In a nut shell, the importance of having a relationship with Christ before entering into a relationship with a man is so one realizes that it is Christ that completes them -not a man or vice versa.
A husband is a second companion to share this journey of becoming complete in Christ because Christ is your first and foremost companion and as a trio you take on the challenge of teaching your children to do the same.
How I have experienced it in my life:
The Lord created me and knows me intimately, my thoughts, desires, needs and wants. He loves me with a pure love, with a selfless love. He wants to be intimately present throughout my daily routines to guide and support me in my decisions and sorrows and to rejoice in my joys. This intimacy must be realized and developed in the inmost recesses of the soul through time and prayer. I realized this at the age of seventeen after my first silent retreat. I had often allowed my happiness to be determined by people and things around me but for a moment I was raised from this slavery to a new freedom in the love of Christ.
I experienced an indescribable peace deep within me. As in any relationship it has to be nurtured in order to grow with conversation and presence. As it grew I found how fragile I was as a human and my need for Christ and yet how joyful it was to be that way. I knew I was loved, wanted and cherished in a very intimate, pure way by the most patient Being in the world! This was something I knew no person or thing could offer or fulfill.
I had found true freedom.
Soon all my decisions where made after consultation with my very intimate Friend. My sorrows became more meaningful. I knew it was for a reason and the Lord wanted me to grow. Even if I didn’t understand it during -sometimes afterwards, sometimes years afterwards, I would then realize its value. I was quicker at learning from my mistakes and apologizing became easier. Discerning what the Lord wanted me to do daily became easy! I felt very connected with Christ and if I wavered I consulted my spiritual director who would make me path clearer. If I went on a date with a young man I knew almost immediately if it was meant to continue.
Then the Lord brought John into my life. Here I was faced with a new challenge: I was spiritually attracted to John but also physically attracted. I became overwhelmed by the strong emotions I was feeling and had never encountered them at such intensity. I had a tendency to fall back into my old habits of happiness being dependant upon people -John and family in this case. Realizing this I clung to Christ and spent more time in silence and prayer to regain that interior peace.
Then things began to flow as I had often experienced in past situations in my life. As soon as I surrendered, Christ took the lead. I listened to His promptings and acted accordingly. I was able to date John and maintain my freedom to discern and choose to marry him or to walk away and continue with life. I knew I wasn’t alone, I knew I was intimately loved. When I chose to marry John it was with a blind trust in the Lord but also with complete interior peace.
There was no way for me to know what I would encounter but because of my past relationship with Christ, I knew He would be with me every step of the way. In this way my married life also flows. I am a better wife and mother because of my relationship with Christ. There are numerous situations in married life that require total surrender to Christ and He always provides. The daily challenge is to not get wrapped up in busyness and to take time for personal prayer so I can hear His promptings.