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If you are dating someone, get to know their habits before you say “I do.” Take the time to study their habits and see how they operate under adversity. Do they:
- Shut down when adversity arrives?
- Run back to an old habit when adversity arrives?
- Act out of character when adversity arrives?
The things we think are cute when we are dating can become irritating once married. Why? Because they repeat the same habits over and over again and since you are married to them these same habits are displayed before us every day. Don’t get me wrong, one of the great things about marriage is learning to be compatible because it helps us to be selfless towards our spouse. I think during the dating process we are so “in love” we overlook things that can become a potential harm to us later down the road. That is why it’s important for singles to bring this “potential spouse” before trusted people who have you best interest.
How will I know if he or she is a keeper? In Myles Munroe’s book “Benefits of Change,” he says, if your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t willing to change to win you, then he/she won’t be willing to change to keep you. I laugh sometimes when I hear singles say “I’m not changing for anyone, they better take me as I am.” To a degree I understand what they are saying, but when you marry, some things need to change from you in order to have a successful marriage. The problems in relationships arise when dating someone. One may allow some of their significant other’s bad habits to slide because “if I lose him/her there might not be anyone better than what I have now.” Don’t fall for that trap! Those same bad habits you “let slide” is the same bad habits than can potentially destroy a marriage. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence –Prov. 14:16 I’m not saying they have to be perfect, we all have issues and things we need to conquer in our personal lives. The million dollar question is “If I marry this person, am I willing to deal with this struggle they have now?”
I once had a close friend of mine (who was single) bring her “potential spouse” around me so I could see if he was the real deal or not. She said something to me I will never forget. She said, “I had to make sure I brought him around another man who has my best interest because I didn’t want to be blind to something you could catch for me.” Those are true words of wisdom coming from a single mom who wanted to get married God’s way. Author Al Gleason of the book The Other Side of Faith said “Proper use of wisdom will afford greater opportunities in life.” Which is true because my friend who brought around the “potential spouse” later found out that he wasn’t the one for her. With prayer and counsel from close friends and family she was able to avoid marrying someone who wasn’t the right one, dodging a potential divorce in the future. Through wisdom she will have a greater opportunity (marrying the one God has for her) later on. See, the divorce rate would be lower if more of our singles thought like that!