You are most welcome to another time in God’s presence. We understand that marriage is a relationship whereby two persons pledge themselves to each other to be husband and wife, which will be legally binding to them. However, it can also be seen as a merger of two individuals into Holy Matrimony, this bond is to be kept until death do them part. According to Angela Abraham, marriage isn’t a ring worn or a paper signed; it is not something endured but savoured. It is the union of two hearts beating as one, each that would sacrifice for other’s happiness and wellbeing. Marriage is something so beautiful that in that natural world, it would be an opening rose, always with radiant petals left to unfurl to warm sun. Perhaps that is why we give roses to those we love and often have them at our sacred unions. Marriage is the blessing we give to one another, an eternal bond of soul.
Marital bliss is the desire of every distinguished single who intends to marry, but every great event is a product of great preparation. Marriage is a lifetime affair, on this note it should not be taken with laxity, but with adequate preparation. There is a popular saying that when you fail to prepare, you will prepare to fail. According to Erin Smalley, before a couple plan for a wedding, they should plan for their marriage. So, a great preparation is required so as to enjoy a great marriage. The Bible records in 2 Chronicles 27:6, So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. The secret of Jotham’s might is traceable to his level of preparation. Many singles prepare for wedding without preparing for marriage. This is dangerous! Understand that wedding is different from marriage; one precedes the other but both require adequate preparation to avoid disappointment, shame and disgrace in future.
The starting point of adequate preparation for a great marriage is actually during the single years, before you ever get to know, meet or choose your marriage partner. It begins with self-discovery. You need to discover yourself before you discover your spouse. Where are you headed for in life? What is your vision, goal, dream and destination? A proper understanding of this is required because it will determine how and who you choose. The following are things to note before you choose a marriage partner:
Be the Best You Can Be.
Deliberately make investment into your life in all areas. Spiritually, establish a strong spiritual relationship with God through quality Word study and prayer. This will no doubt enhance your spiritual stamina, which will be an advantage to you in building a strong marriage in future. Mentally, develop and be the best you can in all life’s endeavour.
Learn all You Can about Marriage.
Remember the popular saying, ‘knowledge is power’. And the Bible says, …a man of knowledge increaseth strength (Proverbs 24:5). Surprisingly, there are married people who have never undertaken any personal study on the subject of marriage, so they grope in the dark, from one form of crisis to another. Find and read Christian books on this life-time journey called marriage, which you are about embarking on. The main difference between a marriage that is working and one that is not, is knowledge. Most importantly, study the Bible which is the most credible text on the subject of marriage, you should also study materials like books, magazines, and tapes of people with proven testimonies on the subject of marriage.
Make Time to Pray and Fast for Your Marriage and Spouse to Be.
Prayer cannot be overemphasised, believe God for guidance in the correct choice of the right marriage partner when it is time. When you commit your ways unto God in prayer, He will surely direct your paths (Psalm 37:4). Remember also that the Bible says if you ask, you will receive because everyone that asks receives (Matthew 7:7-9), so it is wisdom to ask God in prayer in advance, with an open heart, for His choice of marriage partner. Personally, ever before I was ready for marriage, God enable me spend enough time in prayer asking for guidance, choice and perfect will for my life in this regard. In the same vein, for all my children, I spend quality time in prayer, asking God to manifest His perfect will in their lives in this area as well. And hallelujah, it is working and producing evidence! It will work in your life too! Don’t wait until you are ready for a marriage partner, pray in advance, get yourself set and be adequately prepared.
Get Busy with Kingdom Service.
Getting busy serving the interest of the Kingdom of God is adding value both to your life and those of the people around you. Those who seek the Lord are not permitted to lack any good thing – including your covenant marriage partner (Psalm 34:10). Build yourself up sufficiently enough to be able to build a successful individual, whole and distinct! That way, you would be laying a solid foundation for a strong marriage in future.
THE PROCESS OF CHOOSING A LIFE PARTNER
This is the second segment. How you choose a marriage partner is usually reflective of your level of preparedness. In exercising your freedom of choice, ensure that you honour the Lord within the guidelines of His Word. It is important for you to understand that this is a very crucial process. The qualities you look out for while choosing a marriage partner are a clear indication of your preparedness. Pay more attention to spiritual matters, which endure rather than just mere feelings or the physical which are subject to change. You may ask what qualities you should look out for in choosing a marriage partner, the following principles will be helpful:
When choosing your marriage partner, he or she must be born again and also a practicing Christian because the Bible says, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with Idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). Knowing and fulfilling the will of God is not as complicated as we think; if you truly love Him, then you will choose someone that has and shows evidence of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), you won’t choose a ‘spiritual stranger’.
The issues with emotions cannot be undermined, you have to be emotionally compatible to be able to enjoy and fulfil purpose in marriage. The following questions should be asked:
- Does he/she have self-control
- Is he/she mature enough to handle a family without the influence of his/her family and friends
- Is he/she flexible and has the ability to adapt to change
- Does he/she have respect for your perspectives
- Does he/she have a balance and healthy self-image and esteem.
The Bible says as a man thinketh so is he. How does he/she think? Can you bow to each other’s method of reasoning? What are his/her values, interest, educational background goals, and do you share similarities in these things. This should not be overemphasized, but be taken into serious consideration when choosing a marriage partner.
Attractiveness is one of the vital criteria you should not overlook when making your choice of whom to marry, you have to appreciate the physique of whom you want to marry. Marry someone you can be publicly proud to show your family and friends, also pay attention to details such as blood group and genotype.
Research has shown that majority of the marital challenges today is associated with finances, is he/she financially responsible to cater for a family, is he in debts or prone to one because of lifestyles? This aspect should not be overlooked. Please note that the issue with finance cannot be swept under the carpet because money is a vital tool for a sustainable and blissful home, family bills will be paid and the children that will be procreated will be taken care of.
If you take time to consider these issues in your choice process, it is a great sign of solid preparation for a great tomorrow, however your preparation will not be complete if you have not invited the originator of marriage into your life, because He alone can make your marriage foundation to be solid and last forever. On this note, if you are yet to accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour, now is the opportunity for you to do so, if you have made this decision say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for delivering me from sin, pride, arrogance and self-pity and all the lies of satan to serve the living God and thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom, in Jesus name! Amen.
Congratulations! Now you have been empowered with grace for a hitch-free and successful marriage only Jesus guarantees; therefore, every spell, curse or enchantment surrounding unsuccessful marriages around you is destroyed, in Jesus name! Call or write to share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org, 07026385437 OR 08141320204.
More so, to be fully acquainted with what it takes to be humble without destroying your self-worth, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Single With A Difference, Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work and Building a successful family.