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The last two weeks before I got married

Just now, right before I get married, I would like to talk about some things I wish someone had told me before I entered a relationship.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of married people talk about relationships, either at seminars or at  youth meetings. Often they say a lot of wise things, but the problem is that they are married, they’ve already entered a covenant for life. That’s why I want to write this now, at the end of my time as a fiancé. I’m right in the middle of it, but at the same time I’m so near the end that I can reflect a bit, relax and look back on the last three years and eight months.

When I look back, there are two things that I would have liked someone to tell me before entering a relationship. Here are two pieces of advice I’d like to pass on to you:

Firstly: Despite what the media and the world tell us today, it is quite possible to wait until marriage before you have sex.

We can see it everywhere: on TV, in adverts, and we also hear about it among our friends. Sex is a large part of our society and as young people in Norway in 2014 we hear about it constantly. Being in a relationship without sex is like celebrating Christmas day without turkey or Christmas cake. When everyone else is doing it, and there are so many contraceptives to make it safe, why should we Christians wait? It’s fine for everyone else.

I have also had these thoughts many times, and what I always arrive at is the following:

God has created us and loves us. The command not to commit adultery comes from Him (Exodus 20:14), therefore we should not have sex with someone we are not married to. I choose to put my life in God’s hands and trust Him, even though it’s demanding and against what society tells us to do. Additionally, in my experience it is quite possible to wait, even though it is difficult.

This brings me to my next point: waiting till you are married until you have sex strengthens your relationship. I have lots of friends who have sex outside of marriage, and one time I talked to a friend about this he said the following:

‘I know it’s wrong according to the Bible, but we started before we were Christians, and we haven’t been able to stop. In many ways it’s also brought us nearer each other.’

I am convinced that sex brings two people nearer each other, but it’s a closeness that you should only share with your marriage partner, so you should wait till you are married and certain of staying together. In the meantime avoiding sex can be just as strengthening for a couple.

Avoiding having sex gives you good training in talking together, understanding each other, and communicating. Sex is very tempting and both people know that they want to do it, but at the same time both work together to avoid it. It’s hard to find a better long-term team-building project! For Grete and I it’s been a great help and a good experience to take with us into marriage.

The third thing I want to say to you is most probably something you’ve heard before, but it can’t be said too often:

Bring God into your relationship every day. Praying together, reading devotions and the Bible together, and talking about your faith should be a foundation in every relationship. A foundation like this is the best one to build on. Having God as part of our relationship has become more and more important as time goes on. And even though we’re far from being as good at it as we should be, our experience is that our relationship is better when we remember that God is part of it.

After saying all this, I’d like to add something I learned from another couple:

Every couple does things they regret and no couple is perfect. Every couple has things they struggle with, and every couple has things they are good at. I can assure you that our relationship is far from perfect! Just remember: regardless of what has been done, God has promised that when you repent and pray for forgiveness, you will get it. So you can start with a clean slate and see if it goes better next time.

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9).

It’s not always so easy to be Christians dating, and the path can be long and difficult. But for me, when I look back on everything I’ve been through in order to arrive at my wedding day on the 12th July, I can only say that it’s been worth it and I thank God that He has been with me every step of the way, even when I’ve forgotten Him. I’m overjoyed that He will be with us in our marriage too, as after all it’s the rest of our lives we’re talking about!

Wherever you are in your life, whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married: Good luck, and God bless you!

 

Published with permission from iTro.no