Sunday, January 02, 2011

Danger Signs for the Not Yet Married

One of the presentations Linda and I will make together next week in New York City is to young adults on premarital readiness.

Here's a slightly revised document we'll use. There are a lot of things in this list, and there should be. People are complex, therefore marriages are more complex since a marriage is the welding together of two very different people. Often polar opposites come together.

No one can know or anticipate everything in marriage. But we see way too many people getting married who appear to know nothing and could care less. They don't have a clue about what they are committing to and have had no premarital help or mentoring.

In our community we had a "Wedding Chapel" where people could pay a few bucks and walk in and get married. As a local pastor I was asked if I would do weddings there, and get paid $100 for doing them. The hitch was that I would not know the people I was marrying. I said no way! Yet we had some local pastors who did them. That really upset me, since we spend a lot of time trying to patch and heal the many tormented "wedding chapel" marriages there are out there.

Do lots of premarital thinking and evaluation! Here's a list of "red flags" to consider.

Danger Signs for the Not Yet Married

1.                   If you have a general uneasy feeling about the relationship.
2.                   If you have frequent arguments.
3.                   If you have no arguments.
4.                   If your partner cannot admit it when they are wrong.
5.                   If your partner is unable to accept constructive criticism.
6.                   If you avoid discussing sensitive subjects because you're afraid of hurting your partner's feelings or starting an argument.
7.                   If you feel you are staying in the relationship through fear.
8.                   If you find yourself always doing what your partner wants you to do.
9.                   If your partner thinks that toilets are self-cleaning.
10.               If you detect serious emotional disturbances.
11.               If your partner is constantly complaining about unreal aches or pains, and going from doctor to doctor.
12.               If your partner constantly makes excuses for not finding a job.
13.               If your partner is in debt financially.
14.               If your partner talks like they are a victim.
15.               If your partner is overly suspicious, jealous, questions your work all the time, and feels that everyone is against him or her.
16.               If your partner is a perfectionist and is constantly critical.
17.               If your partner puts you down, and uses a lot of sarcasm.
18.               If your parents and other significant people are strongly against your marriage.
19.               If you don’t like what you see in your partner’s parents’ marriage.
20.               If there is a lack of spiritual togetherness.
21.               If you have few areas of common interest.
22.               If your partner cannot live without you and would consider taking their life should you break up with them.
23.               If your partner wants sex before marriage.
24.               If your partner believes that sex = love.
25.               If your partner has a history of sexual activity.
26.               If your partner became interested in Jesus after they met you.
27.               If your partner does not understand the meaning of “covenant,” as opposed to “contract.”
28.               If you hope to change your partner.