The wedding day is just one day in the life of a couple. But God's design is for marriage to last a lifetime. So how can someone know that the person they're with is the one they can truly build a life with—especially when so few marriages around them work?
Pastor Scott Kedersha has worked with more than 5,000 premarital couples to prepare them for the biggest decision of their lives. In Ready or Knot? he offers practical and Christ-centered guidance for couples for all of the days after the wedding day. Through authentic stories from real couples about the decisions they made (or wish they'd made), Scott asks the hard questions so his readers can break free from the watered-down Hollywood version of marriage and build their lives together on the right foundation—the unchanging Word of God.
This book should be read by every engaged, Christian couple. It gives a snapshot of what marriage will be like and indicates some things that may present a challenge to the couple in the future. In fact, married couples should read this book because they may find, like I did, that there are some conversations that they need to have.
Each chapter ends with questions that the reader should ask themselves to figure out where they stand on a particular issue. There is also a section for the reader to answer questions and discuss the issues with their spouse-to-be.
Know God—every conversation that Kedersha recommends is supported with Scripture. The couple is encouraged to have an intimate relationship with God before they pursue a partner.
Know yourself—at the end of every chapter, the reader is encouraged to answer a number of introspective questions before having discussions with their partner. This allows each person to get comfortable with their viewpoint on a particular topic before they are expected to share them with their partner.
Run your race—each chapter introduces a couple that experienced the issue being discussed. This reminds the reader they are not alone and that they can persevere. Kedersha also offers a number of solutions to help the couple handle each issue because each relationship is different so they should find what works for them.
Related: Wishing Away Our Uniqueness
God is worthy of our trust, and He didn’t make a mistake when He created the marriage relationship. God’s Word provides the final word on marriage, but too often couples choose to follow their own design and purpose of marriage.
When we acknowledge that God created marriage for a purpose, then we acknowledge that our marriages need to align with His standard and not our own.
Your spouse should be your closest and best friend. Friendship and companionship may be the most underdiscussed and undervalued aspect of marriage.
This is so true. We don’t always think of cultivating a friendship with our spouses (as if we can build a life with someone and not be friends with them). Instead, we pursue friendships with persons outside the home which can sometimes lead to difficulties in our marriage (especially when we choose friends of the opposite sex.)
Live with your spouse in a way that shows you understand them. This means you must make the effort to get to know them. If you don’t, Peter said, your prayers will be hindered.
Wow! God cares about our marriage so much that if we don’t treat our spouses the right way our prayers be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). This makes me pause to consider how I’m treating my husband—I don’t want God to stop listening to my prayers.
Roles in marriage are among the most misunderstood concepts in marriage. Most people don't know what the Bible says about the rules of husband and wife, so we tend to choose according to our desires rather than God's design for marriage. A proper understanding of God's design will best help you get ready for marriage.
When we don't know what the Bible says about how we should behave in our marriage, it causes difficulties. This misunderstanding of the roles of husband and wife lead to conflict in the relationship.
Marriage is designed to create a safe place for a husband and wife to be exposed and without shame, and it is intended to be different from any other relationship. We mess this thing up big time, and we pay the price. When couples hide, lie, and pretend in front of each other, it's the exact opposite of the oneness God intends and we desire.
We saw this lesson played out in the Bible multiple times. When Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed, in other words, when they were perfectly intimate with each other, they were happy. But the minute they started hiding, they were in trouble. Similarly, we have difficulties in our marriage when we are not perfectly honest with our spouses.
As a single or married person, you can counsel, encourage, and spur others on in their relationship with Jesus and with their significant other. You might not always have the right words to say, but sometimes simply being there for them goes a long way.
As members of God's family, we have a responsibility to the body of Christ. While each Christian needs a mentor, that is, someone to encourage them in the faith, they also need to be a mentor to someone and help them to build their faith up.
Before you tie the knot, you need to decide if you view yourself as an owner or a steward of money. If you are an owner, then you get to make the decisions and call the shots. If you are a steward, then you are accountable to God to manage well the resources He has entrusted to you. If you’re not aligned with your significant other in your view of whether you are owners or stewards, then you're going to struggle with money. This decision guides the way you think about giving, saving, spending, debt, and everything else related to finances.
The concept of stewardship doesn't only affect how we handle money. It also impacts the way we parent, live, and treat our partners. Are you a good steward? How are you taking care of the things, and people, God has entrusted to you?
Have you read Ready or Knot? What were your thoughts? I received an advanced reader copy as part of the Baker Book blogger program. All opinions expressed are my own. Purchase Ready or Knot on Amazon.
Scott Kedersha serves as the Director of Marriage Ministry at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. He writes about marriage, family, leadership, and ministry, and is the author of Ready or Knot? 12 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have before Marriage. He is married to Kristen, has four boys, and can be found on his blog (ScottKedersha.com), Twitter (@skedersha), Instagram (@skedersha), and Facebook (@AuthorScottKedersha).