Read first tool here
Read second tool here
Tool #3: Relationship
Relationship is crucial in every phase of our life (career, business, marriage, etc.) but marrying rightly is essential. In my 26 years of ministry, I have seen different types of marriages.
Choosing the Right Partner for Marriage
Genesis 2: 18 – 20 says:
And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam – to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam – called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam – gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam – there was not found an help meet for him.
Marriage is God’s idea. Choosing a Partner is one of the most critical decisions you will make in your life.
When I was growing up, I had a Pastor who will always tell me to ensure I marry right. One day, I told him I will divorce if I marry wrong. And He said Marriage is for better for worse.
Don’t get involved in relationships that will end in divorce. Marriage is a divine and sacred institution. God ordained it. So don’t toy with it.
It is not about your happiness. It is about the happiness of you, your partner and your children.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Life Partner
- You must wait till you are matured. Research has shown that people who marry in their teens are more likely to divorce because they were not mature enough. You need to be tolerant, patient, understanding and financially stable.
- Make sure that the person isn’t too much different from who you are. There must be similar values and a common ground between both of you. Your interests shouldn’t be too different.
The first place I saw my wife for the first time was in a church. She carried church on her head as if it was her Father’s company. She was a student in Lagos State University.
Friday evening while everyone were enjoying themselves and clubbing, she will go home to Badagry so she could attend vigil. Saturday morning, she will go out for evangelism. Saturday evening, choir rehearsal and Sunday morning, she will be in church as early as possible so she could take praise and worship. And this was her lifestyle for the four years she spent in school as an undergraduate.
So when I proposed that I wanted to marry her, It wasn’t a difficulty because we both prioritized the same things. We had the values and beliefs. I was also a church person like her.
Your Priority determines who you are prioritizing in your life.
- Choose somebody you trust. Trust is the backbone of marriage. If you can’t trust him/her, don’t get involved.
- Always consider cultural barrier. Ensure the cultural differences are something you can handle. Ensure it is not a culture that is against yours. For instance, the Yoruba People of West Africa prostate to greet their elders while the Igbo People stand to greet. So an Igbo boy who married from Yoruba land may be considered rude if he stands to greet his in-laws.
A lot of things will be different; Language, food, dressing, etc.
- Watch out for signs of future trouble. There are certain attitude a person possesses that makes it difficult to live with them. Example; someone who thinks that he/she is right.
Avoid someone who is not ready to discuss an issue but wants to apologize quickly. You can’t live in denial when there is problem.
- Consider the opinion of the following people: Your Parents, Pastor and Friends.
Your parents’ opinion matters most in your choice of life partner. Give them opportunity to help you criticize your partner. Even when your parents’ view is different from yours, you don’t have to be angry. Prayerfully find a way to make them understand; that is if you are sure the person is God’s choice for you.
Get Your Pastor Involved. Most young people think they are smarter than their pastors and as a result they don’t listen to the voice of reasoning and spiritual guidance concerning marriage.
- Choose a believer. Don’t be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever. Ensure he/she is committed to a local assembly as a worker, not as a bench warmer.
Spiritual compatibility is essential. If he is not a tither, while you are, there will be a problem after marriage. Oil and water don’t mix. Light and darkness cannot walk together.
- Don’t settle out of desperation. Everyone has his own time and season. Don’t walk or run on another person’s timing. Don’t get into relationship out of desperation.
I’m not encouraging sexual sin but if you were sexually active and you got pregnant as a result, it’s not enough for you to get married. And it’s not enough for you to go for abortion. We don’t support it.
- Look at your partner’s relationship with his/her parents and siblings. Look at how he/she relates with them. Also look at the way they relate with him or her. Also look at the relationship of the father and mother. Are they living together or separated and divorced? You need to put all of these into consideration.
- Courtship is important before marriage. This is a period where you get to know each other better. The duration shouldn’t be more than a year at most.
As a person in today’s society, these tools are essential for you to stand out as an individual in your career, marriage, business, etc.
It is also applicable in your day-to-day activities.
With God on your side, you will make a positive difference in the society.
To be continued…