Billy Graham says God's highest goal for relationships is still marriage

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With a lot of marriages ending up in divorce, evangelist Billy Graham cannot blame couples who are nervous about taking their relationship to the next level by tying the knot.

"I'm thankful you haven't rushed into marriage, and you want to make your marriage last. Far too many people, I'm afraid, enter marriage thoughtlessly or assuming that if it doesn't work out they can always end it," he writes for The Kansas City Star.

Despite people's hesitations about marriage, Graham hopes couples will still pursue it because it is a gift from God. The evangelist explains that God's perfect plan is for a husband and wife to be committed to each other throughout their lives.

"It is still God's highest goal for us, and it should be yours as well. When a man and woman come together in marriage, Jesus said, 'They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate' (Matthew 19:6)," he writes.

Graham says it's sad every time a relationship gets infected by sin.

For those who are planning to get married, Graham hopes they understand what they're getting into.

"How can you have a strong marriage? First, see it as a solemn vow of commitment — a commitment not only to each other, but also to God," he says. "In other words, realise that God has brought you together, and just as He was with you in the past, so He will be with you in the future. If you have never done so, commit your lives to Jesus Christ, and then ask Him to be the centre of your marriage."

With God in the centre, Graham says He will enable couples to love and help each other even when things get difficult. The evangelist also stresses that the opposite of love is selfishness, and selfishness is the enemy of every relationship.

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