Are You Ready?

How to know when you’re ready for marriage!

As you read this post, I want to challenge you to get a journal, if you don’t already have one, and write down the answer to the many questions that follow. This is a call to action for your life and relationship. Have a conversation with God about what you read in this post.

I’ve had this discussion many times with both my married and single friends alike. Especially with my single friends. The question is always, “How did you know you were ready for marriage?”, or “How did you know He was the one?” I don’t belive there is a straight up definite answer, much depends on both the individuals, and the dynamics of the relationship. However, I do belive there are some key factors , you want to be absolutely sure of before you say, “I do”!

RIGHT RELATIONSHIP: So what does READY mean, or even look like? To me first and foremost , to be ready means that you are in right relationship with God . In other words, you have a personal relationship with God in which you speak with Him daily and He instructs, and speaks with you.

Whether you know it or not, our relationship with God affects our relationship with others. It also speaks volumes of who you are as a person and how well you know yourself… side note : I brought a iron once that seemed to be a really good buy at the time. It had all the bells and whistles. As I began to use it I realized some of the functions didn’t work . Before I got rid of it, I decided to call the manufacturer. If anyone could tell me about the product, it would be them…As with you and me, we are the handiwork of almighty God. Who knows more about you than yourself?,GOD. So not only does He show you, YOU,through relationship with Him, but he shows you other people as well. That is how our relationship with God, influences our relationships , or how we relate with others.

On the other hand , what I see more often than not, is relationships absent or void of God. Here’s the problem, when a product breaks I can call the manufacturer for advice or find the manual. So many times we get into these relationships with people before we consult God, our manufacturer, and when the relationship breaks or malfunctions we have no connection with God, and haven’t read our life’s manual (Bible). Of course by now we’re waist deep in a time consuming mess God never intended for us to experience! Our relationship with God or lack thereof, effects our relationships with others. We have to get our vertical relationship right, to know how to handle our horizontal relationship.

On that note, I believe God has a plan, and an even better definition of what and how a relationship should look. So here comes the work. Remember at the beginning I challenged you to get a journal, and do your work, well here we go!

DEFINE RELATIONSHIP: I believe there are three major components needed in a relationship, among others. Relationship with God first of course. But a relationship should include, Revelation, Transparency, Intimacy.

1. REVELATION: Read Mathew 25:1-13: How much of yourself have you revealed to God? Are you one of the wise, or foolish? Have you made yourself known to God? Do you strive to be full of oil (God’s Holy Spirit) Can God recognize you as His bride?

2. TRANSPARENCY: Read Genesis 2:25: Are you naked before God and unashamed? Are you willing to admit your own imperfections and flaws? If you can’t do so with God, you won’t do so in a relationship, hence the blame game. Staying focused on your flaws also keeps you from idolizing one another. You both will have real expectations for one another ,and no one will be setup for failure.

3. INTIMACY : READ 1, 3, 5…Chapters of the book of PSALM. I read 1 chapter a day: King David, the author of many psalms, demonstrates a genuine, open, and free line of communication with God. There’s no fluff in his conversations with God. He is completely open about his life’s triumphs, failures, struggles, and successes. Is there a genuine, open, and free line of communication between your heart and God’s? Communication is the key in relationships, learn how to communicate with God first so you can communicate effectively with others.

TEMPTATIONS & LUSTS: How to handle sexual desires. So living in the world and culture we live in today, there’s no way I’m going to down play how serious and REAL this struggle can be and get! It takes more that will power or “strength” to say “no”, or “not until marriage”. The good news is, IT’S POSSIBLE! only through God!!!!! Again you have to do the work when it comes to YOU! Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean?

READ 1 Corinthians 6: 15-20. I know many of you know why not to have sex before marriage, but for clarity sake, write down WHY Paul urges us to flee fornication.

READ 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, 8-9, 34. Likewise, in the church we so often hear , don’t have sex… and the world has so polluted it, that we forget GOD created it for a reason and purpose! God is not a dogmatic dictator trying to keep you from experiencing life. He just has a time, purpose, and season for everything. Sex God’s way is for a commited God ordained marriage relationship.

READ Romans 6:12, 13:14, Galatians 5:24 Such Scripture equips us to get rid of excuses, and stop the blame game.

Lastly, stresses and demands in life makes us vulnerable to the temptation of instant gratification… Have you made provisions for your flesh, to sin or slip? Have you made provisions for yourself with God’s Spirit to overcome? What stressors make you vulnerable to temptation? Side note…. for example mine were fear, loneliness, and doubt… How can God help you overcome such stressors with out falling into temptation?

GO DEEPER: OPEN YOUR BIBLE AND READ Hebrews 4:15-16, “15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

When in trying or tempting situations, what adjective does the author of Hebrews use to describe how we should approach God?

2 Corinthians 12:9 “9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

According to this scripture (2 Corinthians 12:9) does our own works qualify us to receive God’s power or is it God’s grace?

Romans 8:1-2. “1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

WHILE I’M WAITING: UNDERSTANDING CONTENTMENT

John Maxwell give a great definition of what it means to be content. He defines contentment as taking your present situation and admitting you don’t like it, but never saying,” I can’t cope with it.” In other words,”I’m feeling the stress of the situation, without feeling desperate or in despair. Such calm can only come from having complete confidence in God. Philipians 4:11-13

MY PRAYER FOR YOU is that something above has resignated with you. At the very least I pray it has encouraged you in someway to draw near to God confidently knowing that He has a plan for even this area (love, relationship, marriage) of your life. Most importantly, no matter what your current “relationship status” is God so desperately desires a personal and intimate relationship with YOU! HE wants to hear your voice and see your face when He wakes in the morning, and hear and see the same at night. He wants to hear you brag to your friends about how he “treats you”. You know those out if this world blessings, even in those times when you feel least deserving. He wants to be the one providing for you financially, emotionally, and spiritually. He wants to be your best friend and confidant.

If you can’t say God is currently all these things and more, all you have to do is ask Him to be. Pray this prayer with me, “Lord Jesus forgive me for my sin. I now know you have a plan for every area of my life. Help me to seek you first, I want to draw near to you. Be my personal Lord and Savior. Give me eyes to see your work in my life. Give me a heart that can receive and freely give your love. Give me ears to hear your unfailing instruction . Give me strength to obey and do your will. May I always remember your grace. That you are with me in my time of need to help me overcome. I pray this in Jesus name. AMEN (It is so)

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