Marriage is a universal phenomenon in every society. Marriage is a formal, legally recognized agreement between a man and a woman making them husband and wife, whether educated or not, the rich and the poor. The mode of entering into marriage differs from one culture to another, but the matter of harmony in marriage is a common issue that needs urgent and frequent attention. Many have limited the matter of marriage as a means of bearing children, yet others see it as a means of pleasure, to some, it as a hindrance to personal freedom. Others have the view that it as a “necessary evil” that one must cope with anyway.
Some also believe that marriage ought to be happiness, bring fulfillment to both parties. Others have abandoned their marriage home as it seems impossible for them. Several have packed it up and divorced. Some are opting for ‘singleness’ to avoid trouble.
What Is Marriage? This is a very broad topic, but at the moment, let us discuss Christian marriage.
Christian marriage is a heterosexual covenant between one man and woman that is one Adam and one Eve. Marriage is the first human institution blessed by God. It is ordained and sealed by God. Homosexual marriage is not God’s approval. Christian marriage is duly recognized or properly instituted when the following conditions are satisfied. (Genesis 2:18-25)
Why Marriage? We Marry Because:
- It is a command (Mat 19:5-6) – “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[a]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
- It is to make our joy complete (Gen 2:18) – The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
- It is for the continuity of our species. (Gen 1:22,28) – 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- It is to bring out our potential in marriage, as said it is instituted by God for men. He blessed it. And it was meant to develop each other’s personality and to enhance each other’s life especially if one goes into it with the right motive and right practices. People get into marriage with different expectations and hopes. Most of these satisfy their selfish ends and their ‘I’ or Ego consciousness.
The Following reasons answer some of the real purposes for marriage:
- It is meant to build our personality, body, soul, and spirit and to make us have a meaningful relationship with our spouse and with our God.
- Marriage is a way of life. We live it all the time, from the time we entered it till the end of our life. My schooling is an event. The one or two year’s period at school passed off quickly, but proper marriage is “till death do us apart”. The period has turbulence and its calm waves, but the gracious Lord gives us the grace to live it. We enter into this life with determination, and we live it with wisdom from above.
- Marriage is a refining process. In it, we get the opportunity to enhance some of our inner potential qualities.
- Marriage is to bring the needed intimacy that man and his wife need in their life. This intimacy reaches every level of their life – the spiritual, the material, the emotional, the physical, the financial and the social levels.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR LIFE PARTNER?
The subject of marriage is a very delicate issue and as such needs to be tackled tactfully and divinely. How to find a life partner or choosing the right life partner is a high stake decision. Finding the right partner is essential for a happy and healthy marriage. It may sound pleasant but can be very confusing when choosing your life partner. So, if you are trying to figure out how to pick your life partner, let’s look at 5 major steps to take before you say “I do”.
STEP ONE: SEEK GOD’S DIVINE DIRECTION
In every area of our lives as Christians, any step that one takes in life ought to be directed by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:1 states and I quote: “Those who are led by the Spirit of the Lord are the Children of God”. Concerning marriage, a true Christian seeks the face of the Lord for a divine direction. By this, I mean that a Christian should pray and ask for guidance in choosing a life partner. God does not make mistakes and He will never mislead us when it comes to Christian marriage.
The Scripture tells us in Psalm 37:4-5 and I quote: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this”. And verse 23 “The steps of the righteous are directed by the Lord and He delights in his ways”.
Then the above-mentioned scripture paints a clear picture that any believer who patiently and persistently waits on the Lord in prayer concerning the choosing of a Life–Partner, will definitely receive a divine direction from the Lord and God will lead him or her to get the right partner.
Let’s also read the following scriptures:
- Proverbs 16:1-3, 9, 20 – 16:1 “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. 3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”. 16:9 says, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps”. Verse 20 says, “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord”.
- Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.
- Mathew7:7 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.
THE FIVE P’s
Prayerful preparations prevent poor performance.
God is not bound by one system of working. He works in diverse ways. When it comes to divine directions concerning Christian marriage, God can speak to us through:
- Your Inner Man – 1Kings 17:9-11
- Fleece – Genesis 24:12-27
- Vision – Acts 10:1-8
- Trance – Acts 10:10-23
- Prophecy – 1 Corinthians 14:3-4
- Recommendation – Acts 14:26; 15:40
- Dreams – Genesis 37:5-11; Mat 2:13-15
STEP TWO: A PARTNER OF THE SAME FAITH
Whiles, we believe that having faith in something is extremely important for personal growth, also believe that it is important to share the same faith as your spouse as it is important for raising your kids to avoid any confusion that may arise on beliefs and doctrinal teachings so that the children will see the unity and the reflection in Christ.
