"4 Secrets Before 'I Do': Part 3" - by SIngles Leader Jeff Anderson

It is my honor to introduce you to Jeff Anderson, who is guest posting today. Jeff Anderson has a unique gift to change the way people see, and relate, to God.  He enjoys tackling touchy biblical subjects – like money… and yes, marriage.  He is the leader of www.AcceptableGift.org where he speaks and writes on the subject of biblical giving.  He is the author of Plastic Donuts, A Fresh Perspective on Gifts.  Jeff and his wife Stephanie have four children and live in Tulsa, Oklahoma - Kent, Awesome Marriages Singles Leader. I’m back and ready to share another truth about an awesome marriage.  That “sanctifying love” talk had me weak for a moment (hyperlink).  But my knees have recovered and I’m on my feet again.  Let’s move on to Truth #3. Truth #3:  Separate – Husbands (and wives, too) leave their mother and father.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (v31) Marriage will not be awesome with momma in the way.  This goes for both sides - “momma’s boys” and “sister-daughters” must fly the nest. My friend had a marriage blow up because his wife was unable to leave her mother.  In the end, I’m not sure who asked for the divorce – my wife’s friend or his mother-in-law. Meanwhile, I’m watching another marriage suffer because of the husband’s inability to keep his parents at bay.  His wife has never “good enough” for what the in-laws thought she should be for their son.  With each passing anniversary, the marriage is eroding. In both cases, the unwillingness to separate was a central problem.  Often issues like money and sex get the blame for marriage failure.  But there’s a reason God commands a husband and wife to separate from the parents.  An awesome marriage demands it. So what’s my advice for singles?  Pay attention!  Often you can spot potential problems a mile away.  As you progress in a relationship, you’ll learn if you spouse will be able to fly the nest someday. Can you confide in your marriage prospect and know your secrets are safe? Can you entrust them with your innermost emotional needs and concerns? Can your prospect handle difficult situations without mom and dad? Can they handle conflict through healthy forgiveness and forgetting? If your prospect spouse can’t seem to break from momma now, it likely won’t happen later. And while we’re on topic, husband and wives should leave not only mom and dad – but whomever or whatever else stands in the way.  I’m shocked at the number of marriages I see that are destroyed by one spouse opening the files to old relationships through Facebook. Is your prospect still flirting with the past?  Do the mentions of old relationships keep popping up?  Are social media relationships getting in the way? Watch out for “friends,” too.  Guys, does your marriage prospect tell her girl friends things that make you uncomfortable?  And ladies, does your prospect protect your image by not disrespecting you to his guy friends? You can still have healthy relationship with in-laws.  And the support of friends and community groups are helpful also.  But without a strong break point, they’ll stand in the way of a wife’s submission to her husband… and block a husband’s ability to love his wife as God desires. An awesome marriage needs boundaries.  It needs a break-point.  Pay attention to these forces during the dating season.

Jeff Anderson