These are words of wisdom being passed along from an older guy who has been married for over 30 years to the younger generation of couples contemplating or beginning marriage. You will not be taught these 20 things at marriage counseling. I have learned them along the way, in the midst of a very troubled marriage, and from reading books, listening to radio programs, going to counseling, and other people's wisdom.
1. Love has more to do with a decision of will and commitment than it has with feelings or whether or not you like someone.
2. Even with Christian couples there is no guarantee of having a successful marriage and I read in a book recently that 60% of all divorces are in the 25-39 age group. Be prepared to work at it. Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because it is a Christian marriage it is just going to fall into place.
3. Clean out the clutter of past emotional or relational issues and hurts, secret sins, addictions, abuse, etc., before marriage. If you do not you will take these things into your marriage. At least make sure your partner knows about these things so he or she can work with you on getting past your past.
4. Know why you are getting married. Yes, it is possible to get married for the wrong reasons, like for money, or satisfying what you lack in yourself.
5. Develope clearly defined roles and expectations for one another.
6. If there are two incomes try to live on one, so that if one of you loses your job you can still pay the bills. That would not be possible, of course, if both people only have minimum wage jobs.
7. Men and women have different emotional makeups. This can work for or against you, depending on how well you understand one another.
8. It is not issues that cause trouble in marriage but how they are talked about, and the inability or unwillingness to deal with conflict.
9.Financial problems are a leading cause of divorce.
10. Men get excited by sight; women get turned on by touch.
11. Sexual intimacy is more than physical contact; it is also emotional connection.
12. Women, if the man you are going to marry is giving evidence of being a loser, call off or delay the marriage. Don't expect him to change after you get married; he probably won't. Don't allow yourself to be used or abused.
13. Have some degree of financial stability BEFORE you get married, and don't go out and buy a new house right away unless you have a fairly large and very solid income.
14. Men compartmentalize; women see everything as one.
15. Treat your new relationship like a baby; give it tender loving care and don't let issues, problems, or things, get between the two of you.
16. Don't hesitate to go to Christian counseling if you are having problems. Counseling does not mean your marriage is failing, but look at it as a preventative measure. It is better to go sooner than later.
17. Love does NOT heal all wounds. You must continually practice forgiveness.
18. Read I Corinthians 13 together, often. Also read together the Song of Solomon, the most beautiful love story in the entire Bible.
19. Sometimes one spouse is better equipped to handle an issue than the other. Decide which one it is, butt out and don't try to take over.
20. Men, do not try to be Mr. Fix-It. Just listen to your wife and give her emotional support. Women don't always want their husbands to resolve an issue; they simply want a listening ear.