Articles by Dr. William Davis

The Christian’s Guide to Mate Selection and Marital Preparation

April, 2010 Vol.25 Love Express News paper

Over 60% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. These astonishing statistics are not only indicative of men and woman of the world, but the believer as well. A large number of Christians who end up among these shocking statistics either did not have enough information to make a wise marital choice or they did not have the wisdom to maintain their relationship. Dr. William Garrett Davis, Pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Center and New York State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, informs us (the body of Christ, etc.) a successful marriage begins with the reason why an individual would want to be married in the first place.

Why do you want to get married ?

In order to adequately prepare for marriage, you must ask yourself why you want to get married. Although there are many personal reasons for wanting to get married, you must examine whether your reasons are valid enough to handle the challenges that are sure to arise, in one form or another. I refer you to the marriage vows that most couples repeat on their wedding day.

“Do you take this man to be your wedded husband? And do you solemnly promise before God and these witnesses, that you will love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, forsaking all others for him alone, you will perform unto him all the duties that a wife owes to her husband, unto God, by death shall separate you”.

Note, the promise before God is to handle the relationship in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer and for better or for worse. Although the words health, richer, and better are what most couples want to key in on, having the right motives for getting married will ready them for times of potential crisis such as illness, lack of financial resources and less than amiable circumstances. Some reasons people get married will not cause them to endure the occasional turbulence that marriages will face.

Let’s look at four of the most invalid reasons for people getting married.

Number One:
“My mate will make me whole”
Some people feel that the person they marry will make them complete. They are somehow under the impression that the void they are feeling in their life, whether its loneliness or emptiness, will be erased soon after getting married. In a sense, they have already psychologically transferred the responsibility for their fulfillment into the hands of another imperfect human being. No matter how good the potential mate will be, he or she will never be able to measure up. The job of an individual’s wholeness and happiness belongs to God and God alone. He is to be our El Shadai- the many breasted-all sufficient one, who supplies our every need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Of course, there are certain things that each partner will bring into the relationship, but he or she should never be expected to be anyone else’s “all and all”. This fact will be quickly discovered when you find out that your partner just does not have the right words to fulfill an emotional or intellectual need. They may be great in one or two areas, but grossly underdeveloped in others. If they are lacking in these particular areas they will not be able to immediately fulfill that need in you, as a matter of fact, it might take them years before they are able to. That is in fact, if that particular area is important enough to them to devote time, energy and prayer to bring about the change. A proper understanding of this fact should be well understood, that if you allow God to be your Jehovah- Jireh, the Lord your provider, you would allow God to fill your life with a support system of people that can bring a sense of fulfillment in various areas. In this way both you and your mate will be spared the pain and frustration of unfulfilled expectations.

Number two :
Pressure from family and friends
“I thought you would be married by now”

Some people take the mad dash to the altar to squelch the criticisms of family and friends. Often their personal decision is clouded by loyalty to loved ones that may mean well. Such pressure has a tendency to push a person ahead of God therefore ahead of his timing. When this happens the person most likely will not receive God’s best. They must also watch out for the devil’s alternatives. We learn in Matthew 4:1-11, it was when Jesus was under pressure the pressure of

“Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and sheweth him all the kingdom of the world. And the glory of them; and saith unto him, all these things will I give thee if thouwilt fall down and worship me”.

We must be very careful because the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He would be more than happy to deceive the Christian into buckling under pressure and settling for second or even third best. Remember the thief cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy.

Although, current pressure has the ability to push you into not waiting on God, you must consider that marriage is not just a current commitment ; marriage requires a life time commitment in which all of the people that provide the pressure or criticism are not required to make. At the first sign of challenge their opinions may quickly change. At this time you will find that the only opinion that matters is yours and God’s. Be confident in God and you will find out that there is wisdom in waiting.

Number Three :
My biological clock is ticking
“I only have a short window of opportunity”

Even worse than the pressure from family and friends is the internal pressure that most women experience as they near their late thirties and early forties. This pressure provides a tremendous motivating factor for rushing into the martial relationship. The consideration of difficulties and complications that can stem from the risk of child bearing in the later years may cause some women not to thoroughly think through the selection process.

