Next is a story from Robert B. Cialdini’s book Influence: science and practice.
A woman named Sarah, who lives in Robert B. Cialdini’s neighborhood, started living with her boyfriend Tim after his boyfriend lost his job. It was not a good situation for Sarah. Sarah wanted her boyfriend to quit drinking and marry her to live faithfully.
But her boyfriend had no intention of doing that at all. For some time, each other had a hard time due to disagreement. Sarah decided to break up with her boyfriend after thinking about it. Her boyfriend left home.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Sarah started dating her ex-boyfriend. They were engaged and made a wedding plan. The two set a date for their wedding and even made wedding invitations.
At that time, Tim contacted Sarah again. He persistently asked Sarah to see him again. The man said he would quit drinking and marry Sarah. Sarah heard him and canceled the marriage and started living with Tim again.
But when Sarah started living with him again, the man said he had no intention of quitting drinking. A month later, he postponed the marriage he had promised.
The man became a drunk again. He didn’t even keep his promise to marry Sarah. Nevertheless, Sarah doesn’t break up with a man, and they live together. Can you understand Sarah’s choice and behavior?
Cialdini defines Sarah’s behavior as the Consistency Principle. The promise, which was the basis for the woman’s choice of a man again, was not kept.
The man did not keep his promise to be faithful without drinking and to marry her. But women are living without breaking up with men.
The law of consistency is a human psychological state in which a person tries to maintain their choices and decisions. Sarah wants to keep her choice of men. If she breaks up with a man, she proves her will is wrong. It’s a shame for her.
This is what the law of coherence tells you. It is that humans are never rational. At the proper age of marriage, the man and woman of Christ want to meet a spouse who fits God’s will.
What kind of person is your spouse that God wants?
Then I will ask you.
What kind of person is your spouse that God wants?
Also, who is your spouse according to God’s will? How can I meet a spouse who fits God’s will? Aren’t you curious about it? From now on, you may have an antipathy to what I say to you. But I was hoping you could listen to what I said. Because it will be a good guideline for you.
Let’s recall Sarah’s story again. Of course, Sarah is not a Christian. Therefore, the cohabitation she chose is not a biblical decision.
But there is something to learn from Sarah’s choice. Because you, a Christian, can make the same choice as Sarah.
You need to know yourself and humans to meet a good spouse.
It can’t be an exception even if you attend church for a long time and pray a lot. Anyone can fall into a trap that Sarah is missing. Many factors, such as your growth background and psychological state, affect your choice.
They affect you, and the result can be good or bad. You will pray a lot to meet your biblical spouse. But there’s something you should be careful about here.
It would help if you didn’t fall into prayers. It may sound hazardous, but we must not just pray. Review all the factors that affect your choice.
Don’t just read the Bible. You must not read the Bible, but you must not read only the Bible. Read psychology books, humanities, or books in various fields. Understand various aspects of human beings through such knowledge.
Think about your growth process. Who influenced you the most? Who else do you hate the most? Who is the person you couldn’t forgive?
Aren’t your parents who you hate and can’t forgive? Then you will know that the person you love resembles your parents.
Do you hate your father? You can see your father’s figure in the men you’ve met. Do you hate your mother? You can see your mother’s figure from the women you have met.
Can’t you break the relationship that you have to break up? Then you will have an unhappy marriage like Sarah.
God doesn’t test you
If you met and married a man like Tim, like Sarah, you will resent God forever. But God doesn’t test you.
You chose your spouse according to the law of consistency, not God’s will. But you resent God. You will say.
I prayed to God, but why did God give me such a spouse?
Yes! You prayed to God. But you didn’t use the Reason God gave you. This is what most Christians make mistakes about. They are mistaking the meaning of faithfulness.
The word of God activates the function of Reason. So it helps Christians make the right choices and actions.
Do you want to meet the right Christian spouse? Then use Reason while praying. Read books in various fields, find experts, and consult with them. Think about what factors affect you. That’s how to meet the right spouse for you.
Marriage is based on an unconditional covenant
Theologian Paul Stevens says marriage is based on an unconditional covenant to belong to each other for the rest of their lives. Covenant is a promise. A promise is made by a person who can keep it. Marriage is the same.
To keep the marriage covenant, being a person to marry is more important than marriage, he says. We can learn something important from this fact.
Marriage is not a goal but a process
For young people, marriage is not a goal. Marriage is a process. Marriage is an essential gateway to growing up as a Christian, and if you pray for marriage, the first thing to do is pray that you can keep your marriage covenant ahead of it.
Marriage is similar to building a house. Even if you have walls and columns and wiring and plumbing and water and heating systems, you can’t make a house unless you have the foundation.
Likewise, even if you’re done with all the preparations to get married, if you can’t keep your marriage covenant, that marriage doesn’t last long and falls apart. In other words, the marriage of a Christian is made of covenants.
This is what Professor Paul Stevens said about his marriage. As a solemn lifelong covenant partner before God, a man and a woman agree to belong to Each other until the end of their lives on this land.
Sometimes marriage turns into a prison.
However, the covenant is not redemption. That kind of marriage turns a family into a prison.
So Professor Paul Stevens says the covenant is a resilient link between the two. The covenant between couples provides not lockup but the only basis and hope for love, sexual satisfaction, personal maturity, and spiritual friendship that we want to get from marriage.
There is an essential part of the marriage agreement. A marriage covenant is not a promise that we keep while loving each other. The marriage covenant is a promise that we keep while we are alive.
To do that, we need to be faithful to each other. The other party must acknowledge that obligation. We have to make it public that two people are responsible for that. There should be a mature personal relationship between the two and a commitment to the promise based on such a promise.
Aren’t you married yet? Keep this spirit of the covenant in mind and keep it. Are you already married?
Then think about keeping the nature of this marriage covenant. Many people believe they are married but are not.
Restoring the covenant, the core of biblical marriage
Restoring the covenant, the core of biblical marriage, is an urgent task of Christian marriage.
When two men and women get married and become partners in the covenant, God is with them. Finally, I would like to emphasize this once again.
The purpose of the covenant is to belong to each other, bless each other, and be blessed. Restoring the meaning of the covenant is an essential task for our society in this era. This is the center of the Bible message.