And Choosing a Life Partner…
STAYING MARRIED SERIES
CHOOSING A LIFE PARTNER
The Right Start!
Marriage is a lifetime journey.
God originated it in such a way that once you get in it you stay in it for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in health and in sickness for as long as the couple shall live.
Getting married therefore is publicly announcing to the whole world and God that you and your partner have decided to make your relationship permanent.
Since it is for a lifetime, starting right is key.
One has to make sure all the basic checks and balances are done to ensure a lasting marriage. This is not to say that it will be problem-free.
Problems and challenges are bound to come up but if the foundation is rock-solid, the storm will not knock off your marriage.
I think you will agree with me that before you build a house, one need to go through these three stages: planning, execution and maintenance…and this same process can be likened to choosing the right partner, getting married and staying married.
The process in putting up a building can be outlined as below:
- You will have to secure the basic requirement (land) after making an assessment to see if you are ready.
- You will have to put down the type of house you would want to build.
- Then, you will have to agree on how much money will be needed to put it up.
- When it is finally done you will have to think about the fitting and fixtures to make it habitable.
- And when you finally move in, you will have to make allocation for periodic maintenance to keep the house strong and habitable always.
Getting married follows the same process. Without careful planning, execution and periodic maintenance, the marriage will be plagued with problems which can make it a living nightmare.
Before you decide to marry:
- First you will have to choose the right partner. This is where Love comes in! Love, love, love is the sweetest ingredient, the backbone of your relationship! Marriage is forever, basically, so it becomes better and sweeter if it is based, first and foremost, on love!
- Then you will have to decide the kind of ceremony you want to have and their legal and cultural requirements.
- You will have to plan for the ceremony and decide who, what, when and how and how much will go into the ceremony.
- Then you will have to plan on staying married for life.
Now, let’s take a look at
Choosing the Right Partner
Before you choose a partner there is need for you to undertake Self-Assessment. This simply means you should know yourself.
Self-Assessment helps you understand you better and inform what qualities you are bringing into the marriage and help choose the right partner for you.
The following questions should help you know yourself better:
- What good qualities do I possess?
Examples of good qualities are Truthful, Trustworthy, Respectful, Supportive, Loyal, Committed, Good Listener, Tolerant, Caring, Romantic etc
- What are my weaknesses?
Examples of weakness are selfishness, uncommitted, intolerant, unromantic, Nagging, overly jealous,
- Why will I marry?
Here, think about the one most important reason for getting married. Your answer should not be self-centered though. The basic reason to marry according to the originator of marriage is for a lifetime companionship. All other benefits such as babies, financial stability and many others are added bonus.
Extensive research has come out to suggest that most marriages are not working properly because the people involved entered it for the wrong reasons and expectations.
- What are my expectations in marriage?
This is to help you set realistic expectations for getting married.
Examples of realistic expectations include; to love and be loved, to cherish and be cherished, to be faithful, respected and trusted in all things. Your expectations for getting married should not focus more on material gains.
- What are my life goals?
Getting married mean two different people living as one and outlining your life goals will go a long way to ensure that the two of you are on the same page.
Some of the things to consider when deciding your life goals are:
- do you want children? If you do, how many?
- do you want to work for yourself or be employed?
- What kind of home would you like to live in and where?
- Am I financially stable?
It is normal belief that men are bread winners of every family. If you are a man considering marriage, will you be able to shoulder this responsibility alone? If you are a woman, will you be able to support your partner to get you and the family your ideal lifestyle?
In order not to put too much on the shoulders of men, women considering marriage should be ready to bring something to the table to lessen the burden on their male partners?
- Am I physically ready for marriage?
Getting married means sharing every part of your physical body with your partner and so it is prudent to ensure your body is ready for all the sweetness that come with physical touches and good ‘klonking’ action too.
- Am I spiritually ready for marriage?
Marriage creates a bond between the couple and God. To benefit immensely from God’s blessings, the couple have to be spiritually ready.
Find the time to make your peace with God by confessing your past sins and asking for forgiveness for same. This ensures that you do not carry any curses from past sins into your marriage. In addition, draw close to God by reading His word and live in accordance with His principles and expectations of us.