They may not be so concerned about financial stability, compatibility or even whether the person is saved. They may overlook God’s requirements all together. You will hear them justify their decision to family and friends by saying “He’s a good man.” “He works hard and is attentive to my needs and what’s most important he says he loves me.” They further rationalize that there are not many men out there especially saved and in the church. Because there is such a short window of opportunity and I may lose this chance forever, I’m going to go for it. Again I say that marriage is a lifetime commitment and successfully having children does not provide the glue that keeps relationship together. Especially when a Christian violates the Word of God to knowingly marry a person that is not saved (Accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, growing and maturing in the word of God attending a church on a regular basis and uses his gifts talents and abilities to build the Kingdom of God.) The Bible tells us in 2Corinthinas 6:14-16
Vs. 14

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteous with unrighteous? And what communion hath light with darkness”?

Vs. 15 and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what Part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

Vs.16 and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God as God hath said, I will dwell in them…

This scripture and others explains how significant it is when you give your life to Christ. You become the righteousness of God, bought with a price, set aside for the master’s use. You should not seek to yoke (make a binding covenant) yourself with a person that has not made that same commitment. The couple that does that will eventually run into marital problems because of the impending spiritual opposition. Each person’s spiritual orientation will cause him or her to focus in very different directions therefore causing many disagreements.

The Bible says in Amos 3:3 “ Can two walk together except they be agreed?”

Marriage is a lifelong walk and you would not want that walk to be a grievous one. The pressure of the biological clock also may tend to strain an otherwise normal, platonic relationship, as a person “racing to beat the clock” might try to take a friendly relationship to another level. This level, of course is not meant to be. In this case normal relationships can be ruined or forever lost. Many times a man and woman meet and they should be at the “get acquainted stage”. The relationship progresses into a whirlwind courtship, moving so fast that when the smoke clears they are already married and she is six months pregnant. Children are then introduced into the picture before the couples themselves get an opportunity to get to know each other. The attention and demands of rearing children will definitely cause a strain on the husband-wife relationship.

Number Four:
Marriage is honorable and the bed is undefiled.
“I can have all the sex I want”

Some people, whether they desire to keep the moral integrity of a true Christian lifestyle, or whether they are just hot and bothered and want to have sex legally, choose to get married. The Bible does tell us in Hebrews 13:4b that “the bed is undefiled” that means that sex within the context of marriage is not dirty or sinful. This also may be the reason why a lot of Christians say “I do”, however most of these hormone driven marriages, if based solely on sex will almost certainly be short lived.

Although sex is a rite of marriage here are a number of things to consider. A sexual attraction for the most part begins with outer beauty and animal magnetism. It is possible to be attracted to another person without even knowing them (the real them). Having a desire to be physically intimate with another human being is defined as lust. According to the Bible lust is an intense or unbridled sexual desire, that when acted upon can bring about momentary fulfillment. This fulfillment is sure to change when the current variables change. For example, if a man marries a woman because he has a lustful spirit, his foundation will be based on her hourglass figure, her youthful looks or some other physical attribute. When these attributes begin to change the object of his desire may also change.

Because marriage requires a lifetime commitment, current lust based on physical attractions will not be able to stand the test of time. Time will certainly change most physical characteristics. Over time women may lose their hourglass figure (especially after childbearing), and age may cause her youthful appearance to wain. Also her hair may thin or gray. The decision to get married must have its roots deeper than temporal beauty. You must also consider that your choice of a marriage partner is a permanent one. It is not God’s intention that your spouse is like a car that once it has accumulated some mileage, it’s traded in for a sleeker, younger model. Maybe this truth can be illustrated in this way. Baskin Robins has 31 flavors of ice cream. The selection of a spouse is like choosing one flavor for life. If you choose chocolate because of your lust, later you may find that chocolate almond would have provided both outer beauty and inner substance. When the sweetness of the outer beauty had faded the inner substance will carry the relationship into longevity.

Although sex is a powerful motivator especially for young, single, Christian adults at the height of their sexual awareness, this euphoric time in their life can cause them to be solely guided by passion and desire instead of sound logic and the wisdom of God. The ability to be a good bedfellow doesn’t qualify that person to have common sense or to be ambitious. Neither does sex take the garbage out, wash the dishes or pay the bills. You will find out that after the intense “urge to merge” has been realized, other areas will become just as important. Your selection of a lifetime mate must take into consideration other relevant qualities.

