Marriage is the foundation for a better Christian life, the Bible buttressed this fact in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. However, when two Christian come together in Holy Matrimony, they enjoy more favour from God (Proverbs 18:22). The enemy (devil) knows this, that is why he ensures that you hurry through your phase of preparation and many will not even find time to prepare. My prayer for you is that the enemy will not steal your God ordained favour, in Jesus name! Amen.
Furthermore, as I taught in the first part of this series, I mentioned the criteria you should be on the lookout for when choosing a life partner. However, when you eventually get convinced with the supposed partner, you will have to move to a stage I call ‘COURTSHIP STAGE’.
Courtship is the peak of marriage; that is, preparation and when you actually get married. This is the period to best discover yourself by finding out what the Word of God says concerning a great marriage. Since marriage is a lifetime affair and not a thing to be rushed into, it is important for you to be sure you know each other well enough. This period can be likened to the seasoning ingredients that you use before preparing a soup. As a single, there are several characteristics for a good Christian courtship that will help you have a correct assessment of your relationships.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY COURTSHIP
A godly courtship must have defined destination, you have to find out what both of you are driving towards in life, and whether your vision and mission on earth is tilted towards same direction or not. These questions cannot be overemphasized, it should be taken as a major priority before walking down the aisle. During my courtship period, my husband and I already had our destination in life clearly defined, the evidences reflect in our home today, to the glory of God.
The bedrock of every marriage is agreement. This begins from the courtship period, be sure you both agree or reach an agreement after every discussion. Marriage is a lifetime adventure and you both will have the need to keep agreeing on crucial issues that concern your future. Remember, two cannot walk together not even in marriage, except they be agreed (Amos 3:3). Wherever there is no agreement, there will be confusion, disorderliness and disunity which is actually the workshop for the devil. A healthy agreement helps protect your relationship.
Character is like smoke. No matter how hard you pretend, it cannot be hidden; therefore, you and your partner must cultivate godly character traits that speaks. On this note, the Bible commands that you be not unequally yoked with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
A good Christian courtship should be progressive in nature. This is what makes it healthy. It is a time to prove the relationship. Are you confident that you have made the right decision? You should experience constant improvement in your relationship, so if you experience stagnation it is advisable to discontinue the relationship. Please note, a broken courtship does not mean it was unsuccessful. There should be progress in your relationship. The success of every good courtship is that it should end in something even more meaningful.
Many begin in the Spirit and end up messing themselves up by engaging themselves in the works of the flesh. Since courtship is not marriage, you have no marriage rights over each other’s physical body, until marriage has been contracted. Refuse defilement (Hebrews 13:4). When the bed is defiled, the honour in marriage is affected. There is no room for sexual relationship or anything that leads to it while in courtship.
The sole beauty of courtship is the wedding in view, this is the climax of the courtship journey; however, as it is of importance to prepare for marriage, it also important to prepare for the day of celebration. Memories of walking down the aisle should be made so as to have an evidence for the consummation of the wedding.
WALKING DOWN THE AISLE
This is the moment every single youth is expecting; however, for you to have a lasting memory of your ‘Big Day’ you should adequately prepare for it. There are vital tips that you should put into consideration when planning to walk down the aisle:
Make A Budget and Stick to It
Many have been so indebted all in the name to have the best wedding on earth. There is no best wedding on earth. Make sure you have a budget that will take care of the necessary things and avoid waste. Don’t turn your wedding into a social project. Don’t give people room to dictate how your marriage should be because they want to sponsor your wedding. My husband usually says, ‘I married by myself, so she is my wife; not a community wife!’ That will be your testimony too!
Delegate Duties to Friends and Family
Don’t get yourself over stressed during the wedding preparation, allow trusted friends and family members to assist you with the preparations so as to ease stress and ensure co-ordination. Make a list of what needs to be done and identify capable hands that are willing to assist in such areas.
Have an Evidence of Your Union
Don’t jump protocols, make sure you attend to all formalities from paying the dowry to getting a registry and also get married in the church. Nevertheless, whatever things that will be used for the dowry or the wedding celebrations should not be contrary to the Word of God. All the activities of the day should be edifying and praiseful. Ensure that a priest blesses your union