Also, assess yourself to find out if you are ready to accept the man as your head if you are a woman and if you are prepared to exercise your headship in a loving manner if you are a man as prescribed in the Bible.
- Am I psychologically ready for marriage?
Being married comes with lots of behaviour and mental adjustments and challenges. Once you marry, there is no turning back. Our lives, thoughts, actions, duties and lifestyles change since we are to always consider the other partner in whatever we do or say.
It is therefore necessary for one to ascertain if he or she is ready mentally and behavior-wise to curb any challenges that may crop up in future.
You will be psychologically ready if:
- You are practical in your decisions.
- And You are ready to make love (have sex) regularly.
- You accept that there will be problems.
- You are ready to find solutions together when problems arise.
- And You are willing to forgive your spouse for wrongs committed against you.
- You are willing to solemnly commit to your partner for life.
After the self-assessment is done, you are now ready to choose a partner.
Before one takes that bold step, one need to consider whose responsibility it is to choose the partner depending on where you live and the cultural norms pertaining to the area you live in. In most cases, each individual is at liberty to choose a life partner and that is what this article will focus on.
Choosing a partner for marriage is very vital. You should really know the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Most of the time, the requisite qualities about him/her are right before your eyes. You can look at the way he/she treats people for instance, the kind of friends he/she keeps could also shed some light on his/her character, his/her interests, the way he/she treats his/her family, parents, siblings, people of the opposite sex etc can also give you a clue as to the kind of person he/she is.
In choosing a partner, keep in mind that we are all imperfect and have our strengths and weaknesses. There is no perfect man or woman as is depicted in most novels or movies.
So, what are some of the key things one can look for when choosing a partner?
Here are some key points to consider:
- Choose the One You Love and Loves You Back
These days people hear the word love and they start rolling their eyes because they do not think it exist. When you put love and money side by side and ask them to make a choice, they will choose money and tell you love does not put food on the table. Due to heartbreaks and its consequent effects, love and the importance it plays in every relationship is sadly relegated to the background.
Love does exist. Remarkably, the Bible identifies four kinds of love and this goes to confirm that love is not an illusion.
The first kind of love is the one that exists between close friends.
The second is the one that is shared between family members.
The third is the romantic love that is shared with the opposite sex.
And the last one is the love for God.
It is imperative to cultivate all these for a successful marriage.
Now, I’m sure you are thinking, how do I know I love someone and he loves me back.
Let us look at the attributes of love.
- Love is Patient
Does he/she have the ability to accept unpleasant situations without becoming anxious? A patient person stays calm when things do not go as planned and helps find solutions that may help rectify the situation. So, choose a partner who exhibits this attribute of love.
- Love is Kind
Does he/she genuinely seek the interest of the other and extend a helping hand where need be as long as your resources can allow? It is very key to choose a partner who is kind as well.
- Love is not Proud
Does he/she find it difficult to compromise? If he/she is not proud i.e. insisting he/she should have the final say all the time, then you can be sure there is love between you two.
- Love Trusts
Does he/she have firm belief in your reliability, ability and truthfulness? You can be sure he/she loves you.
- Love Commits
Can you partner stay dedicated to you no matter the obstacles that come your way? It takes a person in love to stay committed.
- Love Forgives
Does your partner stops being resentful or angry for an offence, flaw or mistake you commit against him/her? Forgiveness is an important attribute of love.
- Love is Tolerant
Does he/she accept that you and people around are not perfect and would do or say things that can hurt you or them? If the answer is yes, love is at the door.
When choosing a life partner, do make sure the love between you two is mutual and not one-sided for Love is an important key to a successful marriage.
- Choose the One You Respect and Respects You Too
Does he/she give due regard for your feelings, wishes, or rights. A person who respects you will protect your feelings in most of his/ her actions. He/she will consider the effects of his/her actions on you.
Respect is another important key to a successful marriage.
- Choose the one you share common values, principles and beliefs with.
This ensures that both of you have shared values or beliefs on faithfulness, honesty, intimacy, etc etc.
- Choose the one with a positive attitude
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