Can’t you picture it? Dresses. Flowers. Bridesmaids. Engagement parties. Walking down the aisle to a sea of adorning witnesses. The gasp at a glimpse of your beauty. The awestruck audience that looks on lovingly as you say those two little words, “I do.” Isn’t it lovely? Don’t get me wrong, weddings are beautiful, but they aren’t made of the things that make a marriage last. I’ve talked to many ladies whose training to be a bride far outweighs their preparation to be a wife. I don’t want any one to make the mistake of getting married for the wrong reasons.
Here are five signs that marriage is not for you:
1. You think that a spouse will make you happy.
The truth about marriage is that the best marriages are selfless and the worst ones are selfish. If you are looking for someone to make you happy and meet your needs, then you probably aren’t ready for marriage. Marriages that last are the ones where spouses seek to serve one another. In the book, “Sacred Marriage” the subtitle says, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy.” Would you still want to sign up? When you can honestly say yes, then you are ready!
2. You think that the butterflies in your stomach are a signal of real love.
Love is not a feeling. It is not a sensation in your nerve endings. It is not a fanciful display of tweeting birds and candy canes. Love is a choice! It is the choice to be patient and kind; the choice not to envy, not be boastful, not be full of pride, not dishonor each other, not be selfish, not be angered easily. Love doesn’t keep records of wrong and doesn’t take joy in evil things. Love protects, hopes, and trusts forever! No butterflies about it! Real love never fails – even when people do! (See the verses in 1 Corinthians)
3. You think divorce is a viable option if this doesn’t “work out.”
When you begin a relationship with your hand on the exit button, then it is a sign that you are not ready for marriage. There is a couple that we look to for practical marital wisdom and one of the tenants they live by is, “We don’t even say the “D – Word.” If you have already come up with an escape route before you meet him, then you probably aren’t ready to marry anyone.
4. Your definition of a successful marriage comes from television and movies.
I’ve heard people say, I want a husband just like Mr. Huxtable from the Cosby Show. (Well, maybe not so much lately) I’ve heard people saying they want a prince charming or a Mr. Right. Fictional characters as a standard will lead to real life disillusionment and real heartbreaking disappointment. (Read my post about making wrong choices in love.)
5. You think you’ve got this marriage thing all figured out.
Some single folks look at marriage and say, “How hard could it be?” They think that all they have to do is … Whatever you filled in the blank with is wrong. Marriage IS NOT easy. There is no formula and no real marriage expert (besides the one who created it, God!) So if you think that this marriage thing is easy, that is a sure-fire sign that you should wait on a reality check before tying the knot with anyone.
Just because you are not ready for marriage today does not mean that you won’t ever be ready. Get to know God better and allow Him to show you the true path of love and His intent for marriage. If His will is for you to be married then He will prepare your heart and mind for the known and unknown behind the words, “Until death do us part.”
What are other ways to know if you are ready (or not) for marriage? Share a story or a warning sign. Leave a comment below.