As a single person, you are exposed to many things within the environment you live or pursue your career. Your attitude and reactions, either positively or negatively, can make or mar your life ambition, including your marriage. For believers, the issue of marriage must not be treated with levity, but with all seriousness as it has caused many people to either become cold in the faith or backslide completely.
At this point, I want us to know that biblical marriage is the joining of two people (one man and one woman) who are of equal value. Christian marriage is monogamous and exclusive, which means that a person has only one partner, and does not share this relationship with any other person. The marriage relationship is permanent, and it lasts until one of the partners dies. It is a covenant relationship, sealed by verbal and written promises of the parties that are involved. It is holy because God Himself established it.
If you are about to go into marriage, I believe that you would like your marriage to be romantic and full of love and understanding. If so, you must be careful. You must be sure of the choice that you are making. You must choose wisely, and avoid the mistakes of others. This article is therefore intended to inform you, for when you are informed, you are will be transformed. But when you are uninformed, you are deformed. I pray that you shall not be deformed in Jesus’ name!
THE TEN MISTAKES
May I start this subheading with two stories:
Story #1: One day in church, a lady stood up and gave a testimony of how she won a contract worth millions of dollars, and no one in the church realised that she was telling lies. Based on her testimony, an opportunistic young man was attracted to her, and he did not waste time in proposing marriage to her. They quickly got married by native law and custom, and a church wedding too. Later, the newly wedded man found out that his wife had not won any contract worth millions of naira and that he had been deceived. He began to call his wife derogatory names and threatened to sue for a divorce.
Story #2: One day, during a Christian programme, a young man was fascinated by the glamour and beauty of a lady. He there and then concluded that he wanted this woman to be his wife, for he adjudged that everything he desired in a woman could be found in her. Immediately after the programme, he went to the lady and made his intentions known to her. He said, “Sister, the Holy Ghost whispers to me that you’re my wife.” The sister in issue was appalled for she was already married with three children and it was not possible that the Holy Spirit was a home breaker. The sister replied, “Go back to your Holy Ghost and tell him that I’m happily married with three kids.” This brother was carnally attracted to the woman and decided to involve the Holy Spirit in his lies.
Mistake # 1 – Placing God in a Fleece
This is giving God certain conditions or asking God to cause certain things to occur physically as a proof of His confirmation, for example, to prove that Brother A or Sister A is God’s will for you. This very misleading as it reduces God to merely a rubber stamp for your decision. The fleece was only used in the Old Testament by Gideon in Judges 6 and Eleazar in Genesis 24. It is never used in the New Testament.
Mistake # 2 – Church/Locality
Most singles believe that their life partner must come from their local church or denomination. To a majority, he or she must hail from their village, local government area or tribe. Apart from them having this resolution, their parents sometimes impose this on them. Believing that a spouse must share your origins may delay your marriage if it is not in line with God’s will. A person’s village, local government, tribe or even church is immaterial provided the person is born again, and both of you agree to marry.
Mistake # 3 – Achievement
Most people place restrictions on getting married until they achieve certain milestones in their careers or lives. For menfolk singles, some insist that they must complete their mansions and purchase a car before they ever think of marriage, but before they realise it, most of them end up getting married at the middle age range of 40 – 50. For the womenfolk, some insist that they must graduate from the university before they can entertain any proposal of marriage, while for some, any prospective groom must reside in a three-bedroom flat and own a car. Marriage brings favour from God (Proverbs 18: 22), so learn to walk by faith and not by sight. The most important thing about marriage is marrying someone that is responsible, diligent, resourceful, and with potentials of being great tomorrow.
Mistake # 4 – Frustration
Some singles rush into marrying a person because of frustration. Aging singles who never cashed in on their early chances or offers of marriage are prone to marrying anyone out of frustration. This category of singles believe that if they miss any opportunity of any twilight marriage, they will die alone. For some people, it is a bonding failure at home, either because they live with nasty step-parents, foster parents, or relations. Such singles see marriage as the only route of escape from their parents’ house.
Mistake #5 – Parental Opposition/Imposition
Some dogged parents insist on who their children must marry and as a result, some singles who are not resolute or matured, end up marrying the wrong person to please their parents. That is why physical, mental and financial maturity is necessary before going into marriage. Your parents can only advise you, but they should not choose a life partner for you.
Mistake #6 – Broken Relationship
Some singles are afraid to enter the marital relationship because of their past experiences like:
- What their parents passed through in marriage;
- For women – Men who claimed to love them but jilted them after some years for other women; and
- For men – Women who abandoned them, calling them illiterates after they (the men) had educated the same women
In short, past experiences can have harrowing effects on singles, resulting in a decision not to entertain any marriage proposal from anyone, be it genuine or fake. Note that God does not consult your past to determine what you should become in future. Learn to put past experiences behind you. There are still honest and good young men and women in the Body of Christ. God has reserved one of them for you, so do not close the road before it is too late. Know that when you are down to nothing, God is up to something.
Mistake #7 – Dreams and Visions
To some singles, except they dream about a person or see such a fellow or lady in the dream, then he or she cannot be God’s will. Waiting for a dream to decide on who your spouse is may leave you single for a long time or the devil may bring visions and dreams, and deceiving you to marry a wrong person in the name of God’s will. For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there are also diverse vanities: but fear thou God (Ecclesiastes 5:7).
Mistake #8 – Pastor/Prophet
A sister once went to a pastor with the photograph of two men, asking the pastor to pray for her and advise her which of the men was God’s will for her as the two men had proposed to her. She went on to tell the pastor that a prophet had earlier chosen Brother A, but the problem was that she liked Brother B more than Brother A. It is wrong for your pastor or so called a prophet to choose your life partner for you. His duty is to counsel and pray for you but not to choose for you. Marriage is a personal conviction. Pray that God personally convicts you.
Mistake #9 – Physical Attraction/Sex Passion
Some singles rush into marriage engagement out of lust and need to satisfy their sexual desire. They make choices based on sexual appeal. It is this urge that makes many singles pack into a man’s house without any formalisation of marriage. The church today is filled with live-in-lovers (of which some have up to six or more children). Self-control is the answer to getting married based on sexual attraction. If you cannot control your sexual urge while you are single, the same urge that lures you into fornication as a single, if not controlled, will certainly lure you into adultery when you are married.
Mistakes #10 – Misinterpretation of Actions/Presumptions
It is needful for singles not to misinterpret actions and link every benevolent action of the opposite gender to an expression of interest. A brother out of genuine agape love buys a sister a gift or gives her money. Unfortunately, the sister immediately concludes that the brother is interested in marrying her when the brother has not said so. Frequent visitation and group fellowship should not also be implied as an expression of interest unless there is otherwise a clear evidence. No matter how regularly a brother or sister visits or interacts with you, never conclude that the person’s actions are tantamount to interest in a life-long relationship. When singles are already fixated on a person, they tend to lose interest in other incoming marriage proposals that may even be God’s plan for their lives. Focusing on a subject out of speculation may also lead to pains and disappointment for if the person of interest eventually marries another person, you will consequentially feel offended and disappointed. Proposals must be verbal. Be led by the Spirit.
Other mistakes worth mentioning are:
- Where a woman proposes marriage;
- Marrying out of compassion/compensation;
- Marrying out of pressure, anxiety,
- Indefinite engagement, and imitation.
Single brethren, you need to pray to God to pull you out of mistakes when choosing your life partner
This article is written by Elder Bassey Okon of the Apostolic Church, Ikot Ekwere Itam Assembly, Akwa Ibom State.