It is advisable that the person you are courting to marry should be of the same faith as you, being it the church’s doctrinal difference when you’re are both Christians faith in God should be your very reason of living (Amos 3:3)
STEP THREE: MARRY A MATURE CHRISTIAN
Maturity does not just base on age or physical appearances; it involves a lot of things. As a man or woman looking for a partner, set your targets on the person who is seen as a mature Christian. This is very important as your salvation is concerned (1Timothy 3:6). Marriage, as it is designed, needs some extensive preparation to make it a success. Marriage is not for boys and girls, rather for a matured man and woman. In this article, I will share with you 5 useful tips of maturity measures that need to be in place to able to build a happy marriage
Before you go into marriage, you need to be spiritually grounded in faith. For you to be spiritually matured, you must be genuinely born again and filled with the Holy Ghost. You must know how the Lord speaks and how He leads you. Also, you must understand God’s principles on marriage as pertains to love, submission, leadership, and commitment.
To marry without spiritual maturity can be dangerous because of the enemy attack on marriage. Spiritual maturity is a process, of salvation and then praying to God through his word. To be spiritually set means having an understanding of what it takes to be in marriage.
This equally entails eradicating from your mind all forms of myth and evil philosophy and every barrier both past and present. Having done all these, you need to face the future with faith in yourself and God.
- Must be born again
- Must be filled with Holy Ghost
- Understand God’s principles on marriage as it pertains to leadership, love, parenting, submission, contentment, commitment, faithfulness, responsibilities, oneness, etc. (Genesis 2:24-25, Matt. 19:4-6)
- Must pass the test in (11 Pet 1:5-9 only)
- Quality prayer life
- Lover of the Bible
- Working for God
- Quality time with God.
This involves age and appearance. Marriage is not for infants; it is for mature people who are strong enough to face the challenges of life. Physical maturity entails being ready to accept responsibility for one’s actions without passing the fault to another person. You must be independent of parents and guardian. It will interest you to know that physical maturity does not come with age rather it comes with the acceptance of responsibility. The truth is that, when you are physically matured for marriage, there will be peace in your mind.
- The woman to be at least 21 years
- The man to be at least 25 years
For you to be emotionally matured, you must be able to control your emotions, pride, anger, malice, resentment, bitterness and strife. The ability to do this is what makes you emotionally matured.
Many have destroyed what they have labored to build due to wrong counsel form friends and parents. Seeking counsel is good but you need to be matured in handling its application. So to enter into marriage without emotional maturity is tantamount to the life of instability because marriage with external interference is a display of emotional immaturity. This is because you cannot run back to mummy and daddy as it used to be, after your marriage.
- Ability to handle anger, pride, etc.
- Control over fear, joy, love, jealously, etc.
- Display of boldness, faith, courage, tolerance, forbearance, meekness, etc.
- Ability to manage stress/crisis
- Doggedness in time of test and trial
Marriage is a friendly relationship that must be valued socially. Social maturity in marriage is the ability to make friends and keep them. Isolation of yourself from your mate will not bring gladness to your spouse. Marriage is a deeper friendship, you have to be friendly
Most singles are socially backward in terms of investing in themselves. You need to invest time and money into developing yourself socially. Read good books, interact with people. Join your church youth group. Belong to an association that you know is good and contribute your own quota. Once modesty and morality are observed social exposure is not a crime.
- Ability to make and keep friends.
- willingness to say “I am sorry” when wrong.
- Ability to commend, appreciate, and praise.
- Readiness to change and adjust where necessary
Financial maturity entails having a regular source of income, financial intelligence and investment mentality. There are many needs in the marriage that love cannot meet. Expenses like mortgage, children’s school fees, feeding expenses, tax, and clothing, it takes only money to do that.
One of the reasons many people are not married is because they lack the financial capability to do so. Many have become super singles. All you need is to balance some of the necessary things for your marriage because if you wait till when you get a car, furnish your apartment before your wedding, you might wait till eternity.
All you need is a moderate accommodation, a regular source of income and be able to take of the family need, you can latter pull resources together and move on to a more decent accommodation or comfort.
- There must be a willingness to work and provide for the family.
- There must be regular income
- There must be prudence
Above all, there is no perfect marriage but you can invest in it to make it work.
STEP FOUR: MARRY SOMEONE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character. You can rely on this person and trust what they say. This means that before you think of getting married, your partner must have a source of income. Your spouse must be an expert in doing something. It could be a paid job, personal business or trade that will bring income to cater to your basic needs such as; children’s school fees, utility bills, feeding expenses, tax, and clothing, it takes only money to do that.
STEP FIVE: MARRY SOMEONE WHO IS ATTRACTED TO YOU
God gave us physical senses and desires for our own good. The attraction is very important, and you should be physically attracted to someone you’re in a relationship with It is very important that you marry someone who is attracted to you other than that, the marriage will never work out. You will feel distant, you will not want to snuggle, you will have little compassion, you will reject your partner continuously making him or her miserable (this will help in the event of marriage and sex)
To wrap up, if you are wondering how to choose the right partner for marriage, Remember to employ the things discussed above in order to make a good and Godly decision.