Mistakes in judgement or action are the result of making the wrong choices,not understanding correctly or identifying incorrectly.
You may not be able to determine exactly when and how you are going to meet your spouse,but the question is:With whom do you associate? Is it with people of questionable character? People with a bad reputation?Or men and women of good and easy virtue?
A person with a paralysing fear of heights would not be a wise choice as a climbing partner to scale the slopes of Mount Everest. A bird and fish can fall in love,but the big question is:where are they going to build their home? In the air,where one-half of the couple cannot survive? Or in the sea where the other half will die? Nothing should be more important to you than your partner’s spiritual well-being. A radical transformation of our inner being will have a profound impact on our priorities, goals,decisions,lifestyles, and therefore,our relationships.
Every choice we make in life has an underlying motive,a need,or desire that activates the will and stimulates us into action. The choice of a spouse is no different and some examples of such motives include:
- A widower who just needs a mother for his children;
- A refugee or immigrant who needs to legalize his or her status;
- An orphan who needs the security of a home;
- A politician /pastor/community leader who needs a ‘First lady’;
- A sickly person who needs a nurse;
- A non-entity who needs a name;
- A dysfunctional person who needs healing or deliverance;
- A frustrated, unemployed person who needs financial support;
Here are my top seven reasons why people make the wrong choice.
1. Moved by flesh
Instead of using courtship to build and nurture friendship,commitment,and enduring qualities like godly character,virtue,integrity,and compatibility,some couples indulge in premarital sex and sexual pleasures,forgetting that casual sex will result in a a casual relationship. Strong emotions will not produce strong commitment,just as compromise cannot produce total dedication in your engagement. Sin,especially sexual sin, is degradation,violation,disrespect,unfulfilment,humiliation,and corrosion of God’s most valuable resource,the human being. Sex only cheapens a relationship and breeds suspicion, disappointment, stress,emptiness and other destructive emotions,and more often than not,lead to unsuccessful and failed relationships.
Human determination and achievement will only take you far but depending on the strength of God is key.
According to Catherine Marshall, “Helplessness is one of the greatest assets a human being can have.” If it is coupled with knowing God.
When we accept the truth of our own inadequacy in the light of God’s limitless power and infinite love for us,we can trust Him to do above all we ask or think.
2. Moved by Sight
Most people get into an affair because they had means (often financial or material) that would help them escape their own adverse circumstances. This is lust. What happens if the circumstances change,or the other person discovers your true motives? When you got engaged to someone inorder to use them as a ticket to gain access to certain circles,then it is lust.However,don’t become paranoid by this factor. If you are from a wealthy background,do not begin to suspect that anyone interested in you is only after your wealth. Likewise,if you are from a humble background,it doesn’t mean that,if you are attracted to someone from a wealthier background than yours,you are after their wealth. The important factor is to check for your motives and also to know the other person well enough to understand their real motives for desiring you.
3. Egoistic tendencies
It is destructive tendencies that makes people want to assert themselves over others.Thus,they are unable to truly love and respect other people. Yet,respect is critical to a successful relationship. Respect is about caring about the other person’s best interest and not pushing only for personal gain. Yet,the egocentric people will always want to attract those who fit well into their circle. To them,they aren’t willing to give or contribute to the other person’s lives.
These set of people actually have a false and inflated idea of their own importance.
Sometimes,a man may be engaged not because he loves and respects a woman,but because he wants a wife who will:
- Satisfy his sexual desires legally;
- Cook his food;
- Take care of his parents;
- Take care of his siblings;
- Take care of his children;
- Improve his financial position;
- Assist him in securing business connections, and
- Be a beauty queen he can parade among his friends.
A woman may be engaged inorder to:
- Have a man who will satisfy her sexual desires legally;
- Have financial security;
- Support her parents financially;
- Improve in her academic endeavours;
- Provide material needs such as clothes,jewellery,and cars,and
- Go on vacations.
These examples reflect selfish motives and desires,and not love. Such individual is fundamentally interested in making themselves happy,not being bothered about the feelings of the other person.
