I didn’t think I wanted to get married so young. I wasn’t looking for a husband. I was looking for a career. Marriage and family? That could wait until after I’d put my degree to use. Maybe 28. Maybe 30. That’s when it would be time to settle down..... Those were my thoughts as a nineteen year old girl. I knew that I wanted to get married… someday. But that someday seemed a lot farther off than the two years when I’d be standing in front of the altar exchanging wedding vows at only 21 years old. So what changed? My perspective on what marriage is and what marriage isn’t. As a 21 year old bride, I realized that marriage isn’t just a season of life. It’s doing all of life... together.
I've always been a self- conscious person, but he never grew impatient with me when I would get insecure or need to talk with him about something. I could tell he cared about putting in work to learn what I needed from him. And he valued listening to me when I asked him what he needed from me. Marriage is a long road that is going to need a lot of work. You need to find a partner that values putting the work in, and that will respect your needs, as well as communicating his own.
I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did, God is exactly who He says He is, and marriage is a beautiful commitment that will change you. Period. You can’t live with someone day in and day out and not have them reshape the way you see the world on some level. Make sure you are choosing someone that will help you change for the better! Make sure he’s a genuine leader with your best interest at heart.
Ultimately, we think we know a thing or two about love when we get married, but God, who IS love, keeps working out what love looks like practically, day to day, and I realize how much I have to learn!
God put rules in place to protect us, not hinder us from pleasure. He already knows the shame and guilt that come with having an intimate relationship with someone outside of marriage (whether or not you stay together) and the pain it can cause. He also knows the joy and connection a sexual relationship brings within marriage. It's amazing how God designed sex to strengthen the relationship between husband and wife.
Believe it or not, my favorite Valentine’s memory was the year before I started dating Gerald. At the time I wasn’t dating anyone and was feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I would ever meet someone who would love me, when the Holy Spirit reminded me that God’s love is greater than any man could give. I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and delight as I realized “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:18) and I knew then that His love is enough for me.
We sent some Q&A to some of our favorite couples to get their advice on life, love, and keeping God at the center of it all, including... what qualities did you look for in a husband? What's your best advice to young women in dating relationships?What's your best advice for those pursuing sexual purity?
Love makes it okay to have sex. I’ve heard that line more times than I can count. But, no matter how good it sounds, I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible.
In fact 2 Timothy 2:22 urges us to flee from youthful passions so we can pursue love instead.
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).”