Sep 052016 2 Responses

5 Signs You’re Ready to Get Married

The old adage is that you will know when you know. When a guy asks a mentor how to know when you’re ready to get married, many wise old mentors say, “You will know when you know.”

It sounds good, but it’s meaningless. Many people who think they knew, end up divorced almost as quickly as they got married. Others who have long doubted, should’ve popped the question years ago. There has to be a better insight than the cliche–you’ll know when you know.

Rather than an old cliche, here are 5 ways to know when you are ready to get married:

1. You’ve chosen well. It matters who you marry. A good amount of having a great marriage is choosing a good spouse. No one is perfect, but not every choice is equal. Is the person patient and kind? Do their values match yours? Are they humble and fair-minded? Can they suffer well? Will they challenge you while also accepting your imperfections? What I love about Jenny is that she is low-maintenance, but highly motivated. That’s a good combination. (See: Your Spouse Matters–Choose Wisely)

2. You’re in the right season of life. There are times when a person shouldn’t get married. Age, personal circumstances, and clarity of thought should influence the timing of a relationship. Marriage is an adult decision and should not be entered into until a person is a few years into their twenties. Choices about a spouse shouldn’t be made in seasons of great grief, recovery from addiction, or other circumstances which might greatly influence decision-making. It’s not wise to consider a second marriage until other relationships are properly settled. Timing is rarely perfect, but certain times are better than others.

3. You’re better together than apart. If a person can happily be single, it is likely preferred. Marriage is challenging. If not done properly, it can create a wake of damage. The only downside to the single-life not lived well is to one’s self. Marriage should be considered only if a person would rather be married than single and if the selected partner makes them better. In a good marriage, each partner strengthens one another. When that is the case, marriage is a good option.

4. People you respect approve of the relationship and the marriage. Not every person in your circle has to approve of who you want to marry, but most should. The feelings of love–and especially lust–can blind us. Maybe more than any other issue in life, we need the wisdom of others to help us understand who to marry and when to get married. We should not trust ourselves. If key people whom we respect have hesitations about our partner, we should at minimum check out those hesitations. With the help of a professional, a couple can weigh the possible concerns of their friends/family against what the person in love sees.

5. You are ready to embrace marriage. The first point focused on choosing the right person, the last point is about being the right person. You can do everything right regarding marriage, but if you don’t personally choose to embrace what a marriage demands, the relationship is doomed. Many individuals love the idea of being married, but refuse to make the effort necessary for marriage. Until you’re willing to humbly seek the well-being of another, to radically change your schedule/priorities, and to do everything in your power to have the best relationship possible, you should not get married. (See: Do This Before You Put a Ring On It)

Everyone wants a guarantee that if they get married it will work. Sadly, there are no guarantees. However, if a couple prepares properly for marriage, they have a far better chance of experiencing success.

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