Part of the vows exchanged by husband and wife on the alter during wedding ceremony says "To have and to hold....till death do us apart."
However, these days it appears death is not the force that puts a marriage apart. Money, infidelity, childlessness,in-laws and a hot of other factors are potent forces that can year a home to shreds.

It is often said that if you buy a new Electronic gadget you should take time to go through the manufacturer's manual before you begin to operate it. Failure to do so could spoil the gadget.

On your own part,this could turn out to be a costly error, depending on what you have invested in the gadget. Often,there are frictions and untold miseries in the home while our manual for marriage,the Bible is very clear and unequivocal on such issues. Neglect of the word and disregard for God's order in the home could only bring unpleasant results.

Unfortunately this is the experience of many people, including the children of God. However,we would not have ignorant concerning God's mind on marriage. This is why tonight seminar is very important for the singles and the married.

A marriage partner is an individual with whom one would love the rest of one's life. You would have to cope with each others strengths and weakness till death do you apart. It is a life time  choice that must not be made ordinarily,anyhow or unconsciously. It should be approached with careful consideration, thorough planning and prevailing prayers. Above all, a definite assurance of God's leading must be established in ones choice.

    SOME FACTS ABOUT CHOICE.
Choice is the basic foundation on which any marriage is built,wrong choice in marriage could be likened to a house built on a sandy foundation, while right choice is like a house built on a solid rock.

The act of choosing a life partner must not be done hastily or hurry. Choice should be devoid of all sentiments, lust, pity or selfish motives.

REQUIREMENTS
A successful marriage does not begin with the wedding ceremony, it's foundation is laid much earlier with careful preparation of one's character and the correct matching of a man and a woman that God has ordained together. The following requirements are basic to knowing God's choice for you in marriage.

A. PHYSICAL MATURITY: No age is mentioned in the Bible as the ideal marriageable age. However,I will recommend the followings,base on counseling experience: 
Brothers should be 25years and above.
Sisters should be above 21years of age.
This is because females usually mature earlier than males. Moreover teenage motherhood results in lots of complications during pregnancy,labour, delivery and in the process of caring for the newborn. For example,there is underdevelopment of the pelvic bones,with consequence complications like cephalo pelvic disproportion, prolonged labour, still birth,foot drops and ceaserian sections. Please note that age is not synonymous with maturity.

B. SPIRITUAL MATURITY: 
1. One must be born again{1 John 1:9}
2. Holiness and purity must be one's way of life{HEB 12:14}
3. One should not be a baby Christian because babies are dull of hearing and unskilful while adults are capable of receiving instructions and the power of discrimination.i e you should have grown enough to be conversant with God's voice.
4. One must be active and useful in the Lord's vineyard {John 9:4}
5. One must be conversant with or should have been recognising,God's leading in other areas of one's life(PS 25:9)

C. EMOTIONAL MATURITY
1. Marriage is not for boys and girls {Matt 19:5}
2. One must be emotionally independent.
3. One must be be able to guide,lead, comfort and help.
4. One should be to manage successes and failures in life.
5. One should be capable of making independent decisions of life.

D. READINESS AND PREPAREDNESS
1. There should be financial readiness i.e. ability to provide for ones household.
2. Material readiness is also required i.e accommodation, household items etc. {1 Tim 5:8}
3. Social readiness - father and mother roles, responsiblity towards in - laws, tolerance and forbearance.

E. GOD'S LEADING
1. There is a divine entrance into marriage.
2. Allow God to choose for you {Gen 2:21-25}
3. There is God timing for your life (eccl 3:1)

WHAT ROLES SHOULD THE FOLLOWING PLAY IN THE CHOICE OF A MARRIAGE PARTNER?

