Preventive marriage counseling starts with considering whom to marry.
The counselor trained in transactional analysis would advise an individual to marry a mature,
logical, loving "adult."
A person in the "adult" mode a large part of the time would not be overly biased, critical,
or just mental like a person in the "parent" mode.
Likewise, such a person would not live life by fickle feelings like a person in the "child" mode.
A reality therapist would counsel an individual to marry someone with common life goals.
According to reality therapy, people tend to marry for three reasons.
Be cautious when there is a romantic aura that exists when two people meet.
This is the most unstable and changeable basis for marriage.
A second reason to marry is to attach oneself to someone considered a quality person.
Quality can be related to physical appearance, intellectual ability, or social standing.
The last and best reason for marriage can be termed depth, which leads
to a sharing of common life goals.
Whom Should a Christian Marry?
Christians should consider several major principles in deciding whom to marry.
Marry a growing Christian.
The New Testament warns against being "unequally yoked together"
with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The more mature of Christian one marries the less marital conflicts
can be expected later in the marriage.
Marry someone who treats others with respect.
Observing how person treats the parent of the opposite sex, for example gives
clues of future behavior as a mate.
Marry someone who is not overly critical.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye,
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see
clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5).
A person who is overly critical in general is certain to be critical of a mate as well.
Marry someone who has conquered sensual and materialistic drives.
1 Peter 2:11 says, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world,
to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."
Lust wars against the mind, emotions, and will, making us weak psychologically
and not as stable as we would be otherwise.
Another drive that needs to be conquered is a focus on material things.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: "No one can serve two masters,
either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted
to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money."
The Christians should marry someone who no longer has sensual
or material objectives as a central focus, but rather a focus on Christ.
Marry someone who agrees with you on biblical husband/wife roles within the marriage.