Megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes recently revealed the most important questions people should ask themselves before getting married if they hope to have a successful, God-glorifying marriage.
During a Friday segment on his new talk show, "The T.D. Jakes Show," the Potter's House founder charged that when it comes to looking for a spouse, people often focus on the things that don't matter and pay little attention to the things that do.
"Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the romance of it all that we don't understand the practicality of it all," he explained.
Jakes presented some examples of this behavior: "We're measuring, 'Is he tall enough that I can wear heels? Will he look good in the pictures?' It's crazy!"
According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Additionally, Census data from 2013 found that over 9 million Americans have been married three times or more, or roughly 5.3 percent of the total married population.
In light of this sobering revelation, Jakes, who has five children with his wife of 34 years, encourages those thinking about marriage to ask the right questions before engaging in such a serious commitment.
"Think about it: you don't get to choose your [siblings]...you don't get to choose your kids. But when it comes to your companion that you're gonna spend the rest of your life with, you get to shop," he says
"It's the only time you get to shop. You get to shop to choose person that will will walk through the entanglements of life with you. Can you count on them? Will they be there? Are they loyal? Are they committed? Are they focused? Will they fight for you? That's what you want - somebody who will fight for you."
The "T.D. Jakes Show" is showing in four cities during its test run, which ends September 11. The four cities include Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Dallas.
While he is a Bible-believing Christian, Jakes has said his show is not specifically faith-based, but will instead be open to people whatever their belief system or background.
"It is not a faith-based show," Jakes told 11Alive. "I have a vehicle through which I can express that. But I cannot deny that when I sit down at the table, all of my faith sits down with me. All of my fatherhood sits down with me. All of my ethnicity sits down with me. I can only give what I am."
The Potter's House church pastor added: "What I want the 'T.D. Jakes Show' to be is that, wherever you are, whatever your belief systems, whatever your background is, there's a place for you."