themselves to see if they are, indeed, fit for marriage.
Here are a list of questions you might ask yourself if you want to determine how ready for marriage you really are:
- Am I willing to put my spouse ahead of myself? Are you willing to lay aside your desires to meet the need of your mate?
- Would I rather serve or be served? Do you like being catered to or can you see that catering to someone else can be quite gratifying?
- How well do I handle conflict? When you look back over relationships of the past, how did you handle disputes? How did you handle your break-up? Is it important for you to have the final word?
- Can I be counted on to follow through with promises? Are you a person of integrity. Are your words and actions congruent?
- What did I learn from watching my parents that I want or don’t want in my marriage? Did your parents expose you to a culture of squabbling over minute issues? Was there an atmosphere of peace or turbulence? Were your parents close or dismissive of one another?
- Am I willing to compromise in some areas? In our book, Marriage is Not for the Faint of Heart, we point out that in order to be successful in married life, you must be willing to adjust your ways in order to attain harmony in the relationship. If you are not, it’s better to remain unmarried, otherwise, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Is getting my way the most important thing? Do you relish the feeling of accomplishment when you get what you want? How willing are you to let go of some of your wants to create an “us” partnership?
- Is my independence the most important thing to me? Are you willing to be interdependent with your mate? Do you have an “I can do it by myself” kind of attitude?
- Is divorce an absolute “NO” for me?
- Have my friends or family members told me that my ideals, expectations and standards are too lofty for anyone to attain? Are they right?
These questions indicate what it takes to be marriage ready. Your honest answers to these questions can determine how equipped you really are. Understand that these are not meant to cause you any kind of condemnation. Instead, they’re intended to help you to think long and hard before making what should be a life-long decision.
Be willing to do what you need to do to prepare yourself for the blessing that God intended marriage to be. He is the author of marriage, and His word can help you get ready. Through your relationship with Him, you can be successful in many areas. Why not give Him the opportunity to assist you in this huge pursuit. It’s also a good idea to begin praying for you future spouse. Pray that he or she will be as prepared as you.
The question remains: Would you marry you? I hope you can say, “Of course!” If not, do the necessary work to be able to. (Pam)