Living at ground zero for the three major automakers periodically provides glimpses of car prototypes. For those outside the Motor City, the camouflage attempts to keep the design of a future-model-year-car secret from the competitors. These potential showroom occupants have left the drawing board and are being tested in actual road conditions. The intention is for major and minor issues to surface and be corrected before the auto’s general distribution to the public.
Similarly, many couples believe that testing the relationship in real conditions before matrimony will confirm or deny their compatibility–thus, protecting the couple from a messy divorce. Seems sensible, but is this true? Not entirely.
First, people aren’t real during the dating period. You may get a glimpse into the idiosyncrasies your future mate has, but not much more. We work hard to be our best until the knot is tied. Living together doesn’t change that. Often, at least one of the parties is interested in marriage. Consequently, they will keep the, I’m a loving- forgiving- caring-flexible-serving-person illusion up as long as possible. This continues until the ring appears or conditions indicate no ring is coming.
Second, though unspoken, the “if” principle is engaged. If you meet my needs, if you meet my standards, if you meet my desires, we will stay together. Basically, perfection is the benchmark for moving forward. In contrast, with marriage true success comes when two admittedly imperfect people honor their vow to adjust and accept each other’s foibles and grow stronger individually and as a couple over time.
Regardless of what we may have heard, women flourish in the security of a God-honoring marriage. Satisfied women make great spouses. Fulfilled wives come from men who “… remember, this means that the husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her.”1 No trial period is necessary with this kind of God-directed compatibility.
Next “advantage,” It’s easier to part ways without the marriage certificate
1Ephesians 5:25, J.B. Phillips New Testament