Welcome to another interesting edition of this teaching series. I am sure you have benefitted a lot from the previous teaching. To conclude this series on A Partner for life, I shall be teaching on things to consider before you say “I do” and pitfalls to avoid, while preparing for marriage.
Once you begin a relationship with a brother or sister (which hopefully should culminate in marriage), there are certain aspects you should pay attention to, in order to build a successful marriage that will last a lifetime.
(a) Get to know each other well: You should know your likes, dislikes, temperaments, past, present and future. This can be done by adjusting to the other person and understanding who that person is, his/her make-up, what sets them off negatively, their dreams, aspirations, hopes, fears, etc.
Develop genuine friendship and graciousness towards each other. Be open and honest with each other (about who you are and your expectations) Amos 3:3. Share your views, opinions and idea about various issues.
(b) Get to know each other’s family: His/her parents, siblings, close and distant relations. Visit them as time permits. Communicate with them via mails, letters, telephone, etc., and generally establish a cordial relationship with them as an individual. Pay particular attention to how your partner relates with family members.
(c) Be spiritually fervent: Pray/ fast together. Study the Bible and other relevant Christian books, tapes, etc., on the subject of marriage and family together. Attend marriage seminars together.
(d) Discuss and agree on very important issues: Such as where to settle after marriage, place of worship, number of children, relationship with family members, finances, etc.
(e) The man must be working and have his own accommodation, before proceeding to marriage proper.
However, considering the way and manner in which many singles go about the choice of life partners, which leads at worst to marriages that do not last or at best to broken relationships, there are Pitfalls to Avoid in your search for a marriage partner. The following pitfalls (among several others), if avoided, will help you to make a wise choice for life.
This is a very common blunder among singles, especially ladies who feel they are getting too old to be desirable as marriage partners. This fear – real or imagined – moves them to make hasty choices, without considering the long-term outcome. How do you know if you are over-eager to get married?
- You feel intensely pre-occupied with wanting to get married.
- You get emotionally inconsistent, depending on the existence or otherwise of a relationship.
- There is a decline of interest in spiritual matters.
- You feel withdrawn from others (friends, family, colleagues, etc.)
- Excessive mindfulness of looks and appearance.
In Isaiah 28:16, the Bible says: He that believeth shall not make haste. In other words, haste is associated with unbelief.
Misinterpreting Closeness/ Friendliness:
That someone is being polite and friendly towards you, does not necessarily mean that they are interested in you for marriage. Never assume a relationship! Entering into a relationship leading to marriage, is something that both parties should do consciously. Don’t ever imply or postulate a relationship simply on the basis of proximity! Wisdom demands that you find out from the other party politely, the nature of your relationship, before concluding.
Rushing Into Marriage:
A wise man once said, and I agree that “The best of God cannot be rushed”. Rushing into marriage simply because you have found a Christian guy/ lady, is an error you will live to regret. You need to give your relationship some time, in order to prove the sincerity of the other person. The Bible says: For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep. (Psalm 64:6 NIS).
Sex is a beautiful gift from God that has its place only within the confines of marriage. Outside marriage, sex is not only a sin and violation of God’s law, but is also unnecessary! Sex is not just a physical thing involving only your body; it is a soul-tie involving the whole of you.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:16:What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. In other words, sleeping with someone involves giving away a part of yourself and forming covenants with that person! No wonder, many people find it difficult to connect and be truly intimate with their spouses after marriage, because they have given a part or even parts of themselves away (in cases of multiple partners).
In conclusion, make sure your spirit is at peace before you make a move. Don’t just ignore uneasiness or unexplained restless in your spirit, take your time and be sure. Pay attention to all the issues discussed this month, and you will indeed end up with a partner for life, thereby, avoiding all the aches and agony a lot of people put themselves through. I see you making a difference in your home in Jesus’ name.
The first important step to take is to accept Jesus into your life. He alone can make all the difference in the decisions you are required to make. If you will like to do this, please say this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You today as a sinner. I believe You died for my sins and rose on the third day. Forgive me of my sins. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today”.