8+ things to consider before marrying that person

Being a pastor doesn’t make me an expert on marriage. I didn’t morph into a wise old sage when I was ordained, either. Nevertheless, people ask me all the time for advice about how to pick the right person to marry.

So I decided to share some of the ways I tend to answer that question. I’m just spit-ballin’ here so the list is incomplete and in no particular order.

  1. You don’t actually have to pick one. I Cor 7:8-9
  2. If they can’t control their tongue, they can’t control anything else! James 3:2
  3. Marry your friend. For the love, marry your friend!
  4. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.
  5. Beauty is fleeting. Integrity ain’t. Proverbs 31:30
  6. I don’t care how hot they are, there’s NOTHING sexy about someone you don’t get along with!
  7. If they aren’t helping you grow spiritually now, marrying them won’t change that.
  8. Don’t marry crazy. Look me in the eye: DON’T  – MARRY  – CRAZY!

One more thing…

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Christians shouldn’t marry non-Christians, so there’s that. But there’s more to pull from this text. A yoke is what joins two animals together so that they can share the burden of pulling a weight. It’s important to yoke animals of relatively equal strength and size, or the big strong one will end up doing all of the work, and they’ll have a hard time moving in a straight line. So the dude putting a yoke on two animals has to ask himself more than, “Are they the same species?” Think about it.

Let’s fire up the comments and make this a group project! What could/should be added to the list?

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15 Responses to “8+ things to consider before marrying that person”

  1. Samuel March 11, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Don’t marry crazy? I think you just forced a lot of people to stay single . . .

    Unless of course each person is equally crazy right? Because then if they were equally crazy they’d seem sane to each other right?

    Seriously, great stuff though!

    • Aaron March 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      we all have our own brand of crazy…but it’s certainly not equal!

  2. Adam Woods March 11, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Go on vacation together before getting engaged to a place neither of you has ever been, and go on another one after you’re engaged but before you’re married. And make it a hard to get to place with some obstacles if you can (India is nice, New Orleans on a plane will do). People really show their true colors when traveling.

    • Aaron March 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

      That’s really good advice! Shared traumatic experiences go a long way.

  3. Russel March 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Don’t marry to young. You would be surprised how much your views on life and your view of yourself changes. My general opinion is 25 or older. Who you think you are and what you think you want when your 18 isn’t the same when you are in your mid to late twenties. IMHO

    • Aaron March 12, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      I hear ya Russel. It may be better to say, “don’t marry immature.” Some people are too young at 30, and some aren’t too young at 20.

  4. Shannon Walls March 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m not married yet…however, I am the sounding board for many married friends. What I have discovered is how many people marry someone that share little to no common interests. So, going along with your suggestion to marry a friend…make sure you enjoy the same activities. Otherwise, the couple simply becomes roommates with occasional “benefits.”

    • Aaron March 12, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Yeah, Shannon. Sometimes opposites attract…but even then, they need something in common it seems. I know some people who seem to only have Jesus in common, though…and it seems to work, so it’s hard to say!

  5. Malike adigun March 12, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Hey im apart of the cape vineyard. I really liked this as a 21 year old single man .It reminds me and challenges me on the right view of marriage. One question i have for you is about number 4 “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior”. I kind of got nervous when i read this because it just made me think that the decisions and patterns that i have had in my past and some that i am currently breaking, will determine my future relationship and marriage. What is your perspective and response to that, could you maybe go deeper into that. Thanks, great post .

    • Aaron March 12, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      Malike! How are you. man?! #4 is, to me, a general principle that Jesus can and does change all of the time. Jesus can change us…we can’t. Future marriages don’t ever have to be marred by past stuff. He restores, my friend!

      that being said, on just a real practical level, a lot of people’s morally neutral norms stay in place. If you’re a clean freak, you probably always will be. And if you’re a slob, but you say you’ll be a clean freak when you get married, you’re probably kidding yourself. :)

  6. Wayne March 21, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    My wife and I did the test that Matt and his wife did for marriage strengthening and we found out apparently we are bipolar opposites. Nothing on that test showed we had anything in common. And I do mean nothing. We were rock bottom on every question.
    So what does that show us? Well, not much. (But it did upset the darling wife for a while where I thought it was hysterically funny….see, bipolar!)
    I was asked the secret of a long marriage (almost 17 years) by a high school student, and I had to say that we were to tired to do anything else about it, but that isn’t the total truth either.
    I think part of the secret to our success is that we do respect each other, and know that the other person is there for them at all times, to keep your big mouth shut at times, and to realize that it is perfectly OK to say, “I don’t want to go, but you go on.” and not be upset when they do. (DW is still working on this one).
    We are also bipolar opposites on many other things, she was raised in a small country church, I went to a Catholic Church that spoke another language, and if you sat on the aisle, you spent your service ducking the incense burner, and the ceremony was beautiful, but meaningless to me.
    We have had to meld and form many of these beliefs together, and also take into account the daughter and where she is going spiritually and personally.
    All in all, not easy to put up with someone, but 95 percent of the time it is very rewarding….and the other 5 percent just needs to be left alone.

  7. Pam March 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Just shared this, via Facebook, with all my friends. I love it.
    I’ve been married 33 years. We married very young, so I can’t say he was my best friend when I married him, but we certainly grew into that in a short time.
    While all of your points are awesome, it still requires determination and commitment. And some days — that is ALL that keeps it from blowing apart — remembering that we stood before God, a preacher and witnesses and PROMISED to make it work.

    • Aaron March 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Thanks, Pam! 33 years, well done! I wish that commitment and determination were universal. Great thoughts!

  8. Ann May 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    How different would the world be if we looked for the person we could complete instead of the person who could complete us? The only one who can fill the God shaped hole in our hearts is…God. Not a spouse, not children. Until you figure out that, don’t marry. It puts unreasonable expectations on you and on your spouse. It’s a bit JFK-ish, but don’t think about what your spouse can (should) do for you, but rather about what you can (should) do for them.

    (We’re Indiana friends of the Carlyles, and moving into your neck of the woods in late July/August…we’ve visited a few times, but I can’t WAIT to be there for real!!!)

  9. don denton July 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    My wife, Susie, and I have been married for 4 decades. We were young but mature well beyond our years when we tied the knot. Seeking God’s choice in marriage led us to each other via amazing circumstances. The secret to a successful marriage is really quite simple: love your spouse more than you love yourself, and love Jesus more than you love your spouse. The correct priority is Jesus first, your spouse second, and lastly, yourself.

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