Many Christians make the wrong mistake of carrying unnecessary and often destructive baggage into their marriages. They did not deal with these things before marrying, and ended up hurting their spouses and damaging their marriage relationships. This can be avoided!
Are you a single man or woman engaged to marry someone in the near future? Or are you a single person praying to God for the right one? Or perhaps, you're a newlywed husband or wife seeking help in some areas you think you haven't dealt with?
Let me help.
Here are a few pieces of emotional baggage every Christians needs to deal before getting married.
1) Past relationships
The first thing you need to deal with are the past relationships that you've had. If you didn't have any romantic and emotional relationship before marriage, then this won't be a problem for you, but for those who've had past relationships, this has to be dealt with.
Carrying memories of past relationships into the marriage will hurt the spouse, the wife most especially. Seriously, why marry when you still haven't moved on from those past relationships?
Ok, you might have moved on and have thrown away all that belonged to those other people in your past, but if you still have feelings for them, that won't be good. Whatever the feeling, just let it go. Be it anger, disappointment, or something far worse like a longing to see them or connect with them again, you need to let these go.
Cut those past relationships. God speaks strongly against such things:
"Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18-19)
"And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:30)
Remember, letting go has to be done, all the more if the past relationship was sinful.
2) Family issues
Now we talk about family issues. Some single men and women long to marry so they won't have to feel the problems they have at home, but end up carrying those problems into the marriage. Why is this?
It's a fact that our parents are the first role models we have, and our siblings are the first people we ever interact with and live with (unless we're separated from them). How we see our family will surely influence the way we will treat our own families in the future.
That said, you will need to let God heal you of your family hurts. If you had an abusive father or a negligent mother, you will need God's healing to make you whole. If God heals you and makes you whole, you will be able to treat your spouse and future family right.
On the other hand, there are those who are extremely dependent on their families, especially on their parents. If this is you, then you've got to learn to grow up and detach yourself from your parents.
Genesis 2:24 says of marriage, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." You have to learn to leave your home for the sake of your marriage - that means emotionally as well as physically.
3) External friendships
One common mistake that young couples make is that they marry their spouse but retain other relationships that pose a threat or some danger to the marriage. This is wrong and has to be dealt with.
Case in point: "best friends" from the opposite sex. No one can ever marry someone and expect to have another "best friend" of the opposite sex and not have problems with it.
Just like in point number 2 above, you will have to forsake close relationships for the sake of your marriage. And just like point number 1 up there, you will need to cut connections with the people that pose a danger to your marriage.