This Valentine's Day writer Shakira Peronet spoke to ten Christian couples and shares their hard-earned wisdom. 


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I’ve always thought; everyone loves marriage. And I get it, what’s not to love? The joining together of two people, two lives, literally two becoming one, it’s great and absolutely worthy of celebration! But sometimes I have thought as Christians… maybe we love it a little too much. What I mean by this is - sometimes we can pursue marriage with more zeal than our relationship with God. And often dating and marriage is celebrated just as much (or dare I say more) than someone becoming a Christian.

Biblically it’s the single person that stays unmarried who gets the shout out from the pulpit, not the married couples. The Bible is countercultural, praising the individual who finds their joy, their delight in God - Psalm 37:4. I ask us all, do we share the same sentiments? I think we can always count on Paul to keep it real, and in 1 Corinthians 7 he does exactly that! He said: "If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better." 1 Corinthians 7: 36-38.

If you want to get married - ok get married. But don’t go into marriage expecting to reach the higher realms, none of us walked down the aisle and arrived at heaven’s gates. Marriage is awesome but it’s not Eden. If you’re reading this thinking: "I don’t want to get married anyway." In the words of Paul: "He who does not marry her does better."

I wanted to take this opportunity to shed some light on Christian marriage, especially on Valentine’s Day, when the truth of what it really means to love can be overshadowed by romance and consumerism. The adverts will have you believing that every couple you see is walking on cloud nine, no worries, no insecurities, no fears. So let’s all remind ourselves of what’s true. I spoke to ten Christian couples, from different cultures, married for different lengths of time, and I asked them one question…

What do you wish you’d known before you got married?

And this is what they said -

  1. Your dreams and your wife’s dreams won’t just naturally intertwine when you get married. Look for someone with the same vision as you, or get ready to compromise.
  2. Get to know yourself , you’ll bring all the undiscovered mess into your marriage. Therapy is always a good idea. Do the work on you.
  3. Pray together every day, from the very beginning.
  4. Both being Christians isn’t enough, we all have baggage to work on. It’s about making Jesus centered decisions everyday.
  5. Create a safe place to speak about the great ‘sexpectations’ (how often you want to have sex).
  6. When you get married, you marry one person, but marry into an entire family, which are now yours too. If you can tend to be judgemental, be extra attentive and curious, looking for ways to love.
  7. The person you marry will not be the same in ten years time, choose someone with a great character.
  8. Kids change everything … absolutely everything!
  9. Heartbreak and deep heartache are a real part of the marriage relationship but so is healing and reconciling.
  10. Pursue knowing and loving God deeper, and you’ll naturally do the same with your spouse.

So there you go, the other side of marriage, from those who are in it. I think as married Christians, we need to be as open about the hard times as we are about the good. As for single Christians, please don’t be swept up in the hype, trust in God’s word and spend time with married couples and ask them questions like this one, there are always two sides to every story.