Imagine yourself out on the field. It’s the first day of the season and you are running for the kick-off. The eyes of everyone in the grandstand are on you, expecting your best and cheering you on. But just as you approach the ball, you suddenly realize how little you really know about football. What will you do after you kick the ball? You’ve had no preparation and no training. At this juncture, it’s too late to admit you’re not ready for the big game.
Too often, couples are like this player. They are just not ready to be married. But they look good at the altar, suited up in tux and gown, with friends seated on both sides, wishing them good luck. Couples soon discover that marital happiness is not about luck, but preparation and perseverance. Paul warns Christians about dating and marrying unbelievers (2 Cor.6:14). Still, many think they can beat the odds and win without Christ as the Coach of their marital team. They blindly believe that love will cover everything before they enter into the many pressures that accompany marriage.
Few couples today bother with premarital counseling. Like our football analogy, training is essential if you want to win and keep on winning. When Doris and I began dating, we didn’t know the odds. As college kids, we didn’t understand the difference between love and infatuation. We didn’t realize it would be time that would test our love, not our emotions. How interesting that many will spend four years in college preparing for a career, yet never seek premarital counseling. If you fail in marriage, how happy can you be in your career?
When Doris and I married we were extremely optimistic about our future together because we both knew Jesus as our personal Savior. However, we had a lot of questions concerning finances, sexual intimacy, mutual friends and communication. My Cherokee grandma had great wisdom, but she had passed on. Now who would advise us on marital and family matters?
Today we are so happy we sought the advice of godly elders concerning marriage. We thank the Lord He led us to a pastor who had both the heart and the compassion to guide us through these issues before we made our covenant with God in matrimony. As our family grew, we continued to seek advice from the only Counselor who knows everything: the Holy Spirit. For couples to gain access to His wisdom, they must put faith in the Word of God as the playbook to consult for every scrimmage. While it is true that marriage really cannot be compared to a football game, only couples that have prepared themselves will be happy with the score at the end of the day.