BEFORE YOU SAY, “I DO”
10th February, 2020
IPR DAILY DEVOTION
Topic: BEFORE YOU SAY, “I DO”
Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
The marriage institution is the most complex and intricate human institution, and yet, it is the number one single institution many people enter presumptuously, with little or no knowledge about its purpose. Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable. This accounts for the heartbreaks and disappointments in many marriages.
With the insights gained throughout our study on marriage, prospective married couples should not enter into marriage unadvisedly. Marriage is not fun and games; it is serious business. Marriage is responsibility. Marriage will require that you make some sacrifices for the benefit of your spouse. The best marriage is when you have two people doing everything in their power to make the other person happy.
There are some things you must know before you say, “I do.” It’s necessary that you find out all you need to know about a person before you commit yourself to marry him/her. Yes, I admit that you’ll never know a person in toto no matter how long you study him/her, and yet, it will be frivolous on anybody’s part not to know anything at all about a prospective marriage partner.
This is the reason why you must first aquatint yourself with the other person. Acquaintance, if handled well, will lead to friendship. The difference between acquaintance and friendship is the degree of communication. As you progress from acquaintance to friendship, you’d discover that the extent of communication has become deeper, and the duration has become longer. If a healthy communication is maintained between the two of you, you’d build a stronger friendship that will serve as the pivot for your marriage, should the relationship end up in marriage. If you were not attracted to each other during the stage of acquaintance, the attraction should have evolved by the time the friendship becomes solid. This is because closeness brings attraction. It is at this stage of friendship that both of you would know whether you’re compatible or not. It will be of no use to make your intentions known if at the stage of sold friendship you’re still not attracted to each other. Never marry a person if, after a long period of friendship, you’re still not attracted to each other. Chances are that the relationship is meant to remain at the friendship level. But when the friendship has become solid and you’re more open to each other; when the attraction between the two of you has become obvious, and the chemistry keeps building up, one wouldn’t be surprised by the time the other proposes marriage. This is the best time to propose marriage and make your intentions known.
Once a proposal is accepted by the other, the relationship will enter the dating or courtship stage. You’ve got to maintain the solid friendship coupled with the healthy communication at this stage, because you’d need it when you marry. Married couples who are also best of friends always have a lot to talk about; they never cease communicating. There’s always the temptation for either or both of you to want to engage in sex at this stage, but sex before marriage is a distortion of the process. Sex before marriage will break the trust and cause you to lose the respect you have for each other. And when trust is gone, the relationship is gone; it has no future! When you lose your respect for a prospective spouse, he/she is finished! Hence, it’s wisdom to keep the relationship pure before you say, “I do!” After all, you lose nothing if, for one reason or the other, the relationship doesn’t end up in marriage. But one will always feel cheated, and often, it’s the woman who feels cheated, if both of you engage in sex before marriage.
Note that this discussion is not a hard and fast rule; not everyone will go through all the processes outlined in this devotion. It’s only a guide, should you find yourself at one stage or the other. All things being equal, and having gone through an adequate period of counseling, you should be ready to say, “I do” at this stage. The relationship can now be consummated in holy matrimony to the glory of God. But if for any reason you’re still not convinced to marry the other person, don’t marry him/her. A broken courtship is better than divorce.
Remember, marriage is honourable in all; in other words, of all human relationships, marriage has the highest honour, and it is God Himself who confers that honour. If you honour God through the process until marriage, God will honour your marriage with His blessing.