- After yes, what should we do?
- Update counselors.
- Keep relationship open i.e. transparent. No isolation. Do not disconnect from the rest of your society simply because you are now in a relationship.
- Make mutual friends or merge circle of friends.
- Actively look for and engage in safe activities. e.g. visit friends together, take walks, movies (not indoors), avoid late night visits.
- Study materials on marriage together and discuss.
- Discuss your future marriage (not wedding first) and agree on key issues like number of children, where you want to settle, the focus of your family e.t.c.
- How many children do you want to have and why? In what order do you want the genders of children and why? If you don’t understand why your spouse wants whatever he/she wants, you will never come to an agreement.
- Don’t talk about sex, except to state that premarital sex is not an option. Leave that till as close to the wedding as possible because once you break the topic open, it becomes easier to fall into it. Learn about and discuss birth control as close to the wedding as possible. Leave books about sex, preferably, till after the wedding. You can make it one of the honeymoon activities.
Your period of courtship is for getting to know each other so that we don’t marry strangers. Premarital sex distracts from this objective and all we end up knowing is each other’s bodies. By the time we get married, we quickly find out that we need more in our marriages than sex and that is when it occurs to us that we don’t even know how to communicate such newly discovered needs with our spouses because rather than being life partners, we are nothing more than sexual partners. And it doesn’t take long to realize this because the time it takes to make this discovery can be anything from just one week to a few months post wedding.
- Break all the ice between in-laws before making wedding plans. It saves you a lot of stress. Become friends with siblings and then parents of your spouse. It’s easier for parents to release their children to someone who is not a stranger and it’s easier to get parental blessing when your spouse’s siblings speak well of you.
- What is your marriage going to contribute to society and the kingdom?
We focus on merging physically too much and the product of that merger is a child (i.e. a contribution to the human race). There are also soul children (i.e. contributions to society) and spiritual children (i.e. contributions to the kingdom of God) that every marriage can and should have.
- Your money, my money, our money. Separate purses represent insecurity (whether justifiable or not) and individual agendas instead of family focus. A common vision will naturally have a common provision (i.e. purse).
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
If your treasures are in two different purses, your hearts will not remain together for long.
Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
- Analysis of strengths and weaknesses.g. Who is the better spokesperson? Who is the better financial manager? Who is the better decorator? If one of you is stronger in a certain aspect, that person should handle it. If both of you are weak in an area, get help fast before marriage e.g. premarital sex, money, church, making calls e.t.c.
- How long should a relationship last? Most counselors say between 18 and 24 months. It gives you enough time to study and practice how to handle your spouse in various seasons and circumstances of his/her year at least twice. Most of us can pretend for about a year.
Don’t get married when you are still high on the love (that’s what Hollywood marriage is) else you will realize with time that you married romance and not love; the guy could be a seasoned player who knows how to weave words and the lady could be a well practiced seductress.
Don’t be in a hurry.
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Isa 28:16 … he that believeth shall not make haste.
Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
- The issue of long distance relationships.
It is very rare to find relationships and marriages that are not adversely affected by distance. So, it is wise to establish the relationship firmly before allowing distance to come between both of you. And you have to make concerted effort to cross that gap as often as necessary to keep things strong between both of you. Guys, pick up your phone and call her. Ladies, if he doesn’t call, you call him not just to harass him for not calling but rather to say you love him and miss him.
- Do not ignore warning signs. Love is thought to be blind though it is not. e.g. outbursts of anger, disrespect, possessive behaviors, remaining in close contact with an ex-lover, avoidance of spiritual things, avoidance of submitting relationships, and avoidance of meeting parents.
Prov 22:23 (Contemporary English Version) When you see trouble coming, don’t be stupid and walk right into it– be smart and hide.
Prov 23:29-35 paints the picture of a drunk person. If you’re being mistreated and you can’t see it or you ignore it, you simply high and drunk on “love”. Sometime soon, the stupor will clear off and all the pain you have ignored will pounce on you at the same time.
- Matters of Age. It’s safer to be within the same age bracket (i.e. maximum a decade apart) and for the man to be older due to our natural tendencies. Guys need respect, ladies tend to talk a lot. It’s highly likely that in a fit of anger, a lady who marries a younger guy might refer to him as immature or a small boy and from there things can get very nasty. While it is possible to make such a relationship work, safety is the operative word here.
Heb 12:13 (The Message) Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
- A common situation for Christians who truly love God is this, “It’s the will of God but I do not love him.” Please, recheck the will; God does not force things on people. If He could, He would have forced salvation on everyone.
Psalm 37:4 (Amplified) Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- There is a place of prayer and fasting, visions, dreams and prophecies. We need to talk to God to show us the person or bring us the person in prayer. However God has been speaking to you before this critical issue of choosing a spouse comes up in your life, He will stick with it. If God has never spoken to you in a vision before, don’t expect Him to do so now because he won’t. If He were to do so, you would doubt it at some point because the connection was unfamiliar to you.
What we have shared here are principles. Principles are just that. We are led by the Holy Spirit, not by principles.
See Part 2… http://wp.me/p6rlMY-b