Unpack Your Emotional Baggage Before Marriage - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - May 22, 2021
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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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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