HOM-5 - Preparation for Marriage

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“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Welcome to our study of the Home, as God Would Have It. As we
think today about the home, we're thinking about preparation for marriage.
Too many times I think people have an attraction, maybe fall in love, and
they decide to get married. A lot of plans are made: there's planning the
wedding, there's deciding on the dress, there's deciding on the cake,
there's a lot of factors that go in deciding where they'll go on the
honeymoon. A lot of preparation is made for the wedding. But I wonder is
the same amount of preparation really given to make the marriage a
When we think about preparation, preparation is a part of everyday
life. You have to make preparation in anything that you do. For example: if
a person is going to buy a home, a lot of preparations have got to be made
into that. If you're going to buy a car, you've got to decide the kind of car
you want, the color of car, the size of it, you've got to look for the best price,
you've got to factor in the insurance, and you've got to make a lot of
preparation to do that. For example: going on vacation, even something like
that, you've got to make preparation for. What would it be like if the father
came home one day and said, "All right everybody, get in the car. We're
going on vacation." No plans have been made, no bags have been packed
and everybody just heads out to the car. You get in the car and you drive
for a while and finally decide where you're going. You end up getting to a
motel, nobody's got clothes, and you aren't prepared. What kind of chaos
would it be if just one day you up and got in the car and decided to go on

vacation? Nobody would do that. Friend, like a vacation, like buying a car,
like buying a home, preparation is absolutely essential for marriage to work.
Let me give you some biblical examples of that, in Matthew 25,
you've got a great example of how preparation is essential for success. The
story of the 10 virgins: five had gotten ready ahead of time. They had their
oil in their lamp. It was trimmed. It was ready when the bridegroom came.
They immediately went with him. The other five, when they saw him
coming, they realized they weren't ready. They went to buy oil, the door
was shut by the time they got back and they didn't get a chance to go. They
missed out because of a lack of preparation. Luke 14:28 Jesus said, “which
of you does not first sit down and count the cost?” Have we really counted
the cost? Are you really prepared to enter into marriage? So in today's
lesson for those who are thinking about marriage, we hope to give some
biblical guidelines that will really help one's marriage to be successful in
preparation for the marriage and longtime effect of that on each individual.
What's necessary to prepare for successful marriage? As we think
about these essentials the first is, and this is such an important factor,
today don't just focus on beauty alone. Friend there are so many people
who are attracted in a physical sense to someone. Their whole marriage
may be based on that attraction, that lust. If that's what the marriage is built
on, that's the preparation that's made, there's going to be a lot of problems
in that. Proverbs 31:30 says this: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing
but a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised.” While there's no
doubt that there has to be that physical attraction, friend it should not be the
major reason why you marry a person. Remember charm- that's deceitful.
Everybody can put on a good face. Beauty is passing. What about 20-40
years down the road if the marriage is just based on that physical
attraction, that lustful desire? What about when that fades? What about
when that's not as strong as it used to be?
To really prepare for marriage, you've got to look beyond the physical
attraction. You have to see: Am I compatible with this person? Spiritually do
we have the same values in life? Are our goals the same? Beyond just
‘okay we like each other; we're attracted to each other,’ maybe there's even
that sexual attraction, decides that what else is there that your marriage is
based on? Are you marrying this person for reasons other than that?
Because if-friend listen carefully- if you're not marrying based on other
principles, if you haven't thought those out, you're in for a rude awakening.

