For a successful marriage, God encourages us to avoid emotionally unhealthy people at all costs, Pastor Rick Warren says.
Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, one of the largest evangelical churches in the United States, wrote in his May 20 devotional “Emotional Health Creates Relational Wealth” that there are several guidelines given to believers by God to ensure that His people will not wed an emotionally unhealthy person.
It is important to avoid such people because “study after study has shown that 80 percent of all separations and divorce happen because one or both of the partners are emotionally unhealthy,” Warren explains.
This is not to say that any of us are perfect, the pastor clarifies, but some of us are more broken than others.
“Everybody’s broken, but some people are a lot more broken than others. And you need to avoid them no matter how good-looking, rich, or nice they are. You have to figure out the emotional health of your potential partner before you enter into a long-term relationship,” Warren explains.
There are several things to avoid when seeking out a life partner, including people who are too selfish, who have uncontrollable anger, who are harboring bitterness, who are stuck in addiction, or who are greedy.
Warren provides scriptural evidence that proves the dangerous nature of these types of people, as seen in Proverbs 28:25, which says: “Selfishness only causes trouble.”
This verse is especially pertinent to marriage, Warren explains, because selfishness is the number one cause of conflict in matrimony.
As stated in Hebrews 12:15, it is also important to avoid those who might harbor bitterness in their life.
“Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison,” the verse reads.