Youth Preparing For Marriage When It’s Light Years Away

You’ve dreamed of playing for your high school basketball team since you were in second grade and try outs are approaching. You:

  1. Watch lots of ball games on TV hoping to see some new moves.
  2. Sleep everyday hoping to be well rested for try outs.
  3. Send flowers to your coach hoping to win some points before the season
  4. Set aside an hour everyday to work on your ball-handling and shooting skills, and play games whenever possible.

Analysis:

  1. Good moves take lots of practice, watching them will only show you what you can’t do.
  2. Extra sleep won’t matter if you don’t have the skills on the court.
  3. What if the coach is allergic to flowers, besides season ending trophies appeal more to most coaches.
  4. Great answer, what you practice is what you live. The more you practice the better you will be.

Now you may be asking what does this have to do with marriage. Well, like anything else that we want to do well we can’t just pick it up at the last minute. Fidelity and faithfulness are key ingredients needed to be lived out by both members of this covenant relationship. So the question is how do we practice these two? We could:

  1. Observe married couples who have had a long term relationship. Ask them what it is that helps them to sustain a positive marriage relationship.
  2. Take your time. Don’t rush any relationship you are in. Anything that is worth while takes time.
  3. Sending flowers is still a good idea but learn how to express affection in positive ways that don’t serve selfish interests.
  4. Practice, practice, practice. How do you show faithfulness and fidelity to your parents, your friends, people you date now, people with whom you share commitments, your team, church, where you work.

Analysis:

  1. Good thinking, we can learn from others. If our own experience was the only way we could learn then learning not to sky dive without a parachute would be a lesson that we could never use.  Observe, ask and contemplate.
  2. If you have ever taken a test you haven’t studied for then you know that awful feeling you get when the test is passed out and you know you’re not ready. Relationships can give you that same awful feeling when we commit ourselves in a relationship too soon. We often end up doing things we wished we hadn’t.
  3. Good thought again. There are so many ways we can show we care. If we don’t learn how to do that then what can of a marriage will we be prepared for? A handshake, a hug, helping someone with a problem, being a good listener, and so may other things communicate caring without being selfish. Often sex becomes a selfish endeavor for self-gratification. Don’t go there. Treat each other with true love and respect.
  4. What you practice is what you live. What you live flows from who you are. You are a person under construction and the main builder is Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6 says, “God will not stop the work He has begun in you until the day of its completion” What you bring to your future marriage, or any other relationship, is what you are becoming. You just can’t be someone you’re not especially in a 24/7 relationship. If you want to have a happy and healthy marriage someday begin now to develop your whole self; spirit, mind, body and soul. Pray regularly, go to church, read the word, receive Christ, practice the sacraments. Practice faithfulness in every relationship. Be faithful to all your commitments.

Peace!
Love in Jesus,

Pat Rinker