Many people look forward to getting married without considering the reality that what they are now is what they bring into their marriage. The struggles they have now are going to be the struggles that affect their marriage. The good qualities they posses will be the good qualities that bring life to the marriage. When we are single we have the opportunity to build a solid relationship with God and invite someone else into that. While we are engaged we have the opportunity to get ready to leave our own ambitions behind, to die to self, and to put God’s ambitions first as a couple for the rest of our lives. Check out this recorded-live video including some Q&A with Corby and Jess as they getting ready for marriage as a single person and an engaged couple.

Sweet Love: Having A Marriage That Doesn't Suck week 1 | https://www.corbystephens.com/sweet-love-marriage-doesnt-suck-week-1/


Video

Highlights

Being Single

  • Why talk about being single then married? Because what you are as a single person is what you bring into your marriage. Your marriage is what you bring into it. What you are before you are married is the seed for what your marriage could turn into, for better or for worse.
  • Marriage doesn’t fix you, nor do you suddenly turn into the spiritual person you want to be. In fact, the challenges tend to bring out the worst parts of you.
  • Is your connection to God based on experiences? Do you, as a young adults, primarily experience God at church events or social experiences? Or do you have an active, ongoing, real relationship with God as you would with a real person? Is He someone with whom you have highs and lows? That’s good. That’s as it should be.
  • Having a relationships with God is, in some ways, practice for being married. Dating should not be marriage practice because it turns into breaking-up practice.
  • As a single Christian, church involvement provides and inlet and outlet. What you are learning and growing in builds you up, fills you up, and serving provides an outlet for those things, as well as practical experience helping others selflessly.
  • We need to learn to love others the way God tells us to in His word. This also serves as practice for loving your spouse. Serving and loving people in the church is a prime place for practice to love difficult and sometimes unlovable people, as will be the case with your spouse, kids, and family at times.
  • Scriptural admonitions being single.
    • Matthew 19:11-12, Jesus speaking after a discussion about marriage and divorce. If you can be single, devoted to God, then be single.
    • 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Paul talking about what occupies the time and energy of a single person vs. a married person.
  • Single person, don’t pin your hope and identity on being married someday. God never promises that there is “the one” for you. It is not God’s will for everyone to be married.
  • The standards you hold yourself to, and the standards you are looking for in a potential spouse, are found on God’s word.
  • Marriage is really three becoming one; two people and God.
    • The triangle. God at the top, two others at the bottom. The closer the two get to God individually, the closer they get to each other automatically.
    • If God’s not in the marriage, it’s just two sinner getting married.
  • You’re own personal development as a Christian should be happening, should be your focus, regardless of your goal of getting married. But it s a part of that goal. It only makes you a better relationship partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, spouse, friend, etc.

Being Engaged

  • We both knew, as single people, that we needed to be able to go in the same direction as the person we married, that our goals were one, that our calling was one, that our ambition was God’s ambition.
  • Marriage is a covenant. Ancient covenants meant that two groups became one. Everything that the one had, the other had complete access to. When one needed help, the other dropped everything to help. When one needed defense, the other defended.
  • Marriage is like two countries merging. Culture, tradition, language, values, thoughts, everything. See featured resource below “Getting Ready For Marriage Handbook.”
  • Viewer question: Dare I ask how you navigated the doubts of your families at the outset of your marriage.
    • I asked her dad permission. I asked my dad to borrow $40 for a tiny gold band from Target.
    • We were 19 and 20, in college, families thought our personalities were not compatible. In some ways they were, but whose are 100%?
    • We kind of disregarded the doubts of our families. We genuinely felt that God had brought us together, that God had a direction for our lives, and that it was us together. Not overly romanticized, not given to flights of romance, pretty rational.
    • That was our foundation for making decisions. A spiritual decision for each of us individually was for each other.
    • Navigated the doubts on the foundation of our spiritual conviction.
    • We did break up during the college break. Learned some things about how Corby was wired in contrast to her family (again two nations becoming one). Almost Asperger’s, very introverted. Which led to some family members eroding Jess’ conviction.
    • Corby, as a single person in single person mode, went back to Bible college because that’s always been part of his calling.
    • Time apart gave us a change to examine stuff, what flesh needed to die, needed to die to self (still do), because so much of yourself comes out when you go through these trials.
    • Paul Tripp water-bottle-shaking illustration (From “What Did You Expect?” linked below).
  • On the subject of sexual purity…
    • “Keep it in your pants!” Why?
    • Marriage is two becoming one. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, in every sense. The two aren’t one until the wedding actually happens. Until then, you are two. You don’t get to become one until then.
    • Sex is a picture of intimacy with God.
    • You are a follower of Jesus and you are in a relationship that is going to end in marriage! When you are a non-believer and get saved, your old life ends and you have a new one. When you get married, your old single self and your engagement ends, and you are in a new marriage relationship.
    • In the Old and New Testaments, God paints the picture of Himself as a husband and His people as His wife, in a covenant.
      • Before you’re married, you still belong to God only. Your first love, your intimacy is with Him only.
      • We have something backwards. We often think that we are inviting God into our marriages, when in fact we should be inviting our spouse into our relationship with God.
      • Romans 7:4 illustrates us bearing fruit to God in a marriage relationship, which is intimacy resulting in reproduction.
      • That kind of intimacy that is supposed to result in reproduction is reserved for marriage. That kind of intimacy outside of that relationship violates the picture that God uses.
      • When we settle for things that are outside of God’s picture, outside of His will, we settle for less that God’s best for us.
      • There is always an act that is a fulfillment, a sealing of a covenant. While there is a ceremony to establish the marriage, the fulfillment is in the consummation, the intimacy of sex, and that can’t happen until the covenant is established.
    • “The Line of Duncan.” A kissing boundary.

Viewer Question: What about non-western or non-govermnet issued marriage?

  • First its a question of standards (in terms of us speaking to that from a Biblical Christian perspective).
    • Principle illustration. When I am around non-Christians who cuss, and they find out I’m a Christian, they often begin to apologize for their language for fear of offending me. I am not, nor should any Christian be offended by non-believers cussing, because they don’t have that standard for themselves the way God does for believers.
    • Therefore, I’m not going to judge non-Christians in non-western and non-govermnet issued marriages. My first and main concern is going to be for their salvation, and then lovingly help and encourage them, just like anyone else, to live a life 100% for Jesus and live to please Him, including getting legally married in a ceremony where God is at the center of it.
  • Second there is a legal component to marriage that God sees and respects.
    • There is no such thing as “we are married in God’s eyes.”
    • Since ancient times, even in the Bible, marriage has always been a covenant, a legally binding agreement recognized by the community and culture of the time. There were legal proceedings to get unmarried/divorced.
    • That’s not to say that Christian marriage in the US is the only God-approved way to get married. But, wherever someone is who is a Christian and gets married, they need to abide by the governing authorities whoever they are, because respecting the government is also a Biblical command for the Christian.
  • We totally understand Christians and non-Christians who don’t want to go through the legal process anymore because they’ve had horrible experiences in the past. But those don’t override God’s best for you when it comes to living life according to His will, or put more simply, in loving obedience.

Watch for our next Facebook Live event on Tuesday, February 14th at around 6:30pm.

Featured Resources

Premarital workbook – Paperback

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What Did You Expect? By Paul Trip (book)

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What Did You Expect? (DVD set)

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Related Resources

Interview with Jessica on Notes From The Road

Others posts from this series