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Once you have found the person you believe God wants you to marry, there are some important things that the two of you need to consider, talk about, and agree upon together before you say, "I do."There are also certain things you need to understand about the opposite sex and their needs.

The Importance of Counseling
First of all, let me say that it's so important for you to go to premarital counseling before you get married. Your pastor could probably recommend some good reading material to you along these lines as well.

Knowledge is power. The more you learn ahead of time the better your marriage can be. Much of what we will discuss here is usually brought out in even more detail in your premarital counseling sessions.

It is vitally important that you talk about these things and take them very seriously. The strength of your marriage depends on it.

Here are the top five most important things that you need to discuss before marriage. These are almost always the top five leading issues on why people get divorced.
When I say the word "religion," I mean your spiritual beliefs. It is important that your marriage is based on a solid foundation. If your potential mate is not on the same wavelength with you spiritually, it can be a problem. As we've already discussed, the Bible makes it very clear to make sure you marry a Christian.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?
(2 Cor. 6:14)
These are the issues that are important to me; that I marry someone who believes like I do where healing, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and other doctrinal issues are concerned.

I want to know that if I have a problem, I can pray with my spouse and agree together in faith for an answer. But if they don't believe the same way that I do, there will be a problem.

Now, I know you are not going to agree on every little tiny thing, but the main issues are important. "Can two walk together; except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:30).

Doctrinal beliefs are very important, especially when it comes to raising your children. One person I know settled for and married a nonbeliever, and every night when she prays with her children, they ask her, "Why doesn't Daddy pray with us?" It makes her life very hard.

Let's face it, it takes money to live, and you have to find out where you are in that area. You may have been raised in a fairly well to do home and are used to a certain lifestyle. You have to be honest about what lifestyle you expect to have when you are married.

Maybe your potential spouse didn't come from the same background, or they don't care about the same things you care about. Maybe they are not inspired to work hard, and you can't live like that. All of these things are important to talk about.

Find out about the other person's spending habits and their saving habits. I know couples who are on the brink of divorce because one of them is spending all the money faster than it comes in. This creates a lot of stress. Find out before the wedding if they are in debt. You need to know ahead of time what you will be facing.

I know a pastor who goes as far as having couples bring in their bank statements, W-2's, debts and bills when they come for premarital counseling. That way everything is out in the open.

At first that sounded a little extreme to me, but then I heard that by doing it, some people found out things that really needed to be addressed before it was too late. It was an eye-opening experience for many of them.

Talk together about your plans for tithing and giving. It would be very hard if you are a committed tither and then find out that they are not. Discuss your financial goals to make sure you are on the same page financially.

Don't forget, one of the top reasons that couples get divorced is because of money problems.

You don't really want to get into intimate details of sex until you are pretty sure that this is the one God has for you. I'm not going to go into much detail here, but be sure that you talk about it. Couples have to be in agreement and know how the other one thinks and believes about this issue.

It's important that you be in agreement whether or not you want to have children and how many you want. Don't have the thought, "Maybe they will change their mind and want to have kids later."

Make sure you know first. I wrote earlier about the couple whose marriage didn't last because they didn't take this issue seriously enough and they ignored it, hoping it would change later. And they ended up in divorce court.

Another very important thing to consider is what you both believe about raising children. How to discipline your children and what you believe along these lines is a huge issue in many families. So it's important to talk about it beforehand.

This issue is something to consider. I know for example in my own life, I have a call from God to preach the Gospel around the world. This sometimes can be a little challenging when it comes to thinking about whom I am going to marry because I have a strong ministry. It can be intimating in a way because it can seem backwards. It's often a man who has the stronger calling.

In my case it would be hard to marry someone else who has a strong preaching ministry. I would rather marry someone who is willing to help me with what God has called me to do. Some people used to try to make me feel guilty for being honest in this area, but I don't apologize for it anymore.

In the beginning of my ministry, when no one knew who I was, people used to try to make me feel bad for not giving up what I am doing to go help someone do something else (like pastor a church). But I knew I had a different vision in my heart‘I saw myself traveling around the world, and I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I did it.

Of course, now people can see that I was following the Lord because what I had in my heart is coming to pass. Only you and God know what's in your heart. You have to be sure you discuss this with your potential mate.

Each of you has to find out what the other expects in this area. If you are a woman, will your husband expect you to quit your career to get married? Or is that what you want? Be sure you are in agreement.

What's in your heart for the future? Your visions basically need to be flowing in the same direction. For example, if a man feels called to the ministry, he must marry someone who is willing to go wherever the Lord sends him. If you are called to Africa, you have to know that your mate is willing to set aside his or her own desires and go with you.

One of my staff members is married to a man in medical school. They knew going into the marriage that they wouldn't see much of each other for the first few years because of the intense training that is required to be a doctor. They both know it's an investment right now, but it will pay off in the long run.

You shouldn't marry someone who isn't willing to back your dream, or you have to be honest if you can live without your dream. If they don't fit with your vision, you need to find that out before you are married.

Source: Single and Loving It by Kate McVeigh
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Kate McVeigh
Web site: Kate McVeigh Ministries
With a heart to help people discover who they are in Christ, Kate McVeigh is one of the most sought after female speakers in America today. Combining her personal experiences with down-to-earth teaching of the Word, she shows people how to become all that God has called them to be.

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