Pressure manifests in different ways. It could be parental or family pressure. For example,your parents or the extended family wants you to marry Mr X or Miss Y for certain reasons.
Also,we have the peer pressure. Like the situation where most of your friends are getting engaged or are engaged and you feel left out because most of the conversations now centered around marriage -related issues. If you do not put a check on this, you could take a wrong decision.
Age,also,puts pressure on people. As these people become older,they are frantic in their move to be engaged anyhow,somehow,or anyway.
Age can cause family pressure as everyone in the family is reminding you of your last birthday or the next. If you allow yourself to be caught in the pressure,there’s the tendency for you to want to create an avenue for escape-from insecurity,or abuse,false dreams,visions,and prophecies which could cause more danger to your life in the long run.
There’s always a time for everything. I’m not saying you should sit back like a couch potatoe and expect to see the man or woman suddenly, all I’m saying is that,in as much as you don’t want to be pressured into doing what you don’t want to do,you should also put an action in place.
You mustn’t wait till you are fully ready for marriage before you start taking action. Start praying about it even when you know it isn’t time yet.
5. The ‘Hasty’ syndrome
Hasty is often linked with some form of pressure. When two people haven’t take time enough to know each other during the courtship period,the result is often a failed,or at best, a stormy marriage even when they are together.After the euphoria of a short courtship that ends in a hasty marriage had worn off,reality and unpleasant revelations sets in. All this could have been avoided if the parties had slowed down.
Time is the tested and trusted healer. It always reveals true motives at the long run.
Here are reasons why you should take your time.
– You need time to build a relationship. You cannot build a lasting relationship in haste, regardless of your convictions that the other person is your partner.
– Impatience is a sign of immaturity. If you aren’t mature enough to wait,you are probably not mature enough to marry yet.Getting married in such circumstances can lead to divorce.
– It takes time to know who a person really is. It’s been said that behavior is what men and women know of you,but character is what God and the angels know of you. Inorderwords,good behavior can be faked to deceive human being,but God reveals true character. Discovering true character takes time. Wait patiently in the place of prayer and a person’s motive will be revealed along the line.
– You need to know a person’s strenght and weakness. The latter may not come to light in a few month as your partner-to-be will be making conscious effort to show his or her best side during this period. Also,you may be unconsciously blind to their faults during this period,choosing only to observe the good traits.
– Waiting patiently will help you test your convictions that your intended is God’s will for your life. Sometimes,when we claim we have heard from God,we have been hearing our emotions,will,or desires. Time will reveal if your intended is part of God’s will for your life .Take time to check your partner’s values,goals,convictions,and personality. If you aren’t compatible spiritually,socially, and mentally,then you didn’t hear God. Also,if you haven’t found good person who does good things,then you haven’t found God’s will.
Disobedience is a critical issue. There have been cases where Christian men or women knew the right thing to do and chose to make a decision that violates all they know to be right and good.
Sometimes it is clear that there are warning signs about the person you are in love with which should prompt you to walk away.The person may be a liar,a deceit, a night-crawler,mischievous,or dubious. This person may not help in your self-esteem,or always make you lose your self-power,or any other negative tendencies,all these are warning signs that should jolt you to reality. You deceive yourself when you ignore or believe the problem will get better or go away.
If you are disobedient to God’s word in choosing a spouse,you cannot blame God for the consequences that your choice brings.You will have to bear it alone.
7. Low Self-esteem
This is a very important issue in the life of most single people. What do you think of yourself? How would you describe yourself to someone if you were being objective? The picture you have of yourself is crucial to your choice of a partner,because we attract people who feed off what we think of ourselves. When you think you are helpless,you will attract such people who will reinforce that idea in your mind.
Most people who suffer low self-esteem give their hearts away to the undeserving,because they don’t know how much it is worth. They are empty and spend their efforts finding fulfilment in external things that will not satisfy them. They often end up badly bruised.
As Trent shelton rightly said, “The right decisions are usually the hardest to make,but they must be made inorder to live the life you want.”