Photo by Sandy Millar
At the onset, emotions and feelings are usually what drive the relationship. We choose someone because we are attracted to them first. We go on a couple of dates, and begin to develop an emotional attachment to each other.
However, we can be fooled to believe that emotions are a solid foundation to build a marriage upon. As the relationship progresses, there is a need to shift from being emotion-driven to making sure we are choosing a person for the right reasons.
Faith is a huge factor where love and relationships are concerned but it doesn’t mean we don’t at least have an idea of what we are getting into.
Today I’m discussing a few things to consider before getting to the altar.
Priorities are important because they tell you what this person values most. Whatever they value most, they will prioritize. In a Godly relationship, both parties have to have a relationship with God. And there has to be a sign that God is the first priority in their life. When God is first they will prioritize seeking God’s direction before making any decisions. They will prioritize prayer and getting the word.
God is first, then your relationship, then other relationships, in this order. When this order is not incorrectly placed it will impact your relationship. You want to know that they will run to God before they run to you or to their mother or siblings when they have a problem.
A covenant relationship has a way of revealing our idols because it will demand we don’t put anything else before it except God.
An Idol is anything we believe will satisfy or fulfill us in place of God, or things we give the place of God in our lives. Our idols can take many forms, becoming successful can be an idol; the opinion of others can be an idol; our jobs can be idols; self and the need to put self first can be an idol.
If they have idols before God, they will have idols in your relationship. We cannot serve God and our idols. We also cannot serve our relationship and our idols, we will choose one and neglect the other.
We ask God to reveal to us first, whether we have idols and deal with them. And then, we ask God to reveal to us if the person we are in a relationship with has idols.
In the beginning, it’s easy to miss this because emotions are primarily the essence of the relationship. But with time, their ability to control and manage their emotions will become evident. That’s why courtship or dating is important( It’s how we get to know each other). Being a mature adult requires we learn how to control our emotions. We also grow out of responding to life with emotions.
Sometimes, people are adults but they haven’t moved past being a two-year-old. They throw emotional tantrums when they don’t get their way; they make decisions based on how they feel. They show up in the relationship based on how they feel, today they feel like talking, tomorrow they don’t, or they want to be in the relationship, tomorrow they don’t. It can become a rollercoaster of maintaining a relationship based on how that person feels. There is nothing more unattractive than an adult with an emotional maturity of a two-year-old.
Marriage requires two mature adults, able to make day-to-day decisions and steward their relationship without their emotions getting in the way. It doesn’t mean that we don’t give people room to grow and learn how to manage their emotions. But if they don’t want to grow out of this, it’s a big red flag.
Money is said to be one of the reasons why most marriages break. It’s an important factor to consider before you get into it. Don’t wait until you’re married to find out someone’s relationship with money. Their relationship with money will directly impact you.
Discussing money can be uncomfortable but necessary. You want to know if your money values are compatible. Figure out how they relate with money. And whether they make future considerations where money is concerned(saving and investing). Find out how they tackle debt, you don’t want to find out later that someone has a habit of mindlessly getting into debt, or has a lifestyle that they cannot sustain(keeping up with the joneses). Learn how to do this from the start to spare yourselves a lot of headaches in the future.
Someone said, “You don’t get married to a person, you marry them and their family.” This is true, they don’t just bring themselves into the relationship, they bring their family beliefs and value systems with them. They also bring all their family dysfunctions into the marriage. We receive a generational inheritance from our families, both good and bad.
Get to know their family well because it will give you an idea of what they carry ( Your wedding day shouldn’t be the day you meet your in-laws, you will be in trouble).
Sometimes, people carry good generational inheritances. For instance, the ability to build solid relationships and families: the ability to make wealth and build successful careers or businesses.
On the other hand, we can also receive bad generational inheritances like bad relational habits, addictions, poverty, failure, infidelity, just to name a few. Figure out what generational inheritance they are bringing because this is what they will pass to your children and their children’s children.
Sometimes we end up dealing with things we could have avoided because we didn’t consider this before we run to the altar to marry someone.
Bad generational inheritances require God, prayer, and diligence to break before getting into marriage.
Marriage should be a lifelong covenant. It should not be entered into lightly. Whether we build long-lasting relationships is dependent on how we begin them in the first place. So, take your time, don’t rush into it. Get to know each other and make sure you’re choosing each other for the right reasons.