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Ask Pastor Roger Barrier - Church Leadership

7 People You Really Don't Want to Marry

  • Dr. Roger Barrier Preach It, Teach It
7 People You Really Don't Want to Marry

Dear Roger

I’m thinking about getting married. Can you give me some guidelines that may help me know that I am marrying the right guy?

Sincerely, Kate

Dear Kate,

To begin with, please remember that nobody is perfect. If we expect someone to live up to all of these considerations, no one would ever get married.

As you peruse this list, three or four may “pop out” you. Keep an eye on these, most of the others are not worth worrying about. They may well take care of themselves.

Here are some people we ought to consider twice before marrying: 

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1. A Non-Christian

1. A Non-Christian

This first one is obvious. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

How can a person give Christian love to their spouse when they are not a Christian? “Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:20-33).

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2. Someone with a Different Religious Background

2. Someone with a Different Religious Background

Can you imagine two building contractors trying to build the same house with two different sets of plans? Living with the same spiritual plans promotes harmony and success. Living on different religious perspectives can promote chaos.

I see this often when a wife or husband wants to go to one type of church while the other wants a different one.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).

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3. One Who Has Been Divorced...

3. One Who Has Been Divorced...

… unless you know exactly what happened, why it happened, and you feel that the personal issues are rectified.

“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God, “and I hate a man beating his wife” (Malachi 2:16 (RSV alternate rendering).

Paul provides a checklist of “pop up” list of things that are important to consider:

sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, violence, abuse and filthy language (Colossians 3:5-10).

A bank teller told me that on the second night of her honeymoon her husband actually hit her. She gathered her clothes, walked out the door, and never looked back.

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4. Those with Personality Disorders

4. Those with Personality Disorders

Persons with personality disorders seldom make good marriage material. However, that does not mean that it is not possible.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorders are self-absorbed to the exclusion of all others. They “suck the life” out of all who befriend them. 

People with Borderline (or Emotionally Unstable) Personality Disorders struggle with impulsive actions, rapidly shifting moods, and chaotic relationships. 

People with Antisocial Personality Disorders have no sense of right and wrong. They can do dastardly things to the people associated with them without feeling remorse. 

People with Histrionic Personality Disorders are incredibly emotional and attention seeking. Their “roller coaster” up and down lives wear down the people around them. They seek to control through emotional manipulation.

People with Paranoid Personality Disorders often interpret the actions of others as deliberately threatening or demeaning. 

People with Avoidant Personality Disorders are hypersensitive to rejection. They are timid, fear criticism, and tend to avoid activities that involve interpersonal contact. 

People with Dependent Personality Disorders want others to make decisions for them. They require excessive reassurance and are easily hurt by criticism or disapproval.

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders are perfectionists who are never satisfied with their achievements. They struggle inordinately with decision-making and seldom complete tasks.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6).

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5. Those Who Grew Up in a Dysfunctional Family

5. Those Who Grew Up in a Dysfunctional Family

This can be a blessing or a curse. All families are dysfunctional to one degree or another. 

Some dysfunctions, handled well, can build great character. The same dysfunction in the life of another may bring heartache and despair.

David’s family was intensely dysfunctional. He ruined every child he ever had. His children lived in a world of incest, rape, murder, deceit, shame, and rebellion. He never took time to love and discipline his children.

On the other hand, Joseph grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family. Eight of his brothers hated him and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Nevertheless, he used that background to become second in command to Pharaoh.

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6. An Angry Person

6. An Angry Person

The problem with an angry person is basically two-fold. First, you might be in their line of fire. Second, they may bury their anger and then express it in all sorts of unhealthy ways. Third, Some people have been drastically hurt. This person then experiences a double hurt because nobody cares. I call them “emotional rocks.”

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26).

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7. A Selfish Person

7. A Selfish Person

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverb 11:25).

“The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them.” (Proverb 28-22).

The key here is “self.” Selfishness ruins relationships. Self manifests in three dangerous forms.

First, selfish people take from others.

Second, self-reliant people are independent and they think that don’t need others: “I can take care of myself; and, if you were just a better person, you’d take care of your own needs, too.” It’s tough to live with a self-reliant person.

Third, some people struggle with self-condemnation. They don’t feel worthy to be the kind of person that blesses others. Instead of utilizing their God-given personality, they hide it.

Please remember, nobody is perfect. If we expect someone to live up to all of these considerations, no one would ever get married. Pick out your three or four and have a great marriage.

Love, Roger

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