Part A - Choosing the Right Partner
Gen 1: 28, Gen 2: 18, 1 Cor 7:1-9, 2 Cor 6:14-16
Marriage is the state of relationship of being husband and wife. It is meant to be between two opposite sex of male and female. God gave us an example by creating Eve a female and Adam a male. Marriage is an institution ordained by God and it is as old as the garden of Eden. It is a life-long union of a man and a woman who give themselves to each other in love and trust.
Jesus Christ honoured marriage and that was why he was present at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. God ordained marriage for three major reasons.
- For mutual fellowship Gen 2:18
- To avoid adultery and fornication 1 Cor 7:1-12
- For procreation Gen 1:18
When God created Adam, He said "it is not good for a man to be alone, I will make him an help meet for him", hence He created Eve. In 1 Cor 7:2, "nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let everyman have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband". If you can not remain single get your own spouse. God said in Gen 1:28, "be fruitful and multiply". For these reasons God ordained the institution of marriage.
Some processes are involved in Marriage:
The first one is choosing a partner. This sermon will be based on biblical way of choosing a right partner. God who ordained it should be at the center. It should be approached with dignity and fear of the Lord. It is sacred, should be honoured and be entered into responsibly and in the love of God. It should not be rushed into just to satisfy your carnal lust. Before you can start to think of searching for a partner, there are some signs to look out for. They are signs of maturity even though the bible does not mention or dictate age.
These signs are good indicators for readiness:
- Feeling of loneliness in the midst of parents, siblings and relations Eccl 4:9-12
- Sex drive - 1 Cor 7:7-9. It is natural to have feelings but it is scriptural to allow such feelings to be exercised only between you and your marriage partner.
- Family pressure - when parents and relations are reminding you and asking about your partner. They are sending signals that you should be getting ready. However, family pressure should not lead you to taking wrong steps. Partner should not be imposed on you.
- Maturity at business - when you are occupying a leadership position in your calling or profession, certainly you are ready for such. Your relationship with God must be cordial because he has to be at the centre of it. There is God's perfect will for choosing a partner and this can be achieved through:
- Fervent Prayer
- Reading the scripture because the word of God guides aright. Ps 119:105 ," Thy word is a lamp onto my feet and a light unto my path"
- Your pastor and marriage counselor can assist with prayer Prov 11:4
- Also you can be led to your partner through the gift of the Holy Spirit, through the word of wisdom, prophecy, dreams, visions and even through your spiritual leaders.
- You could meet your partner miraculously; you may meet and things may just be working out well towards the same goal. Don't forget that our God is a God of miracles and He is still in the business of doing them.
- A partner should not be imposed on male or female and it should also not be by a match making exercise.
Marriage is a life time journey. Both partners must be satisfied with each other's physical disposition, make up and outlook to life. This is because somebody you will live the rest of your life with must be acceptable to you.
The 'husband to be' must at least have good prospects considering skills, capacity and competences. Marriage requires an appreciable level of financial independence to raise a home. A job seeker should settle with job first before considering marriage. Marriage can be delayed if you are financially independent.
Another thing to consider is age. The gap should not be too wide either way. But there must be love and understanding between the two. The consent of the 'bride to be' family is very important and also that of the 'groom to be'. Get the blessings of your parents before you get along. You need their consent and blessings. Afterwards in Gen 24:1-4, Abraham sent his eldest servant to go in search of a wife for his son Isaac. Your parents have a vital role to play. They need to pray along with you. Carry them along.
Finally the spiritual oneness of both of you is very important. This attitude is guided by what the bible says in 2 Cor 6:14-16. Sometimes, people wonder if they could marry outside their faith. Let the word of God guide you. There is a blessing pronounced on the Godly. Choose your partner is a Godly way. Ps 1:1-3.
After you have fulfilled all above, courtship starts.
Courtship in the scriptural way is the time to make restitution. Time to put things right with God, man and your partner. It is a period to know each other very well and to pray together. Nothing about the past should be hidden from each other. It is the period to know each other's family background and family members. However, knowing each other well excludes sleeping together, living together and sex. Sex before marriage is fornication and it is a sin. Please avoid it. But if you have committed the sin or you are still committing it, stop it. Confess it, ask for forgiveness and repent totally. Never go back to it. Prayerfully prepare for other processes until your wedding day.
May the Lord guide you and lead you to the right partner in Jesus Name.
Lord Almighty in the name of Jesus, connect me with my partner and grant me the grace to go about it in a Godly manner so that I can have a Christian home and enjoy all the blessings of marriage. AMEN