Lately, I have come across many women who are in challenging marital stages in their lives. Oddly enough, they are usually relating to a relative (or spouse) with personality disorders. But through that, I have come to analyze my station in life. There was likely a .2 percent chance in my twenties that I would have the wherewithal to foresee all of what we have been through.
When my husband and I were dating, we spent nearly every second together. We enjoyed each other immensely. We were best friends. He was a Christian, and I knew it by his actions, his heart, his words. I loved that about him. I was confident he would lead our marriage by Biblical standards if we got married.
And we did get married. And he did lead us. But I have sinned. He has sinned. Through it all, we seem to eventually conquer our issues though. Some issues are quickly resolved, while others are so deeply ingrained that it is taking years to heal. But I rest assured that through it all, I see in him (and I pray he sees in me) that he learns from them, grows from them, acknowledges them, and effects appropriate change.
So whenever I am asked for advice or my thoughts on a dating relationship, I share what I know will be an indicator of the future stature of someone's marriage. A marker of a true Christian.
You need to live your life with a repentant heart.
You need to ensure your spouse-to-be lives with a repentant heart.
A proud heart can easily destroy a marriage. I love what the Bible says about repentance. It is the acknowledging of sin and the complete about-turn in your life to turn away from sin. It is fleeing in the opposite direction of sin.
The majority of references of repent in the New Testament mean (according to Strong's Concordance):
To think differently; afterwards (reconsider); change the mind.
Implying pious sorrow for unbelief and sin and a turning from them unto God and the gospel of Christ.And I can truly say my marriage will survive because I am married to a man with a repentant heart. Again, I pray he sees the same in me.
I pray that dating couples be aware, truly aware, of what it takes to live a life of Biblical repentance and to flee from a potential mate who is not living in that accord.