Dating Advice That Never Gets Old

I was speaking with someone recently about her friend’s marriage troubles; we’ll call this friend “Samantha.” Samantha’s story broke my heart. Essentially Samantha feels neglected and emotionally abused. To top it off, Samantha strongly suspects her husband of cheating.

Whenever I hear stories like this, my first reaction is to thank God for my wife, with whom I’ve never had to face these issues. Then the pragmatic side of me kicks in and wonders: what went wrong and how can we prevent marriages from becoming like Samantha’s?

In Samantha’s case, she was in a relationship, got pregnant, decided to get married, and then had another baby. Also, though Samantha is a Christian, her husband is not.

Two Bible verses come to mind, 1 Corinthians 7:2 and 2 Corinthians 6:14.

1 Corinthians 7:2

“But because of the temptation of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (ESV)

Here Paul is teaching that marriage is the proper place for the expression of sexual desires. In today’s culture, this is viewed as outdated, but stories like Samantha’s show that this teaching is still relevant today. When people give into sexual temptation without a marriage commitment, they put themselves at risk for certain issues. First, you could end up with an unwanted pregnancy that ties you to a person that you really don’t want to be with. Second, despite due diligence, you could end up with an STD. Third, sexual relationships often cause emotional attachments that cause people to stay in relationships even though they are dysfunctional. Each of these issues, if realized, decrease the likelihood of a happy marriage.

2 Corinthians 6:14

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers…” (ESV)

Whether you’re a Christian or not, you should take this advice. A marriage is almost certain to struggle where each person has conflicting views on fundamental issues. When it comes to marriage counseling for example, it is very important that a married couple agree on where they will seek advice. As Christians, we look to pastors, elders or deacons. If your spouse isn’t a Christian, he or she won’t want to submit to such counsel. If issues are left unresolved, again, that will decrease the likelihood of a happy marriage.

This is helpful advice for singles or people who are dating, but what about Samantha, what should she do? First, I don’t believe that divorce is necessarily the answer, even though Samantha’s husband might have been unfaithful. God meant marriage to be a lifelong commitment (Matthew 19:4-6). Also, Divorce can be emotionally and financially devastating to each person and it will negatively impact their children. Second, I believe that nothing is beyond God’s power. God can sometimes save us from a situation that we got ourselves into when we ignored His advice.

Before Samantha throws in the towel, I pray that she makes a genuine effort to save her marriage through reconciliation, instead of following today’s trend which views divorce as harmlessly as it views returning a shirt that didn’t fit.

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2 Responses to Dating Advice That Never Gets Old

  1. J says:

    This is an excellent post. I completely agree that this advice is useful whether or not one is a believer. A married couple needs to have a “final arbiter” if you will because there are bound to be issues that a husband and wife do not completely agree on. For believers, their arbitration can take place with the guidance of a pastor and all will agree that the word of God is the law to be followed. This definitely streamlines the resolution of disputes; doing this in a marriage where the husband and wife do not agree on their final arbiter would definitely be more difficult. For certain, nothing is beyond the power of our God Almighty and that Samantha should do as the Word says and preach a silent sermon to her husband through her conduct and submit herself to prayer. May God soften her husband’s heart.

  2. Mr.Mba says:

    This is a great post and something that more people need to consider while dating. I think you hit the nail on the head on this one! Society ( media) portrays an imagine of marriage which is false and far from what God’s intention for marriage is. Today, marriage is simply a contract, similar to an apartment lease or a business deal, however, God intended for it to be a covenant. You are 100% correct about the power of God which can prevail in any situation. Nonetheless, before we find ourselves in this type of “situation” we need to understand that relationships are hard work and in order for that relationship to work the people involved need to be on the same page. That’s why it’s great and ideal if the person you are in a relationship with have the same beliefs as you because that shows you are at least reading from the same book. Many relationships begin to fail due to lack of understanding and/or communication. For Samantha or anyone in a similar situation I would suggest reading the book ” 5 Languages of Love” by Dr. Gary Chapman which can help get the communication flowing again. Also, be positive and pray over your relationship constantly.

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