– by Paul Nyamuda
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24. The problems faced in marriage often arise because of poor foundations. These foundations ought to be laid before the marriage commences. As you consider getting married or guide others in the process, here are some questions to ask:
Are you ready to get married?
Are you in a healthy place emotionally to make such a decision? Have you accomplished what was necessary as a single person? Have you been through pre-engagement or pre-marital counselling for at least 3 months as a couple? Have you sought God on this major life decision with prayer and fasting? If so, what is God saying? What is God not saying? Have you explored any patterns or weaknesses you may have had in the past in this area? What part could this be playing in your current situation? What are others who know you well saying about your possible decision? Do you believe that God will bless you with His best for you? Does getting married to this person bring you closer to God and His purpose for your life? How do you feel (about yourself, God, and others) when you are with this person?
How compatible are you in these 5 areas:
Spiritual compatibility (2 Cor 6:14); vision compatibility; values compatibility; social compatibility; and intellectual compatibility? Do you know each other well enough to establish whether you are compatible in the areas mentioned above? What would be the deal breakers in this decision? In other words, what would cause you to say no? Are there any signs of these things at the moment? Are you willing to marry this person as they are or are you secretly hoping they will change?
Are you known by the people around you whom you trust?
Do they know your strengths and weaknesses as a couple and as individuals? Are you able to submit to the same spiritual leaders and seek their counsel? Are there any significant areas in your lives which could be potentially harmful to your marriage? If so, do you have a strategy in place to deal with them prior to getting married? Some common ones are: unresolved past relationships/emotional soul ties; views of sex and physical boundaries; job security on the part of the breadwinner (what’s your appetite for risk?); and major debt. Are you in alignment with regards to current friends; church and doctrine; where to live; education of the kids; number of kids; domestic roles; expectations; accountability as individuals and as a couple; morality; relating to In-laws; money matters.
Be honest with yourself
In order to know many of these things one needs to have adequate time with one’s possible future marriage partner for various issues to emerge. One needs to be able to answer the question, “Why am I thinking of getting married to this person and no one else?” When this question is answered honestly it becomes easier to ascertain whether the reasons are healthy and sufficient or whether they are founded on lies, misbeliefs, and insecurities. Remember that ultimately the institution of marriage was created by God and He is on your side!
JOY! Magazine (November 2017)