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  • Writer's pictureTy Montgomery

Before We Say “I Do” - He Says

Welcome back to the Before We blog series. I’m glad everyone got to officially (or unofficially?) meet my wife in last week’s post. I can’t tell if that’s a hard launch or a soft launch but–surprise! She’s incredible and I am so excited to keep sharing what we are learning together, and more of our journey before the altar. This week is for the boys and I’m ready to lay out six things I believe we should be thinking about before we say, “I Do.”

From my perspective, when you’re on the way to marrying someone, you actually say, “I do” before ever getting to the altar. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. It’s a choice to be committed and Kingdom commitment is much different than worldly commitment. Kingdom commitment in marriage is a covenant–it’s designed to be unbreakable. Choosing to make a choice to enter into a covenant with someone isn’t something that should be broken, nor can it be undone easily without harsh consequences (I talk about this more in this post). So, before we ever say “I do,” as men, there are a few things that come to mind that are critical to think through. 

  1. And by that I mean, develop a prayer life. Begin to understand how to love the Lord and how to be loved by Him. We need to rest in the intimacy of the personhood of who Jesus is and what He’s actually done for us. What I understood about myself and my life drastically changed the moment I realized I didn’t love the Lord like I thought I did, nor had I accepted the fullness of His love. Before, I spent a lot of time trying to earn His love by my own power, strength, and understanding of what is right and wrong. Throughout the Gospels, we can see that the Pharisees couldn’t recognize that Jesus was the Messiah when He was right in front of their faces because they were too busy deciding what was right and what was wrong. They were relying on their own understanding and got caught up in earning what had been freely given to them. That used to be me, and is still a lot of us today: Pharisees in the mindset of our hearts.

You don’t have to be dressed in fancy robes or hold a title in the church to be tempted by this, but we can combat it with my next point…

They were relying on their own understanding and got caught up in earning what had been freely given to them.

  1. I remember one time in therapy when I was so frustrated. My therapist wanted me to find validation and love from Christ and not seek it from things of this world. I frustratingly responded, “I’m trying! God isn’t sitting on this couch next to me. I can’t see Him. He can’t pick up the phone and I can’t call. If I ask Him if he loves me, He’s not going to tell me to my face that He loves me!” Meaning, I understand how prayer can feel difficult. I’ve wrestled through it myself. But when we can really get it in our hearts that Jesus’ words are true and it’s not just ink on a paper, we can begin to understand His love. Now, I can read His words as if they are true and as if many of them were spoken to me. Prayer is a deep part of intimacy, and as men, we absolutely must learn intimacy from the greatest teacher on intimacy of all time. 

  1. You can’t be the lead and not know where you’re going. This doesn’t mean you have to have everything figured out, but there needs to be some sort of vision. You have to be going somewhere. It’s hard to commit to a wife, and what the Bible calls a “helpmate,” when that person doesn’t know how to help you because you don’t know where you want to go. Not every day will be perfect, but you need to consider what’s getting you out of bed, and what’s driving you. There will be bad days, days of discouragement, and even depression. Days of setbacks and struggle will come, but if there is a vision, there's direction for both of you no matter what struggles land in your lap. With vision, you’ve given the woman you committed to something to help you towards–there’s a goal you can both see clearly. 

If we aren’t trained in accountability to ourselves and God, it will be really easy to fall from accountability to the covenant of marriage...

  1. We must learn how to be accountable to God and how to be accountable to ourselves. If we aren’t trained in accountability to ourselves and God, it will be really easy to fall from accountability to the covenant of marriage, to the choice that we made, and to our wife and family. Accountability requires humility. It’s not glory-seeking or taking credit for all the things that are going right. Accountability is a certain heart posture that allows you to recognize when you’re doing things wrong and not run from it, but face it. It’s easy to run toward glory and everything that’s self-seeking. But accountability is running toward the Lord and accepting correction. It also allows you to correct yourself and to hear it when others correct you. As your helpmate, your wife will correct you and should correct you at times. 

  1. Who has God called you to be? Being a husband is a large responsibility that’s not to be taken lightly. We must know who we are independent of others so that we can live a life of integrity and not crumble under the responsibility of becoming a husband. 

Ephesians 4:14 says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…” Part of mature faith is anchoring yourself in who God is and who He has called you to be so that the world doesn’t blow you one way and the other. Sometimes this can happen without our notice– to the point that one day our wives don’t know who they are married to. Our rootedness is essential to be the husbands we desire to be.

  1. I think this speaks for itself, but if I had to expand, I believe submission should be in the definition of a man. Especially a Kingdom Man. I say that because we are to be submitted to Christ. We can’t go around saying that wives should be submitted to husbands in the way that the church should be submitted to Christ if we don’t even understand submission ourselves. We are the church. We are part of the church that is to be submitted to Christ and if the Word says our wives are to submit to husbands in the same way that the Church does to Christ, then our wives are simply following our example. How are we submitting to Christ? The Word says if you love me then you’ll obey me. It doesn’t say if you obey me, then you’ll love me. Are we submitted to Christ in the form of love and the form of respect? Can Christ tell you what to do? What to wear, what to eat, what to sleep, where to go, when to go to bed, what to do in the morning, what job to take or not take? Or do you as a man decide what to do with your life and what you think is best? No, no, no. I think men should be the example for submission by how we are submitted to Christ.

These six things are a good start (definitely not everything) for you to begin considering before you say “I do.” An “I do” posture begins before the altar at the moment that you decide to commit to someone. And a permanent, resolved, “I do” to Christ is the starting point for any “I do” that comes after.

Live love,


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