Preparing for Marriage

Posted by  | Wednesday, February 1, 2012  at 4:00 PM  
Here at POH we don't often talk about singleness, because our focus is primarily on marriage and family, parenting and children. However, this month as we talk about marriage, we are going to talk about preparing for marriage before we discuss marital issues. Perhaps you are single and waiting for a spouse--perhaps you are in a dating relationship--perhaps you are married. I hope that something we write will be of interest to you and a blessing in your life. We would love to hear from you as well--feel free to comment here, or send an email!

Here are a few blog posts, websites, and books that I think are helpful in the stage of preparing for marriage. If you have never visited the site before, you should check out Boundless. They have many thoughtful articles on a variety of topics pertaining to Christian life and practice. I discovered Boundless after I was married, but I wish that I had read their articles on Dating & Courtship earlier in my life! One of the frequent contributors is Candice Watters, who makes a case for not delaying marriage. 
If you lack a vision for marriage, you're setting yourself up for lax sexual standards, relationships without momentum, and heartache. If you don't have a deliberate goal in mind — either single service or Christian marriage between two chaste believers — it's pretty easy to fall prey to sexual temptation. ~Candice Watters,  Thinking About Marriage
A few bad habits can sabotage a relationship; yet single women seem to miss this. Some hang out with a "buddy," content with mere friendship, never daring to require him to state his intentions. Others have pre-marital sex and don't understand why their "partner" has no momentum toward marriage. Most spend all their time with the same group, even after they've decided that no one in that group is a possible marriage partner.
These habits are pretty good for preventing weekend loneliness. But the very things singles do to avoid being alone on Saturday night may keep them alone for the rest of their lives. ~Candice Watters, Finding a Husband
In addition to the articles I quoted above, her post It's Good to Wait is a thoughtful approach to the waiting period of singleness.

Russell D. Moore from Southern Seminary addresses a sensitive topic with gospel clarity in his blog post, 
Should I marry a man with pornography struggles? Also, his article about when you should have a discussion about your sexual past with your significant other is very insightful:  Like, A Virgin? In fact, if I have never said this before, you should read anything you can by Russell Moore. He is thoughtful, pastoral, and gospel-centered, and his preaching and writings will challenge and convict you.

There are many books available that you COULD read before you get married...though most of them will not be helpful! Here are two books that I think would be of benefit to read as you prepare for marriage, though I am sure there are more:
Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart
When Sinners Say I Do
Note: both of these books deal with more heart issues, not 'practical' issues like finances, sex, dealing with parents, etc. That's another discussion for another post!

What resources have you found to be helpful? How might we encourage you in preparing for marriage?

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