Before You or Your Kids Say, “I Do.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”1
A Daily Encounter reader writes, “My son is seeing a young woman who is trying to force him to marry right away even though they hardly know each other. Is there any way I can advise him?”
As your son is legally an adult, there isn’t much you can do unless he seeks your counsel. If he were my son and asked for my counsel and is a Christian, the following is what I would do:
1. I would encourage him to pray earnestly for God's direction and especially that God would reveal to him the truth, both about himself and about his lady friend, and their relationship. When physical attraction and/or need is strong, couples are very often blind to reality, marry before they really know each other, and alas too late discover they made a big mistake. However, when seeing the truth before marriage, at least the one earnestly seeking the truth knows what he/she needs to do.
2. I would urge him to receive the best possible pre-marriage counseling with his potential life partner as this is an excellent way to see the truth about each other and to see if they are well suited for each other or otherwise.
3. I would warn him that anyone who is pushing to get married too soon and before receiving adequate pre-marriage counseling is either very needy and over-dependent and/or hiding a character weakness—possibly a serious one—and wants to hook a partner before his/her flaws are discovered.
4. If my son is a Christian and his lady friend is not—based on God’s Word I would let him know that this is a big NO-NO. As God's word wisely advises, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”2 For a healthy and strong relationship it is very important that both are emotionally mature and spiritually in harmony with each another.
5. Above all, I would encourage my son to earnestly seek God’s guidance regarding this relationship and to make sure he and his potential spouse pray together regularly and put God first in both their personal life and relationship should they decide to, or not to, marry. If they don’t do this before marriage, it isn’t too likely they will do it afterwards.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to be a fine Christian example to my children so that they, seeing my life, will want You to be first in their life and always seek Your guidance and seek to live in harmony with Your will. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV).