Preparing for Marriage with Realistic Expectations
I really do think that we need to take way more serious marriage preparation. I think that usually premarital classes talk about sex, finances, parenting, and communication. My perspective is that those things aren't the cause of marriage problems, they are the place where marriage problems reveal themselves. Marriage problems are really problems of the heart, and so what the Bible would tell us is that I'm naturally selfish, the DNA of sin is selfishness, and I carry that into my marriage. That selfishness makes all of those places, whether it's sex or finances or parenting or the normal decisions of everyday life or roles in the house, difficult.
So I think in marriage preparation, we need to get at the deeper heart issues, the deeper effect of sin on the way that we function, and begin to expose how sin reveals itself in the life of this potential husband and the life of this potential wife so they now go into their marriage not discouraged, but with realistic expectations and knowing they're going to need to forgive one another and need to find the grace of Christ for this comprehensive relationship that they're about to begin.
Paul David Tripp is the author of Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make.
You can have a marriage that is mutually satisfying while being honoring to God. You really can!
Your marriage's biggest problem is not the imperfection of your spouse. No, it is what lurks in the recesses of your heart. Your biggest struggle is with your own selfishness.
Every day in a good marriage is just a series of sacrifices that you joyfully make and that you then enjoy the fruit of that spirit of sacrifice.
Paul Tripp discusses how the gospel comes to bear on the day-to-day realities of marriage and why that's more than just a platitude.