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BEFORE YOU SAY 'I DO'
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BEFORE YOU SAY ‘I DO’!
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49;
Marriage is not a venture you can rush into without proper planning! This sadly is a fact many people often wait for too long to realize, and they pay dearly for it throughout their lifetime! The married life is like building a house: the inputs at every stage of the building will determine quality of the overall structure. Building a happy home you desire as a single is not a responsibility you can delegate to someone else. To create your dream marriage, there are clear instructions God has provided in His word, which if strictly adhered to, will bring you into the desired haven of lasting peace and joy. God is the sole author of marriage and no one can ever know how best marriage could be run than Him! Unfortunately many have set God and His divine instructions aside, but gladly embrace the world’s methods and concepts in building their marriages, and this is responsible for the monumental failure of many marriages today.
The most crucial stage in any building is foundation laying; if anything goes wrong at the foundation level, the structure cannot last no matter the amount of investments put into it. In this age, it appears people generally no longer lay strong emphasis on foundation and standards; in fact majority seem to have erroneously accepted the popular axiom ‘the end justifies the means’, and as a result, have little or no consideration for ideals and values in their lives and affairs. If people of the world are building their relationships on shaky grounds where godly values are missing, believers are not supposed to follow suit. To build a happy and lasting marriage, you cannot afford to handle the foundation in a shoddy manner.
One important foundational stone you must never fail to lay is that of conviction and clear leading from God with respect to who to marry. As children of God, choosing the man or woman you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, is a vital decision you must never make without involving God. Based on your own assessment, a brother or sister may look so appealing as husband or wife material, but only God knows the right person that will fit into His purpose for your life. In making the choice of who to marry, the proper thing to do is to rely absolutely on God’s leading because He knows the beginning from the end and He alone can help you navigate the unknown path into your future. Knowing the will of God requires you to pray and pray until you are fully convinced that God has hand in that relationship. It’s not safe for you to hurriedly proceed into marriage when you’re not sure God has approved of the fellow you want to marry. Out of desperation to marry, many people have brought great sorrows upon their lives by hooking up unto wrong partners, some have even settled for unbelievers. Some people rely on convictions of others to make decision on whom to marry, this is really dangerous! While there’s nothing wrong in asking others (your pastor, friends, parents in the Lord etc) to join you in praying for accurate leading in the matter of choice of who to marry, it is however extremely dangerous to rely solely on their own judgment or conviction. You must of necessity come to a point that your decision is built on your personal convictions based on God’s dealing with you, and this is the anchor you need in the face of challenges you will come across along your marriage journey.
Having properly laid the foundation of God’s leading and conviction in the choice of whom to marry, it is equally important you recognize the purpose for which God is bringing you together. You must first of all have an idea of God’s purpose for your own life as an individual, and this will lead you into the common purpose your union is to fulfill. There’s certainly a common purpose God intends to fulfill through your marriage union, and this actually is the attraction as far as God is concerned! I am not suggesting that you must necessarily know the entire purpose of God for your union before getting married, but it is imperative that you have an idea and clear direction on how your lives (you and your fiancé or fiancée) will blend together in fulfillment of God’s divine purpose. Before getting married, it’s very necessary you share your dreams, visions and aspirations in life with each other so as to enable you align them and take necessary decisions ahead. When your visions and aspirations are properly aligned together, you will have less friction and move with unity of purpose when you eventually get married. Many homes are collapsing today simply because the husband and the wife are moving in different directions, each of them pursuing his or her own independent dreams. This is certainly not the will of God, and this is the reason why you must ensure you crosscheck your visions and aspirations in life before you proceed into marriage.
It must be emphasized that foundation of righteousness must be properly laid for your marriage if it must glorify God. The scripture says ‘righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people’. In this age that people hardly care to maintain holiness in their relationship, God is still looking for a generation that will honour Him with their marriage. Your courtship is meant to lift and grow you together in Christ and not to be a snare to bring your souls into hell. Remember that the marriage bed must be kept undefiled, the Lord is at hand!
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