FW: Weekly Marriage Builder, September 17, 2006: They Think They Can Fool God

—–Original Message—–
From: Jimmy Evans – MarriageToday [mailto:jimmy@marriagetoday.org]
Sent: Sunday, September 17, 2006 1:06 AM
Subject: Weekly Marriage Builder, September 17, 2006:
They Think They Can Fool God

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WEEKLY "MARRIAGE BUILDER" EMAIL
Presented by MarriageToday with Jimmy & Karen

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Dear theresa,

I was in an airport last week and noticed on a magazine cover that a
high profile celebrity couple was getting married. Of course, they
have already been living together for several years and have a child
together. Therefore, the wedding is a little anti-climactic, but
nevertheless represents a modern mentality for a growing number of
people. Many today see pre-marital sex and living together as
"intimate try-outs" to see if they are compatible enough for marriage.

Even though it might make sense to some that cohabitation and
pre-marital sex would enhance one’s ability to measure his or her
compatibility with another person, it doesn’t. In fact, it greatly
increases your chance of pain before marriage and problems afterwards.
Those who have cohabitated before marriage have a significantly
higher rate of divorce than those who haven’t. So why doesn’t it work?

First of all, there is no real commitment. The spirit of pre-marital
sex and cohabitation is primarily driven by selfishness and the desire
for instant gratification. Women especially need to realize the
dangers of these traits in their potential husbands. Even though most
women give sex to a man or live with him before marriage in order to
please him and take the relationship to a "higher" level, men have
different motives.

In cohabitation, men desire it because they get the benefits of
marriage without commitment. Even if marriage is possible in the
future, they simply try to see how well their live-in lover will take
care of them before they will commit. Since that is the spirit that
led them to the altar, even their commitment at the altar means
little. Once they find out it’s not all about them, they are gone in
a majority of cases. You just can’t build a marriage on the shifting
sand of selfish hearts. You also can’t bring children into that kind
of relationship with the confidence that they will stay around to take
care of them.

This leads us to our next problem. It is simple, yet has a profound
impact later in the relationship. It is the fact that the purpose of
dating before marriage is to test a person’s character as well as to
develop the skills of the relationship without sex. Even though it
might seem archaic to people in our day, there was a day when
pre-marital sex and cohabitation were thought of as sins and spoken of
in scandalous terms.

The reason wasn’t because people of that day were not as enlightened
as the Hollywood elite of our day who have thrown away traditional
morality. The reason was because they were in fact more enlightened.
They knew that a relationship based primarily on attraction,
convenience or selfishness was doomed to failure. They understood the
harsh reality that every marriage will experience difficult times.

There will simply be times when our mates can’t meet all of our needs.
There will also be times when sacrifice will be required to get
through times of sickness, financial strain and relational challenges.
In the bad times, a person’s character is all that matters. Are they
a giver? Are they faithful? Are they selfish? Are they kind and
merciful? Questions like that may not matter in the good times but in
the bad times they mean the difference between success and failure.

Many a pretty bride and handsome groom have strolled down the aisle
only to experience heartache and broken dreams soon thereafter. The
problem wasn’t a lack of love, sexual chemistry or potential. The
problems were simply a lack of character and the commitment necessary
to survive the inevitable challenges of married life.

The next time you see one of those beautiful celebrity couples getting
married after living together and having a baby or two, don’t buy it.
They aren’t fooling God or anyone who really knows anything about
marriage. Their lack of regard for God or traditional morality
doesn’t make them something to be admired. It makes them something to
be pitied because they will pay a high price for their selfishness and
lack of commitment. I’m not saying this because I don’t care for them
or feel like I am better than them. I’m saying it because it’s true.

Godly character and commitment always precede success in marriage. No
couple is the exception.

Blessings,

Jimmy Evans
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