How to Know You Are Marrying More for Religious Reasons than Love
You thought you met the man or woman you wanted to spend the rest of your life with but you have your share of doubts. It all started when you caught him or her in lies, questioned their whereabouts and they avoided an explanation, or wondered if the co-worker they talk frequently about is really just a friend. You want to get married to your child’s father or mother, but not necessarily because you just love them. Rather, because those around you tell you that it is the right thing to do. You may agree with them and feel that morally you want to fix what is considered an immoral thing. So what some Christians or believers in a faith do, is get married ignoring all signs that say that this person is not the one.
A woman, Nancy (not her real name) did just that. She reasoned that she would marry her porno addicted fiancé because she thought that if she did and she prayed long and hard enough that God will fix the situation and her soon-to-be husband would stop looking at porn. She was wrong. Even a close spiritual advisor warned her not to and she ignored her saying to the advisor, “God would want her to do what is right and marry her children’s father.”
A man whose identity is being removed to protect his privacy also chose to marry his fiancé knowing that she had a past of cheating and lying to him. He reasoned that she was “the one” despite his mother’s efforts and others in the family to change his mind. He wanted his marriage to be blessed in the eyes of God.
Then there was Bill (whose name has been changed) told family members and friends that he married out of love; however, his family and friends saw additional reasons for why he wanted to marry including the fact that he and his fiancé knew they were pregnant and didn’t want to bring their child into the world without being married first despite their often disagreements.
Now in all of these situations these people reasoned that to get married for spiritual or religious beliefs was the right thing to do. However, if we look at I Corinthians 13: 4-13 and define the definition of love in the New International Version of the Bible, we find examples of good reasons to marry someone, but not because morally you should just go ahead and do it. Then there are many other scriptures that deal with love and marriage in the Bible and none of them have anything to do with reasoning in one’s mind that “everything will be alright if I just get married” and “God will bless my marriage in spite of…”
So how do you know that you are getting married more for religious reasons then for love? You will need to not only evaluate what you are doing and saying to your partner and vice versa, but you will also have to pray for specific signs that will help you make the right decision. Sometimes people do pray for wisdom concerning getting married, but when it is given to them and it’s something they don’t want to hear they do the following: they ignore the wisdom, reason that the person who is giving them advice is jealous, or argue why they should get married despite asking for honest advice. You will know that you are marrying more for religious reasons than love when you find yourself saying or doing the following.
Asking people for advice while ignoring what you already know.
Of course those fellow believers who want you to be happy will encourage you to do whatever you want. They may pull out all of the scriptures that encourage a union, but ignore the ones about being unequally yoked to an unbeliever or other scriptures that God intended to convict your spirit. If you say that you love your partner they will say, “Go ahead get married.” If you say he or she is the parent of my children and I really want him or her in my life they will say, “Go ahead get married.” If you say we have been through so much together and I really want this they will say, “What’s stopping you? Go ahead and get married.” This is not what you should be doing is asking your personal cheerleading team. God wants you to be consulting with him and if he gives you signs you prayed for concerning your partner which are loud and clear, “Look the other way.” Heed them. You can always find other ways to have the parent of your children in your life and the lives of your children without being married to him or her. Sometimes we can make life worse for ourselves and our children in the long term by doing things that we know we shouldn’t. As we all know, those of us who have been married before know that honeymoons don’t last forever!
Your pastor or staff will tell you that “you should be married in the House of the Lord.”
Being married in the house of the Lord or under a blessed bridge with a divine shadow of the Mother of God isn’t going to help your situation when you know that this partner you are considering on marrying is a liar, cheat, angry all the time, violent, and so on. As the scripture says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so if this is true why would you subject your body to abuse and reason that getting married in a holy place will somehow make everything good. Sometimes people assume that if a man or woman of God anoints his or her forehead, prays for them, or reads scripture to them that like a magic potion their partners will change. If anything, they may get worse, because people who don’t have a faith are not happy about anyone doing any of these things to them, if anything it makes them feel strange and uncomfortable and if they feel this way too long they will begin to blame you.
Attending Bible studies and church often.
You may spend more time in the church then you do anywhere else. Of course, being around spiritual people and frequently reading the Bible will make you think about spiritual things often. You will also witness other couples interacting with one another, hear messages from the pulpit about marriage, and read stories about successful relationships. When someone hears enough things about what they desire most long enough, they will start to build a false image about their own relationship. The truth is you don’t have a relationship like pastor and his wife and you can’t compare your relationship with someone else’s in the church just because you saw someone caress his wife or kiss her husband. Chances are your relationship may be worse or better and even still that is not why you should be getting married for image sake. Rather, you should be evaluating what your real motivation is and what you and your partner should be doing and saying to have a quality relationship.
In closing, take the time to be alone and think about all of the reasons why you need to get married to your partner then think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t. When you pray, be specific with your requests such as asking for wisdom and a discerning spirit when it comes to deciding whether or not you should go through with a marriage. Forgive yourself for past mistakes you made, but don’t try to fix them by getting married. Instead, study the word and find subject areas that speak to not just married life, but daily living. Read self-improvement books by best-sellers that can help you understand how men and women should communicate in relationships. Most importantly, ignore everyone’s voice but your own no matter how good or bad the advice. Only you know what you can and can’t handle in your relationship. If you are dealing with an issue that keeps you up at night, that incites arguments, and makes you cry or yell often then seriously consider not getting married. As we all know most marriages end in divorce, because people don’t take the time to think before they leap!
By Nicholl McGuire