Monday, March 24, 2008

03/24/08 - Preparing for Marriage (Part 6)

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

I hope you've been enjoy this series on Preparing for Marriage. My prayer is that it's given you some "meaty" thoughts to chew on as your think and prepare for marriage. We prepare for so many other things in our lives, why not take some real time and prepare for marriage?

We talked in Part Five about saving yourself physically and some of the benefits and today I want to share about why I think saving yourself emotionally is just as important.

When I spoke at a woman's retreat about six years ago I polled all the women about their first loves. (Most of the women were married.)

I asked:
Do you have a special place in your heart for your first love?
Do you think about your first love?
Did you marry your first love?

When I asked that third question, the room took a collective GASP!

Why...after the women turned in their answers I found that about 80% of the women have a special place in their heart for their first love, think about their first love, BUT DID NOT marry their first love.

This is the heart of emotional purity, saving that "first love" for the person you marry, so that when you think about and have a special place for that person, that first love, it's your mate!

When you've emotionally attached yourself to another person that you do not married, that person (potentially) will always have a special place in your heart. Once married you may find yourself up to your eyeballs in diapers, bills, conflicts, it may be easy to compare that first love with your husband.

"Bobby from high school, well he always 'got me'. We could talk for hours and hours and he knew how to relate to me. My husband hardly takes time to say 'hi' to me after work."

"I wonder what it would have been like to marry Jimmy from college. He was an amazing protector and he cared about me. We never had the worries about live that I have with my husband."

"It was so easy with Jack. He was just fun, easy going, and had a free spirit. My husband is boggged down with life and just doesn't know how to 'let his hair down'!"

May be your thoughts: thoughts of comparison, thoughts of doubt as to why you married the man you're married to and not your high school boyfriend, these thoughts can can lead you down a place in your mind that you ought not go as a married women.

Being emotionally content in your marriage will start with being emotionally content before you are married. Know that God's in control, that He is the one who satisfies you emotionally (sometimes He uses another human, sometimes He wants you to rely on Him and Him alone) will aid in a richly satisfying marriage!


julie said...

I've gotten to my late twenties without ever having a "first love". I never really did the whole dating thing - no one I was interested in was interested in me, and the prospect of emotional evisceration was (and still is)terrifying. In worldly terms, I've become something of an oddity.

I can only hope that if I fall in love it will end in marriage and not rejection. At my age I can't afford to be wrong. The stakes are so much higher now than they were when I was a teenager.

Roxana said...

recently I've discovered your blog. Thanks for sharing and "teaching" about such topics.
I would like to say that purity (as well as sin) is not only about the act itself, but of the heart's attitude and thoughts. Even if you don't have a boyfriend till you marry, you can be 'unpure'. Even if you don't fall in love with someone (even since it's very difficult, especially as a teenager, not to have some "sympathy" over a guy)and you "save your first love for your mate", you may be thinking about your married life in the future, about romantic love etc day-dreaming about the future or just romance itself. And Jesus says that even such thoughts are sinful (the man who just looks at the woman and "wants" her).
I think such thoughts are....inevitable in a woman's life. The issue is not "don't have such thougths" but "what do you do with them?" Temptations are all around us, but the most important question is "what do we do about them?"
It would be very useful to give specific, practical guidelines and help about "how to guard the heart, not letting this 'romantic thougths', directed or not to a specific godly young man, to lead to "emotional-impurity"
God bless you !

arcee said...

this is a very wise topic to bring up.

i feel blessed by God that i know i have not missed out on anyone special, because, like you said, women can hold a candle for a guy for a long time. i don't hang on to any 'first love' feelings. in fact, several years after breaking up with my one long-term boyfriend, i realized that i have yet to 'fall in love.'

it can be tempting to glorify what it would be like to be with someone else simply because you aren't going through the day-to-day realities with them.

diapers, bills, illness, responsibilities...these are trying, but God intends them to make a marriage stronger and deepen the love between husband and wife.

Hannah said...

I can just picture a group of women sighing as you asked those questions. How tragic. Thanks for sharing that good reminder.

Anonymous said...

Dear Heather,
I just recently found your blog and have been trying to soak up as much as possible. Thank you so much for your ministery.

I have a question for you that I hope you can help me with. Firstly, I am seventeen. I have know a certain young man for several years now, but never really got to know him very well until recently. He and I have become very close, we understand each other and I believe that if he and I were the same gender, we would be best friends. I know he loves me and I have to say that I love him too. I just don't know what to do because I feel like even though it's not time now, that someday we will get married. I don't know how exactly to control my feelings and "save" myself when I think that God has brought the one into my life. Can you help?

Anonymous said...

Since you posted #8 today, I decided to go back and look at your previous posts on preparing for marriage. So far, this one makes the most impact to me! I am a woman who is committed to saving myself fully for my first (and only) love- not just physically, but emotionally. Everyone thought that was so cute and sweet at age 16 in high school, and okay in college (after all, people could surmise that I focused on my studies), a little odd at 25, and WAY WEIRD at age 30. But the very hurtful comments made my way only keep me grounded in my resolve to wait. More than anything I want to be a wife and mother, but the Lord is in control. He strengthens me and upholds me. He, after all, is my One true love. Thank you, Heather, for reminding us that the emotional waiting and emotional purity is important too! It's a message that needs to be heard so desperately in the church today. We teach abstinence, but rarely purity! (which encompasses so much more). -Lindsay