In my last post I talked about how relationships before marriage can damage us and make our marriages less cohesive (sticky). Of course, it is great to enter into marriage as pure as snow, but the reality is that many – including Christians – come into marriage with a lot of unwanted baggage, including some photo albums in our heads that we can’t seem to get rid of. How can we remedy this?
As with tape or glue, we need to remove the residue of old relationships, and this starts with restoration of our souls in Christ Jesus. The very first thing needed is repentance, the removal of guilt and a subsequent clean conscience.
Another important step is to repent of the idolatry of relationships. Memories of old relationships are often so sticky because we have placed that person or that experience at the center of our lives. When a marriage goes through a difficult period, an unrenewed mind can become untethered and drift to so-called “better things”, and if that better thing is an old memory we are on a dangerous road. However, when Christ is the center He is the “better thing” and the anchor of our souls during stormy seasons of life.
The last point is that there is no better surface for tape to stick to than another piece of tape. This is why a man and a woman – unfortunately it is necessary these days to specify genders – with Christ as the center of renewed hearts and minds have the best chance of sticking together in a world where many forces seek to tear us apart. Therefore, don’t marry an unbeliever, and make sure you are spiritually prepared for marriage. (clean sticky surface again)
This may all sound oversimplified, but when anyone has overcome a difficult past to build a strong marriage they will look back and see that they have more or less done these very things.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:17