You might want to consider this wisdom in the time of a storm. With the promulgation of sex in our society via T.V., internet, billboard ads and the like, the reality is that it can be very difficult not to mention frustrating for Christians, young and old alike to ignore these sexual urges. These urges I might add given to them by God. To this dilemma I offer this wisdom from the book of first Corinthians the 10 th chapter and the 13 th verse.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

God informs us in this verse of scripture that we will be tempted in this area as well as others, but he will with the temptation give you an opportunity to escape so that in due season you would receive the mate that God has custom made for you. A person that would not only be a good sexual partner but could also be a person of integrity, responsibility and moral character, a person that would be able to handle a commitment. Even if for some reason you were not able to have sex anymore, I further advise that when you are at your weakest moments and your flesh is crying out for companionship, that you utilize the power of positive confession. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18 that “death and life is in the power of the tongue.” It is at this critical moment that you make this confession:

Lord Jesus, I thank you for my wife {my husband} the person you have purposed for me, the person who will not only satisfy me physically, but also in many other areas in my life. Lord thank you for protecting my future and saving me from making choices that would cause me to reap a negative harvest. Lord I trust you and I lean not to my own understanding. In all of my ways I acknowledge you so that you can direct my path.

Again my advice to you is that every time that “feeling” comes over you, you make this confession or one similar. Remember the Lord is not slack concerning his promises as some men count slackness.

Psalms 37:4states “if you delight yourself in him, he will give you the desire of your heart.”

Number Five:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother...”My parents have too many rules. I have to get out of here.

As young adults begin to grow and develop. They naturally try to move from dependence on their parents to seeking a sense of independence. They meet new friends, experience new ideas and explore various cultural sensations. They begin dating and spending more and more time with peers away from home. They begin to test the waters as to just how much independence they can have while still living under their family’s operating system, a system, which contains rules and regulations, including household chores and curfews. Additionally, as young adults enter the work force, new rules are added, rules that dictate that they are to be a contributing member of the household budget.

This time can be a time of tremendous strain. A time marked by Parents determined to keep the consistency of the family systems that has worked for so many years. Young men and women trying to establish an identity of their own, engage in heated debates as to why chores should be skipped and curfews should be lifted. This battle of the wills may result in many young people searching desperately for a way out. For some, the way out is through marriage. They rationalize, at home; there is always an argument. My parents don’t respect and appreciate me. They always want me to do the dishes or clean the house. When I’m with you (my boyfriend or girlfriend) you never stress me out, you never put demands on me. When I get out of this house, I am never going to clean anything and if I want to stay out all night, that‘s what I’ll do. They rationalize a fantasy life and they convince their partner to make a lifelong commitment based on the frivolity of foolish whims.

In reality, individuals who leave home and get married to escape responsibility will find that marriage requires more responsibility. Chores will not be shared by two or three siblings and instead of contributing a few dollars to the budget, the entire budget will have to be met by the two of you. This will not work if the individuals were running from contributing their share at home. Further, this marriage is going to experience problems. Because marriage itself is work, and each partner will certainly place his or her own demands on the relationship. Often these demands will resemble the responsibilities originally sought to be avoided. If you’re a young adult living at home with your parents it is advisable that you maximize your stay. Maximizing your stay at your parent’s home can be achieved in a number of ways:

1) The more you show that you are a responsible individual. The more you will be trusted. If you are trusted, this character trait certainly can be grounds to levy curfew negotiations.

2) While in your parents home, the financial responsibility are shared; it would be wise to save as much money as possible to build a solid foundation for when you do depart the nest.

Until individuals are sure they are getting married for the right reasons, their time should be spent maximizing their single life and becoming Mr. or Ms. Right.

The following information was excerpted from Dr. Davis’ soon to be released book entitled “The Christian’s Guide to mate selection and Marital Preparation”. To contact Dr. Davis for counseling, Therapy and seminars, log on to or call 800-841-7160 / 631-764-1991.

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