1. LOVE {Eph 5:25}: Eros or philia type of love might not necessarily be there at choice but one must have the agape type to all brethren.
2. COMPATIBILITY {Amos 3:3}: Using compatibility as basis of choice is a grave error. Human beings are very inconsistent in their ways.
3. EDUCATION: Education standards do not determine God's choice. No condition is permanent. A student nurse once failed the nursing Council exam and later became a professor of medicine in life. If God is leading,the situation would change.
4. MONEY (Eccl 7:12): it could develop wings and fly away,hence,choice based on it could be a disappointment. For God to make a man rich does not take days {hagg 2:8}
5. BEAUTY: can fade just like a flower,like Samuel,he or she might not be God's choice {1sam 16:6-7}. Man looketh at the outward appearance but the Lord looketh at the heart.
6. FAMILY BACKGROUND {col 3:11}: God doesn't consider this in his leading. There is no discrimination,we are all Abraham's seedsthe only needed background is to be regenerated by the blood of Jesus{2 cor 5:17}.
7. ETHNICITY/RACE { Rom 12:2}: There is no difference in Christ. Once he is truly born again,he is your brother ,extend your hand of fellowship.
8. PROFESSION{job}: Lucrative profession or discipline does not automatically guarantee prosperity. It is the lord that teaches how to make weath. No condition is permanent {deut 8:10}
9. AGE: Though important but not an absolute consideration in God's choice {either the brother or the sister could be older}

HOW DO I KNOW MY PARTNER?
This is usually the greatest to which most singles want a practical answer. Using the following principle would practically establish God's will for your marriage.
a. Seek
b. Look
c. Wait
d.listen
 
A. Seek {deut 4:29},compare good thing in pro 18:22 and Gen 2:18-23,seeking demands time, energy,wisdom, discretion, consideration,strain and patience. Seeking calls for careful,diligent ,earnest,and persistent effort of application.

HOW DO I SEEK?

1. Get busy in the Lord's vineyard {PS.37:4}
2. Set modest and unbiased standard{PS.37:1-5}
3. Have a specific desires,but do not be rigid. Let God have his way.{Prov 19:21}

B. Look: Have fellowship with God's people,attend living churches, Christian fellowship meetings,camp meetings, conferences,holy ghost services and retreat programmes (HEB 10:25}. Do not move around with eyes closed. Look and God will show you his perfect choice for you among his children.

C. Wait: Once you see that which is good ,do not jump into conclusion like Samuel{1sam 16:6-7},instead,go back into your closet to pray specific prayer on the brother or sister. Be very prayerful,wait on him in prayer and fasting.

D. Listen:
1. Inner witness or still small voice {Prov 20:27}
2. Audible voice- 1sam 3:1-4,but sometimes one can be too young to recongnis God's voice or too busy to hear when he calls.
3. Word of knowledge comes up sometimes during sermons,Bible teachings and as you study the word of God
4. Dreams{Matt 1:20}note that a corrupt heart will bring forth corrupt dreams. Always use other methods to confirm your dreams.
5. Vision or revelation- acts 10:1-6
6. Godly counsels- prov 12:15
7. Prophecy - Luke 1.70. beware of false prophets,test all prophecies ,it must not contradict the scripture.

NOTE:. Take a personal and independent decision in the face of multitude of counsels. You are responsible for your decision. After establishing God's perfect counsel for a relationship;
- Be willing to subject the intending relationship to God's judgement.
- Faith and agreement are necessary.
- Conviction and love are fundamental {be fully persuaded in your mind}
- Peace is confirmatory

WHAT IS CONVICTION IN THE CHOICE OF A MARRIAGE PARTNER?
Conviction means:
a. To prove adequately.
b. Not to entertain any doubt.
c. A strong belief.
d. To fully persuaded.
e. That there is no fear.
f. To have an inner satisfaction.
g. That there is no conflict.
h. To have your peace of mind about the brother or sister you have chosen.


APPROACH: PROPOSALS AND RESPONSES IN RCCG

- Inform your pastor after you have prayed through.
- The pastor would then investigate,pray and counsel you appropriately.
- The pastor could call both of you together or indicate whether you should go and inform the sister about your Conviction where necessary.
- Be soft ,polite but resolute. Avoid saying "thus saith the lord". Let your approach be natural.
- Do not hurry the sister to decide fast. Give her enough time to confirm your revelation.
- Do not delay the brothers answer as soon as you have gotten one.
- As sister ,never throw away a proposal without finding out from the heavenly father. Do not be snobbish.
- Leave room for refusal but never give up if you are very sure of the leading of the Lord.
- Pray and act.

CONCLUSION
In the beginning man had no say in marriage. It was entirely God's concept. In like manner,allow God to choose for you. Total submission to God I a prerequisite to receiving God's perfect choice in marriage for your life. All the human parameters you are considering may not last. Only God sees inside the heart. So do not be deceived or carried away by that brother/sister that dances round you,seeking your attention. Let God have the final say into the choice of your spouse.

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