Spend enough time around each other that you see each other in all kinds of situations. Ask yourself, "How do they handle it when they're mad, frustrated, or don't get their way? How do they treat their younger siblings? How do they treat their parents? Do they keep their word? How do they handle money? Can they hold down a job? What kind of parent will they make? Do they help around the house, or expect everything to be done for them?" There are lots more questions like this to ask, but these will get you started. The point of all these questions is to discern what kind of person they really are, not just what kind of person do you want them to be.
You want to identify potential areas of conflict before the wedding, so you can work them out ahead of time. The more you work out prior to marriage, the stronger start your marriage will have.
7. Understand something about submission and authority:
God's order in the home puts the husband as the leader in the home. Often we think only the wife needs to understand submission, but really, you are not qualified to lead until you know how to be led. Honey, if he has trouble submitting to his boss at work, you are going to have a hard time with him at home. (You will know he has trouble submitting if he regularly tells you everything his boss is doing wrong. If he is regularly finding fault with his boss, and unable to flow with his boss's plan, he does not understand submission.) If he doesn't understand what it takes to submit himself, he will tend to be very demanding of you. He will lack the gentle touch of someone who really knows what it takes to follow. Ladies, it is much easier to submit to someone if you know he has your best interests at heart, not just his own agenda. If he has learned to submit, he will instinctively know this and act accordingly.
So what is submission? Submission is not agreement. In fact, you cannot submit unless you don't
agree. If you agree, what exactly is it that you are submitting? Submission, at it's heart, is laying down (or submitting) your will and picking up someone else's plan as though it were your own. Not only do wives need to do this with their husbands, but employees need to submit to their bosses, volunteers need to submit to their team leaders, congregations need to submit to church leadership, citizens need to submit to governmental authorities. Why? Because that is the way to have order and direction in our lives. If you have ever observed an organization in which everyone wanted to lead, but no one wanted to follow, you have witnessed one of the most chaotic and argumentative entities that exists. Everyone has a opinion and they all think theirs is the best. No one is willing to get on board with anyone else's idea. Ultimately, the organization just spins in circles. It can't really move forward without a leader. On the other hand, if you have seen an organization with a strong and kind leader who has earned the trust and loyalty of his/her followers, you have witnessed an organization that has virtually no limits. Its reach and potential are only limited by the number of people who are willing to get on board to make it happen.
The Bible likens marriage to Christ and the Church. It is a beautiful picture of what a marriage can become -- it is to have a loving, strong and kind leader at the head, and a vibrant, joyous bride leading a tribe of healthy, strong, growing children full of character and life. Marriage the way God intended is well able to weather the storms of life and leave the world a better place for having been a part of it. The rewards of this kind of marriage are well worth the effort it takes to achieve it.
Next week, we will take a look at being married. Grab your popcorn.
Next in the series: Part Four