February 9

Preparing for Marriage

Proverbs  24:27 Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house.

Hidden among the practical gems of Proverbs is this advice that at first seems strictly agricultural, and perhaps not pertinent to another kind of society. Once we look at it more deeply, though, it gives great advice for marriage and finances in general. Remember that the Proverbs are often in the form of advice rather than prescription or proscription, and cannot always be taken as the only way one should do things. But here is solid advice that would benefit more marriages if it were followed more often.

Marriage is more than just two people who love each other. We know that it came from God, and that it is a reflection of His love for the church. We know that love and commitment form the basis of the relationship, but the Scriptures here give us helpful direction in laying a solid, practical foundation for that relationship. Many people think that love is all they need to get married. But there is timing and there are circumstances that should be attended to before a good foundation can be laid.

Giving one another the gift of time is an issue that will be addressed elsewhere. Aside from that, there is a need for financial stability in a new marriage. A marriage isn’t simply about a couple in love; a marriage also forms a unit in society, and one that needs a financial basis to thrive. There will always be exceptions, but this Scripture indicates that it is the norm for a family to be self-supporting and based on either a strong financial foundation or a reasonable expectation of one.

“Your outside work” in the verse can be your financial base or your career. It is what enables you to establish “your house”—your family, and in some senses, even the inside of your home. It might not seem romantic to think about setting up a strong fiscal base for your relationship, but it helps provide a foundation for peace, easier communication, and love itself—all ingredients of a healthy marital relationship.

Prayer—for yourself or someone else: Lord, give me [them] patience and wisdom to set up a solid foundation for my [their] marriage. Grant me the open doors and strength to lay a solid foundation for my [their] marriage, for our [their] sake and for Yours.

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