There must be a physical attraction, but it cannot be that alone.
So the first preparation is don't just focus on beauty. Don't just focus
on physical attraction alone. There's got to be more than that.
Secondly as a preparation for marriage, realize ahead of time
marriage is permanent. Once you say I do, friend that settles the matter.
That's it you must stay with that individual for life. I want you to hear the
words of Paul in Romans 7:2 as he speaks about the permanency of
marriage: “For the woman, who has a husband, is bound by law to her
husband as long as he lives, but if the husband dies she is released from
the law of her husband. So then if while her husband lives she marries
another man, she'll be called an adulteress, but if her husband dies she is
free from the law so that she's no adulteress though she's married another
man.” Paul makes those words; the Holy Spirit makes those words, very
clear. A woman, or we can put in there, a man is bound by law as long as
her husband lives.
Friend let's realize that marriage is a sobering, serious, and a lifelong
decision. When you decide to marry somebody, you're making a decision
that will last until death. Let those words sink in. The person that you're
thinking about marrying is that the person you want to be with 20- 30- 50
years from now. If people are going to make marriage work, you've got to
say to yourself, ‘Regardless of the trials, difficulties, and whatever happens
this is for life -this is the person I'm going to spend life with no matter what.’
It is indeed a permanent decision.
When we think about preparation for marriage let's also realize this:
One has to say to themselves ‘divorce is not a viable option.’ I think way
too many times people find an attraction. They decide to get married
because of that. They think according to society, and if it doesn't work out
in the back of their mind they may think, ‘we could just get divorced later.’
Friend, that's not at all an option. The Bible says marriage is for life,
Romans 7 verses 1 through 4. Is there a Scriptural reason for divorce?
Absolutely! Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 that one could divorce for
fornication. But realize this, that's a violent act. Malachi 2 verse 16 said,
“God hates divorce because it covers one's body garments with violence.”
“God hates divorce,” Luke 16:18, “whoever divorces his wife commits
adultery and will cause her to commit adultery.” Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a

man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife and the two
shall become one flesh.”
What preparation do you need to make in your plans for successful
marriage? Say to yourself ahead of time, ‘I'm going to marry this person.
It's going to be for life, and divorce is not an option.’ I think that's the way
that in generations of the past people looked at marriage. I think during the
hard times and difficulty that's what made them stick together. No matter
what, they didn't look at divorce as an option. It wasn't even something they
would consider. When hard times came, when people had fights, and
everybody has fights occasionally, when struggles arose that were maybe
hard to deal, with they didn't say ‘you know, let's just go get a divorce.’
They realized ‘hey this is not an option.’ They thought about it that way. It
made marriage last.
Another preparation for marriage, and this is such an important one,
let's realize that as a preparation for marriage living together is not
appropriate in God's sight. It is sinful. I want to direct your attention to
Hebrews chapter 13 verse number 4. The Scripture records, “Marriage is
honorable and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God
will judge.”
As we think about preparation for marriage, please realize that living
together to see if it'll work, to try it out, that's sinful. That's not acceptable to
God. I know in today's day and age that's what a lot of people are doing,
and people will say ‘you know it'll save you from divorce later.’ What a
minute now, if that's your thought you haven't really prepared for marriage
to begin with. Friend living together is not the option. The Bible says
‘marriage is honorable’ that's a good thing. ‘The bed,’ indicative of
representing the relationship sexual relation between husband and wife,
‘undefiled’ that's pure, that's holy, that's right.
What about two people living together before marriage? What about
sexual actions before marriage? What about testing it out? That's not God's
law. That's contrary to God's law. That’s sinful action. Friend you're only
setting yourself up for failure, if you enter into it with that kind of attitude.
There's going to be guilt. There's going to be a lot of problems that you
create by living together. That's not preparation for marriage that is
appropriate in God's sight.

Well what kind of preparation then is appropriate? Here's another
preparation we want to give: Ask a whole lot of questions before you enter
into marriage.
For example the first question you should ask about someone who
you're looking at as a potential mate is: Are they a faithful Christian? You
know I hear sometimes people say: ‘Are they a Christian?’ That's not what
we're asking. We want to ask: Are they a faithful Christian? More than in
name only more, than just filling a pew, more than just wearing a title- are
they a faithful Christian?
Here's what we mean by that. Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 Jesus said
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things
shall be added unto you.” Does the person who you are considering as a
potential mate, that you'll spend the entirety of your life with, does that
person seek first God's kingdom? Does that person love God and His
church more than they love you? Paul said in Galatians 2 verse 20, “I've
been crucified with Christ. It's no longer I who, but Christ who lives in me.
The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who
loved me and gave himself for me.” Has that person really 100% been
crucified with Christ? Are they fully committed to God and His kingdom?
We're not talking about just filling a pew. We're not talking about somebody
who occasionally does some things that a Christian might do. We're talking
about somebody who's faithful to the Lord in every way.
Friend I cannot tell you the number of times I've seen people marry
even people in the world or marry people who were just Christians in name.
They weren't committed to the cause and the struggles, the difficulties, and
the divorce that sometimes occurs from that. And so number one: Are they
a faithful Christian?
Secondly: Will they solve the problems of life together with me
according to the Bible? Will this person let the Bible be the standard for our
home, our marriage, and the decisions we make? There are a couple of
passages that I often think of that are so fundamental to answering the
questions that arise in the home God's way. Jeremiah 37 verse 17 an evil
king asked, “Is there any word from the Lord?” And in Romans chapter 4
verse 3 Paul repeated that idea by saying, “What does the Scripture say?”

