I wrote in an earlier blog that it isn't romantic to think of dating like a social contract; but, if we did it would alleviate so much drama that is later discovered in the marriage. I still stand on that statement, only I have to add an addendum onto it. It is necessary to add this clause for those who are naive of others being without the purest of intentions. You do realize that there are people that come to church for the sole purpose of finding a mate and once that ring and vows are in place the loyalty of serving (helps ministry) becomes a distant memory. For this reason, I believe it is of the utmost importance for women as well as men to know what is negotiable and what isn't (Habakkuk 2:2 KJV).
I recall a minister saying, "if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything." He was referring to Christians voting at the polls during the election season; nevertheless, it is also appropriate here. Once realizing that this maybe the person you could spend the rest of your life with, the conversation becomes more detailed and clear as to what is expected and what can be tolerated. There are some common issues of divorce couples that I would think can be placed here as a jumping off point for discussion. I will make every effort to incorporate the Word in these points. If you don't see them now refer to this blog often because I will continue the search.
1. The Boys Night Out - This I find fascinating that a grown man went through what he did to find a mate in order to obtain favor from the Lord and then chooses to leave her alone while he has fun with his friends as he did when he was single. Is it a reason to have an argument (Colossians 3:12-14 KJV)? It could be if she feels neglected and or if she feels she can do the same thing and the feelings then are reversed. I can even see a continual revenge thing happening here - a sort of tit for tat. The mere title of the event tells so much. If he needs this boys night out, what happened with putting away with childish things? And if it isn't a problem for her then I would have her consider, when we were children, after a certain hour if we weren't in the house my parents knew that we were only creating trouble. When boys are out at all hours of the night, what are they doing (Proverbs 19:15 KJV)? The negotiation tactics of someone who still wants to play will say, "you have to trust me." The Word says otherwise (Psalm 40:4, 56:11, 146:3 KJV).
2. My Mother is My Closest Friend - Well, this seems pretty obvious. Whether it be the man or woman with this best friend, the Word is clear on the matter (Genesis 2:23-25 KJV). Negotiations can be manipulated easily because of who the person is and wanting to get in the middle of such a close bond, "this is my mother," the newly married person will say and then guilt is in place. Get the guilt out and settle the matter. The two have become one and the spouse is now the closest person to the other. The mother must recognize this even if she is single herself. This will take some time and patience with much prayer, for the mother as well as the child with the close relationship.
3. This Is My Money Though - Money matters, they say, are the prime reason people get divorced. Personally, I believe the prime reason for divorce is the fear that shows causing the suggestion, "...there won't be enough for the both of us, there was barely enough for me!" The possibility of entertaining that thought should be discovered during the dating process. As I have taught my sons, get your spiritual life in order, your education, get a good job, have some money in the bank, purchase a car and a home before even thinking about dating. It is what God did with Adam and should be the on going agenda for all generations to come (Genesis 8-18 KJV). Stating that he needs help without all of this in place is not the clue for him to get married but a clue for him to go classes so he has the skills to get those things. If money becomes an issue for divorce then you must examine something else because you believed the hype (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV).
4. Big Families Run In My Family - So? What does that mean? Are you expecting a large family with this spouse? Is there an agreement? In these days and times with what the Word says about the pregnant woman, are you certain about that? Can you afford having a large family? Are you believing that God will make a way in spite of your income, environmental space, the emotional and mental health of the potential spouse, and your personal tolerance level? To set the record straight, as wonderful as it may seem to have those beautiful tiny versions of yourself running around the house, the real skinny is that the raising of the family usually falls on the woman. Does she have the stamina and desire to stay at home and do this? There is no question that with a large family, there has to be someone at home. How is this worked out on paper? Will she have to get a second job? For this large family, will government assistance be in the plan? If so, have you made the potential spouse aware of this? Which ever the amount, God expects for the home to be run with Peace at the helm. The children are to know and fear the Lord. For they are raised in the admonition of Him. How can this be done when the husband and wife are stressed having no fore thought that each child has expectations of their own from the moment they come out of the womb?
5. Age Is Nothing But A Number - This is what is believed when May/ December romances come together and marry. But when the years pass, are there expectations of the other to keep one's appearances up to par? This is also relevant for those who marry and are of the same generation. Style in clothing change and though what was once very appealing in the dating process, there has been some changes going on. The spouses have grown in their belief systems, the outlook of life and how they wear clothes. Styles are always changing and this must be looked at on a serious level. He could be changing his style based on what he remembers in high school that just is not appropriate for a middle aged man. She should have every right to say something without it being an issue. Who are you dressing to please? What is said during this time of disagreement is, "you liked it when we were dating! Don't try to change me now!" What is not seen is the extra pounds found on the backside or around the waist that wasn't there during the dating process. What use to look sexy isn't doing a thing for you and therefore either lose the extra pounds or change the style of clothes you wear. What about plastic surgery, liposuction, and botox? Are those things expected to do when the years start showing its signs? If one looks better then the other, for whatever the reason, is this important and will it be a reason for discussion later?
These are five major reasons as to why arguments in a marriage begin. It is not the actual reason for the divorce however, I don't care what any of the therapists, relationship experts,and those with PhD's say. If they were honest and truly looked at the matter with themselves rather then the other person, what inevitably is discovered is selfishness. There cannot be love in place when self has been considered before the other person. Even the act of arguing is a selfish act. One is trying to get the other to see his side as being right and no one is listening. The only negotiation for the lack of love is to get away from the other. Divorce is a failed marriage. The Word tells us that love never fails. There is no negotiating that.