Marriage isn't rocket science, but it's no joke either. Many people walk down the aisle thinking they're ready to commit to a lifelong partnership only to regretfully end it a few years later.
Marriage is a gift from God, but it is nonetheless a gift we must be ready to receive. Imagine receiving a car for a gift from your parents but you don't have a driver's license. We all know that's a formula for certain disaster! Our marriages are no different. We need to be ready for when God gives us the gift of a spouse.
How do we know we're ready for marriage? Here are seven signs to look out for, and to also aim for as well.
1. Marriage no longer determines your identity. Are you seeking to get married to gain approval, acceptance or status? A marriage is a bad source of all of this. Only Jesus is the true source of a secured identity.
2. You seek to serve more than being served. Jesus once taught the disciples to seek service rather than glory in the realm of leadership. The same truth applies in our marriages. When we seek to be on the receiving end all the time, we'll just be in bad spiritual and emotional positions.
3. You seek the fruits of the Spirit. If there's anything you'll need more when you get married, it's the fruit of the Spirit that brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When we walk by the Spirit in our marriage, we will be able to walk in love for our spouse more and more.
4. You have a sound understanding of who God is to you. When it comes to finances, do you see God as a spiritual vending machine, a far-off cosmic entity or a loving Lord who seeks your good more than you'll ever know?
5. Sanctity is your priority. Sure, there are no perfect couples, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a to live in righteousness and fidelity. Hebrews 13:4, ESV "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous"
6. You seek Jesus more than anything else. Companionship is not the ultimate prize of marriage. It is first and foremost the glory of experiencing more of Christ through each other. Philippians 3:14 tells us, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
7. You have learned to love yourself. The second greatest commandment is not just a call to love others but to also love yourself the right way. As Jesus once said, we are to love our neighbors AS ourselves (Mark 12:31), not more than ourselves. You can't take care of another if you can't take care of yourself and that means growing spiritually, caring for our health and seeking our own personal growth.