If you're to have a successful marriage, you've got to ask yourself:
Will this person let the Bible be the guide when it comes to problems, when
it comes to moral issues, when it comes to how we're going to raise
children, when it comes to how we ought to live and dress, and act- will
they let the Bible make the final decision, no matter what?
A third question then that ought to be asked is: Are they headed in
the right direction spiritually? And by that we mean: is this a person who's
growing and striving to be more and do more as a Christian every day?
Paul said in Colossians 3 verses 1 through 3, “If then you were raised with
Christ seek those things which are above.” We are to grow in the grace and
knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Don't marry somebody
who's stagnant or not growing. Look for somebody who wants to grow,
somebody who will exalt the Lord with you, Psalm 34 verse 3, somebody
who will strive to encourage and help and motivate everybody in the family
to grow as they ought to grow concerning Christianity.
Fourth ask this question: What does this person believe about: values
like God, the church, the Bible, salvation, immorality- does this person have
the correct view of God? Do they recognize that Jesus built the church?
There is but one church, that denominationalism is contrary to God's plan,
and that we've got to strive to be faithful in the church? What do they
believe about the Bible? Do they believe it's the final authority, that it's
inspired of God, and that we cannot go against his teaching? What do they
believe about salvation? Do they believe that one must be immersed for the
remission of sins? Do they believe that one must repent of past lifestyle?
What do they believe about those fundamental issues? What about
morals? What do they believe about drinking and smoking, immorality and
ungodliness, and carousing and dancing, and things of that nature?
Friend here's what we're trying to emphasize- if you marry somebody
who has morals or beliefs that are different than what we find in Scripture,
you're in for a hard marriage. And here's why- if you marry somebody who
has a different belief that what the Scripture teaches about the church, you
may be able to teach them, you may encourage them, friend they may not
be encouraged; and they may actually discourage you in many ways if they
have different views than you do about morals and children. Come into that
relationship and you begin to teach your children one thing and they don't
teach or teach them something different. Those children are getting
opposing views on morality. You're again in for a hard situation concerning

that. Look for someone who holds the same biblical value that you do on
fundamental issues.
Then ask this question: How important is worship to the individual I'm
thinking about marrying? You see the Scripture teaches in Hebrews 10
verse 25 that we're not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
The psalmist said in Psalm 122 verse 1, “I was glad when they said, ‘Let us
go into the house of the Lord.’” How important is worship to the individual
you're contemplating marrying? Do they attend just on Sunday morning for
worship? Do they attend occasionally for Bible class? Do they come back
on Sunday night and Wednesday night? Friend if they're not attending
regularly- now don't lie to yourself and say they'll do it when we get married
or maybe I can get them to do that. You might encourage them or they
might have a change of heart. Friend if they're already in a habit and have
a pattern established and you believe you ought to attend every service of
the Lord's church as the Scripture teaches and they don't- they may drag
you down or it may be an uphill battle the whole way. And so be very
careful about who you choose to marry.
Then ask this question: How do they feel about bringing children into
this marriage? Have you thought about children? Have you talked about it?
Do they want to have children? What are their ideas on how we ought to
raise children? How many children do you plan to have? Can you provide
for them? Is there more that you need to do to prepare about raising them
in a godly way? How do they feel about discipline? How do they feel about
training those children? Will this individual be the godly leader to help our
children be what God wants them to be?
Here's an important question to ask: How does this person handle
money? You know one of the key reasons that people fight and that
sometimes end up in divorce is over money. Let me illustrate it this way.
Let's say that you've got a very frugal person and then you've got a person
that is a real spender. How do you think those two people are going to get
along when they get married? Well if one's a saver and one's a spender,
how's that going to work when the check comes in and you got bills to pay?
If one of the mates runs out and blows money on something, you can
guarantee you're headed for a fight. So, have you talked about finances,
how you're going to handle your money? Have you talked about giving as a
priority with your finances concerning what you'll give and what your
finances are?

