Fall In ... Live In ... Fall Out
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."1
Guess we've all heard and maybe experienced falling-in-love at first sight. Sure, it can be exhilarating, but let's be realistic. It's really attraction, infatuation, or lust at first sight. How can you possibly love someone without knowing them or anything about them? You can't. True, attraction can grow into love but more often than not those who fall-in-love too soon, all too soon fall-out-of-love.
And then there are those who, totally neglecting God's instructions, argue that you should live together before getting married to make sure you are compatible. However, according to James Kennedy, "A study challenges the practice of living together 'before marriage.' The journal, Demography, reveals that cohabitation ends in separation 90 percent of the time. More than half end in less than one year."
And "according to lead researcher Daniel Lichter of Cornell University 'Serial cohabitation may be an emerging norm as cohabiting unions form and break up. The common view of cohabitation as a steppingstone to marriage needs to be seriously questioned.'"2
For more than a decade-and-a-half I have taught in divorce recovery programs and repeatedly have seen divorcees "fall-in-love" again before ever resolving the part they played in the breakup of their marriage. Over and over we recommend that divorcees resolve their issues before ever committing to another permanent relationship, for only healthy, mature people are attracted to and find healthy, mature partners—and develop healthy relationships and marriages.
Also, it is imperative that one gets to know him/herself and their potential partner before ever saying, "I do." The fact is that if I don’t fully know and understand myself, it is not possible to fully know and understand anybody else.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grow and mature in every area of life, and to know and understand myself so that I will be able to know and understand others, and therein be able to develop healthy and mature relationships. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Hebrews 13:4 (NIV).
2. James Kennedy, Center for Reclaiming America, firstname.lastname@example.org.