Marriage is a crucial matter in Christian living. Your marital life cannot be separated from your Christian life. When someone missed it marital wise, it will affect every aspect of his life. Marriage is a living institution, it has no graduation day. You are either in it for life or you become a dropped-out. That is why whoever got married is given the certificate on the matriculation day because you are to keep learning as long as both of you are alive. Marriage is also a journey, and in that journey, you must have a partner, a companion that is: someone you will move with, someone who keeps your company in the life’s journey.
Meanwhile, the personality of your life’s partner has an effect on the atmosphere of your life’s journey. That is why Amos 3:3 says: “two cannot work together except they agree”. There is nothing more frustrating than embarking on a journey with an opposition, someone who doesn’t see what you see, someone who doesn’t care how you feel, and someone who doesn’t believe what you believe. Because in a journey where there is disagreement, the movement will either be stopped or slowed down.
So, before you embark on the marital journey you should sit and ask yourself who am I walking with? Because this determines how far you will go in life. Don’t forget life is a matter of choice and whatever choice you make, has an effect on your life and destiny. There are three major choices every man makes in life among other choices.
The Choice of Whom to Serve
Man is a free moral agent, he has the power to choose whom to serve either God or Devil. God has the power but he will not force you to serve him. The reason is that he has given you the power of choice. So whoever you are serving now is your choice. God can only appear to you in a convincing way to influence your decision but he will not force any decision on you, your choice is your power. That is why Joshua told the Israelites to choose whom to serve In Joshua 24:15.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, Moses told the Israelites that life and death have been set before them. He, therefore, encouraged them to choose life so that they may live and their children, which shows that your choice affects others around you but the truth is that you are responsible for your choice.
The Choice of What to Do
Whatever you are doing with your life is your choice. No one is living by accident. Life is intentional. What people called luck is an opportunity with preparation. When opportunity meets with preparation, it ends as in what people called good luck, but when it contradicts each other, it ends in what people called bad luck. You will never get the very best of life until you are aware that your life is in your hand and you are responsible for what you do with it.
The Choice of Whom to Marry
This choice has made or mar many destinies. It has raised or break more lives, the reason is that whom you walk with determines how far you will go in life. Don’t forget there are other major choices you are making in life but these three needs special attention.
So in choice-making, especially the choice of who to marry, there are things you need to put into consideration. You must know who you are and know God’s purpose for your life, this will help you to know whom to choose as a partner in life’s journey because there are people you must not go with if you want to go far.
This brings us to identifying people you must not marry as a Christian.
Don’t Marry an Unbeliever
Marriage is a journey that is based on agreement. So you determined whom you move with. The first consideration in your choice of marriage is that, is he a regenerated child of God? 2 Corinthians 6:14 says that we should not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers because the light should not have communication with darkness.
I have heard people saying that they will marry an unbeliever so that it will be easier for them to minister salvation to them but the truth remains that marriage is not a yardstick to do that because if you are unequally yoked with an unbeliever, it will affect your Christian journey. Some are also of the opinion that when there is love religion does not matter. But the truth remains that it is dangerous to fall in love with someone who does not fall in love with your God. Christianity is not about what you feel, it is about what God says.
Don’t Marry Someone You Don’t Know
Another problem with marriage especially in this generation is the issue of matchmaking, which led some people to go to the altar with a total stranger. It is true that you will keep knowing yourselves till death but you must get some basic knowledge about the person you want to marry. What does he do for a living?
You must know his background and some elements of his family history. You must know something about his past or where he works. You must know his/her temperament. Know the denomination he/she belongs to, know the people he walks with, and what are his beliefs, All these have effects on who he is and it will affect how he relates with you.
Don’t Marry Someone You Don’t Trust or Who Don’t Trust You
Trust is a serious issue as far as marriage is concerned. There is no agreement without trust, no love without trust, no understanding without trust. Whenever there is a lack of trust, things don’t work well. So if you want to have a fulfilled marriage don’t go into it without trust. Make sure the person is trustworthy and also that he/she can trust you. The trust must be reciprocal
Don’t Marry Someone You Don’t Love or Who Doesn’t Love You
Love is another primary issue in marriage, although what some people call love today is more of a fantasy than reality. Most marriages today are products of lust, not love, it is more of infatuations that cannot stand the realities of life. The biblical concept of love is sacrificial. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son’ John 3:16, God shows that love is proved in giving.
Paul in Ephesians 5:25 shows Jesus’ example of love that he gave himself. In 1st Corinthians 13, Paul also gave us the characteristics of love which include patience, kindness, humility, selflessness, meekness, forgiveness, trust, faith, perseverance, etc. And if all these are in your relationship, it will make things better but if you lack them, it will end in catastrophe. So love is crucial in marriage and must be reciprocal
Don’t Marry Someone Who Doesn’t Respect You or You Can’t Respect
Respect is another issue in marriage. Respect is an act of recognizing the personality of your partner and appreciate his/her uniqueness, appreciate his/her own opinion, and give him or her the deserved honour. There is no how you can have a successful marriage with someone who doesn’t honour you or someone you don’t honour. Don’t marry out of pity, don’t marry someone you can’t be proud of or who is not proud of you, and don’t marry someone you can’t listen to or who will not listen to you.
Don’t Marry Someone with Whom You are not Compatible
Compatibility is the key to a life-long partnership. According to Susan Peace Gadoua, compatibility is more important in marriage than love. Most of the crises in marriage today are products of incompatibility between the two personalities. When you are compatible, you will show the same core values, when you are compatible you will endure each other’s weakness. Compatibility makes you disagree to agree.
When you are compatible, you will feel safe to share your good and bad news with each other.When you are compatible, both of you will be ready to overlap your individual interest in what brings you together. When you are compatible, you both take responsibility and apologize to each other. When you are compatible you will be committed to growing together. When you are compatible you will have similar views on sensitive issues of life and spirituality.
Don’t Marry Someone Who is not Mature
Marriage is not for babies or children, it is for mature adults. Marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman, not a boy and a girl. So maturity is of importance as far as marriage is concerned. Before you choose someone as your partner in marriage, you must see that he/she is physically matured, emotionally matured, psychologically matured, financially matured, and spiritually matured.
Don’t go into marriage with someone who still waits for his/her parent to do everything for him/her. Marriage will expose you to many things. You must be matured enough to handle them,
If you want a fulfilled marital life, you must be sensitive to divine leading in your choice making, be careful of whom you choose as a partner because it can either lead to a fulfilled or frustrated marriage.