Another question that ought to be asked about the individual you're
contemplating marrying is: Does this person have a temper? Friend
sometimes we see glimpses of something maybe while we're dating or in
the preparation stage and we say ‘you know that was just really a freak
thing that's not going to happen.’ Those glimpses cannot be overlooked
and especially as it relates to one's temper. If you see somebody who has
a temper, if you see them blow up and they're doing that now while they're
on guard, while they have their guard up, what about after they get married
and they let their guard down? I can assure you that temper is only going to
get worse. If someone has a temper problem, an anger problem, they can't
control that. What about after the honeymoon? What about after the
newness wears off? What about when they get angry at you? Will they take
it out on you? Very likely the case. And so, if somebody has a temper
problem now don't say ‘I can correct that. He'll do better. It'll work out.’
You've got to solve those issues. Make another decision to better yourself
in that area. That may even include not marrying that person. Friend in so
doing, you'll save yourself a whole lot of heart ache.
Another question to be asked is: Does this individual have a good
work ethic? Is he a hard worker? Is he lazy? If somebody is lazy now, how
do you expect that individual to fulfill their role whether it is provider or
whether it be keeper of the home? Laziness causes a lot of problems in the
home. You've got one individual who works very hard and one that's lazy
whether that is the husband or the wife. You've got people going in
opposite directions. In marriage you've got to be going down the same
direction. You need to be going down the same path. And so, will this
person really be a good provider? Will, if it's the wife, will she be a good
keeper of the home? Don't enter into a relationship with somebody who's
lazy because that's going to create more problems in the marriage.
And then we give this final preparation. Friend realize the huge
responsibility that is required of both parties in the marriage. Marriage is a
serious responsibility. Genesis 2 verse 18, “And the LORD God said, ‘It
is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help mate for
him.’” We're designed, to help one another ultimately in many ways
emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. We also help one another get
to heaven.

Men, we encourage you in this area, ask yourself: Will the person I'm
thinking about marrying, will this woman make a good helper? Will she be
submissive to me in the Lord? Will she strive every day to help me and as
we bring children into the relationship to get to heaven?
And women we ask you this question: The man that you're
contemplating marrying; will he be a good leader in our home spiritually?
Will he encourage me in the spiritual direction I need to go? Will he be a
good encouragement to the children spiritually to help them grow in the
Lord? Will he be a good leader as relates to us providing for the home and
taking care of us and protecting us? Are those things that he'll do? Will the
individual you're thinking about marrying, will they really keep their end of
the bargain?
And so as we think about marriage, and as we think about the home,
friend marriage is a wonderful-listen carefully-marriage done right, followed
according to the teaching of God, is a wonderful plan that God set forth. It's
a wonderful relationship. Two people striving to get to heaven, to help one
another, and help their children get there. It is one of the greatest blessings
God has given.
But just as well, people who don't prepare and just up and decide to
get married without any forethought, can be one of the greatest heartaches
and struggles in this life.
Can preparation be made after marriage to make it work? Yes, but it
is indeed an uphill battle.
We want to encourage you today to think seriously before you get
married. Ask the questions that we've set forth today. Look at these
preparations that we've given. Don't just prepare for the wedding. Don't just
say, what color dress? What's the cake going to look like? Who are the
bridesmaids going to be? Friend all of that's fickle compared to the
preparation that needs to go into marriage.
Are you really ready to marry this individual?
Will this person help me and will I help them get to heaven?

Friend our hope and prayer today is that each individual will look at
these guidelines, put them to use, and really strive to have a godly
marriage that will uplift one another and help you get to heaven.

Study Questions for: “Godly Homes: Lesson 5”

1. In Matthew 25, the story of the 10 virgins, what was the outcome for the

2. According to Matthew 25, what was the outcome for the 10 unprepared

3. What is Jesus asking that has been considered in Luke 14:28?

4. What is deceitful and passing according to Proverbs 31:30?

5. According to Proverbs 31:30, who shall be praised?

6. According to Jeremiah 37:17 and Romans 4:3, what fundamental
question is asked?

7. What are we to seek according to Colossians 3:1-3?

8. According to Hebrews 10:25, what are we not to forsake?

9. What were they glad about in Psalm 122:1?

10. According to Psalm 34:3, we should look for someone who will do what
with us?