Q: My fiancé and I are getting married this fall. We’ve been nervous about taking this step, because so many of our friends have already been through at least one divorce. We don’t want that to happen to us, but how can we avoid it? — S.R.
A: I’m thankful you haven’t rushed into marriage, and you want to make your marriage last. Far too many people, I’m afraid, enter marriage thoughtlessly or assuming that if it doesn’t work out they can always end it.
But God gave marriage to us, and his perfect plan is for a husband and wife to be committed to each other throughout their lives. Tragically, sin has infected our relationships and this isn’t always possible, but it is still God’s highest goal for us, and it should be yours as well. When a man and woman come together in marriage, Jesus said, “They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6).
How can you have a strong marriage? First, see it as a solemn vow of commitment — a commitment not only to each other, but also to God. In other words, realize that God has brought you together, and just as he was with you in the past, so he will be with you in the future. If you have never done so, commit your lives to Jesus Christ, and then ask him to be the center of your marriage.
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Then ask God to help you love each other and help each other — even when it’s not easy. Remember: the opposite of love is selfishness — and selfishness is the enemy of every relationship. In addition, pray and read God’s word together every day, and seek out a church where you’ll be strengthened as a couple.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.