Soo... that brings me to a series of questions I'd like to ask you readers:
What are the negotiables, and the non-negotiables?
For instance, would you be willing to marry someone who had a child from a previous relationship "in a past life" as it were, before that person was a Christian?
Would you marry a black person (or someone of another ethnicity)?
Would you (as a guy) marry a girl who'd been raped?
What about former prostitutes and porn stars who have turned to Jesus. If they desire marriage, would you (as a strong Christian guy) be willing to marry them?
What about former homosexuals?
A widower/widow with children of his/her own?
Of course, marriage is a serious covenant between two people and God. It is not something that needs to be treated lightly, or carelessly. Certainly, if a person marries another person, they now have the responsibility to love, cherish, respect, nourish, take care of their spouse.
Christian marriages should be the loudest witnesses to this crazy-messed up, love hungry world, that true self-sacrificing love is real. That honoring and respecting one's partner can be done. That godly male-headship can be carried out in a Christ-honoring manner, without being abusive. That wives can respectfully submit to their husbands. And, certainly, when the time is right, that children can be brought into the equation, and loved, nurtured, discipled and taught in a home that loves their presence and doesn't think them a nuisance or burden.
The world needs to see enduring, Christ-centered marriages. Other Christians need to see enduring, Christ-centered marriages. The kind that can weather storms, the kind that know mutual forgiveness, patience, honor,and cherishing love. That no matter what comes against them, they will stand strong together, in Christ. Marriages that are divorce proof, because divorce isn't an option. That whole mindset doesn't enter into the vocabulary of the couple, because they are committed until death parts them on this earth, to honoring each other, preferring the other above themself, to loving self-sacrificially, to submitting humbly, to nourishing and cherishing and building up their spouse, and always remembering how much God loved them - enough to send His ONLY son to die, in their place.
That's how we're supposed to love. Like Christ.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.Ephesians 5: 22-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."