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Unpack Your Emotional Baggage Before Marriage - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - May 22, 2021

  • 2021 May 22

Unpack Your Emotional Baggage Before Marriage 
By Rick Warren

“In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.” Proverbs 28:23 (NLT)

Before you start dating someone, it’s crucial that you make an honest assessment of your own emotional health and that of your potential partner.

I remember marrying a couple many years ago at Saddleback. About five years later, my wife, Kay, and I had them over for dinner. The woman told me, “When I walked down the aisle in that white dress, I had no idea that I was carrying an entire bag of emotional garbage on my back. And I took all that garbage into the marriage.”

Marriage does not create problems. It reveals them. The more you can deal with emotional problems before you get married, the happier, more God-honoring, and more fulfilling your marriage is going to be.

Start with yourself. Don’t date unless your own emotional hurts are healed—or at least in the healing process. Do you struggle with bitterness or anger problems? Work through those before you start dating. Get rid of your own emotional baggage.

Then, when you begin dating someone, size that person up quickly, particularly related to their emotional health. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “Do you have uncontrolled anger?” “Can we talk about me?” or “Will you pick up the tab?”

If you see warning signs of unresolved emotional difficulties, don’t wait around to see if it gets better. Go ahead and walk away.

Maybe you’re already in a dating relationship and you now see the signs of emotional unhealth in your partner. If so, talk with your partner about it. It’s either time to get professional counseling or it may be time to end the relationship.

“But I won’t have anybody to go out with on Friday night,” you say. Here’s the truth: A bad marriage is a million times worse than not going out on Friday night! And the longer you stay in a dead-end relationship, the more difficult it is to get out of it.

Proverbs 28:23 says, “In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery” (NLT). 

No matter how much it hurts, be honest with yourself and your partner today. In the end, you both will benefit from it.

There’s one more thing I want you to hear: To have the best chance at a strong relationship, you and your potential partner need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. If you haven’t taken that step, start there. Making peace with God will give you the spiritual foundation you need to get emotionally healthy and make peace with yourself and others too.

Life has no guarantees, but two emotionally healthy followers of Jesus have the strong foundation they need to build a marriage of deep soul intimacy—intimacy that is personal, relational, sexual, and spiritual. 

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the lords prayer childrens book daily hope rick warren october 2021 offerBuild a Firm Foundation of Prayer in the Next Generation!

“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick

That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.

Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.

This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!

*The USA IRS code permits you to deduct the amount of your financial gift to Daily Hope that exceeds the fair market value of materials you received from Daily Hope.

This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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