LINK UP WITH THE LOVER OF YOUR SOUL
A list or formula of things to do for a happy marriage is not going to help. You are best prepared for marriage by taking your eyes off marriage and putting them onto the lover of your soul.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Yield to Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour before yielding to any partner for without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).
He is the only one who can fix your heart so have a relationship with Him first and this will be a good firm foundation for you to choose a life partner. If your relationship with God is not right no human relationship will fill that emptiness.
Live on his word, think the word and speak the word and it will be a light unto your path guiding you in your choice of a life partner (Psa 119:115). Furthermore, while still single, see what you can do for the Kingdom (Matt 6:33). Do this and He will present the best to you.
PRAY, PRAY AND PRAY
Many have made mistakes in choosing a life partner and it ended in their downfall. Look at King David, Samson and Delilah, King Solomon, King Ahab and Jezebel. Even in this present day and age, there are scores of examples around us and we are surrounded by single parents living in bitter lives because they made the wrong choice.
Ask God for the wisdom to choose as the power of praying and fasting cannot be overestimated or belittled (James 5:16). The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, If you pray for direction, God will do exceedingly and abundantly more than you think or imagine (Eph 3:20).
The Bible says, who can find a virtuous woman? (Prov 31:10). This means it is hard to find a good wife (or even a Husband) and therefore requires prayer. Matt 11:28 says come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls, therefore do not just jump into a relationship or lean on your own counsel – ask God to lead you (Isa 45:2).
BE READY FOR COMMITMENT
Marriage is a serious matter and requires commitment, it is therefore not meant for infants or children. Marriage is for adults and psychologically, some of us have not grown up.
Choosing a life partner is a commitment to fulfill, satisfy, and serve the one you love. Real love does not enter into a relationship to just receive. Real love is about giving and anything other than this is not real love.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4- ).
Can you show this kind of love? Real love is not based on romance, candlelight dinners and holidays, it is based on respect, compromise, care and trust which are all encapsulated in the Holy Bible.
Are you ready to be committed this way or are you being motivated by infatuation, carnality, lust desire or greed? As Christians, it is the will of God that our marriage should be like the relationship between Christ and the Church. In practice, partners should out of respect for Christ, be loving, submissive and courteously reverent to one another ( Eph 5:21-33).
BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS2 COR 6:14
God created us and he sees and knows all. Let us be obedient to him by choosing our life partners from within the house of God. As a Christian, if you marry a Muslim/Pagan/Buddhist what will happen? This was the downfall of King Solomon and even Samson. They married unbelievers who made them stumble in their faith to God. This brought the anger of God on them.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)
Ensure that your intending partner loves God even more than they love you. In the course of time, the way he or she loves and serves Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. God warned the Israelites on their journey to stay clear of the other nations. It was for a good reason. Love of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
GET YOUR PARENTS INVOLVED
70% of marriages without parental authority fail. Once your parents approve of your intended partner you are a winner. (Luke 11:11).
Honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12) so that you may live long! They have been there and done it and they want the best for you.
It is a natural and spiritual law so never ever marry behind their back. Your parents may even be unbelievers but they still have parental authority over you. It is a spiritual law so do not fall foul of it.
SEEK WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
A failed relationship can ruin you emotionally, spiritually and even financially. In the UK when marriages fail you have to divide the spoil.
It is a good idea to read books about marriage. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Prov 4:7).
The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge(Hosea 4:6), learn about the opposite sex, read about how people have sustained their marriages and how to avoid divorce, no man is an island unto himself, by reading you can broaden your knowledge of this issue.
DO NOT RUSH
Have enough courtship as several issues have to be examined closely. It is not a race so do not rush to the altar, build a friendship, trust, and love during the courtship and examine each other AS IT BETTER TO WAIT LONG THAN TO MARRY WRONG.
The following issues have to be discussed extensively and examined closely during courtship: Religion, temperament, understanding each other’s differences, education, the role of your parents and family, sexuality.
The ways to resolve issues, including; finance, investments, communication, health, conflict resolution, drugs, delayed conception, polygamy, generational background issues, emotional matters, anger, praying, forgiveness, responsibility, etc.
DO YOU KNOW THIS PERSON
Are you comfortable with this person and can you communicate well with them? If the answer is no, then forget it as communication is key to any relationship and you cannot be guessing.
It is also very important to observe a person’s disposition – Is your intended partner moody, controlling, domineering, oppressive, cruel, money motivated or even violent?
Beware of toxic relationships that kill your spirit and personality. Marriage is not always about who you love, it is about who you can spend your life with. Can two walk together unless they agree? (Amos 3:3).
Furthermore, while you are courting, abstain from sex as lust and passion can cause your sense of judgment to be poor. The Bible says that the issues of life emanate from the heart. Fall in love with each other’s heart before loving each other’s body.
BE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNING
If you do not feel right about the person you are attempting to marry then do not proceed. Your spirit must be at peace within you regarding this, you are not paranoid.
Beware of dreams for the devil too can drop evil suggestions into your mind (Ecc 5:7). Beware of messages and test all spirits to know those that are true.
Prophets have been known to take advantage and give fake messages that can lead you into a relationship with them. Be very discerning, do not make them the go between in choosing your partner. Three is a crowd.
DO NOT MARRY FOR MONEY
Everyone is crazy about money nowadays but the bible reminds us it is the root of all evil. Money is good but you do not need a big house, car, or bank account to seek a life partner or to be one.
These things are ephemeral and no guarantee. The qualities you need to seek are honesty, commitment, selflessness and having Jesus Christ in the centre of your relationship.
The righteous choose their friends carefully (Prov 12: 25a). This is even more important when it comes to choosing a spouse that will be your best friend. I pray that you do not make a wrong choice.
By the special Grace of God, you will be a blessing to the life partner that you choose and your lives will have good meaning as you bring out the best in each other and jointly give glory to God.