Evaluating your relationship based on compatibility alone is neither conclusive,nor a perfect means of confirming how your relationship stands before God. A relationship between two people is rarely sustained by itself. Rather, it needs the approval of certain objective institutions, both internal and external,to examine and manifest it’s full potential. In choosing a marriage partner,you need to seek the consent of what I have termed the three P’s of approval to confirm your choice. These are parental,pastoral,and peace(inner peace)
I’m aware there are volumes of literature which suggests that it’s absolutely okay to ignore the warnings or opinions of your parents about your choice of partner,especially when you seem pretty convinced about that choice.These books may imply that your parents could not possibly have the knowledge about your partner like you do. It may even observe that your parent’s lack of education or spirituality (if they are not believers) has robbed them of adequate knowledge or wisdom with which to direct you in this matter.These assumptions may,however,impede your future if you allow them to deprive you of seeking and obtaining the right approval. It’s important that you obtain parental approval when seeking for a married partner.
Though you may be old enough to make mature and responsible decisions, always try to involve your parents. Apart from all other considerations, they have been around longer than you do and therefore have the experience that provides examples to either emulate or avoid. Secondly,their emotions are not blinding them to character flaws and hidden motives, as the case with you at this time. Consider their opinion as indicative of God’s will for you.
In my recent research,I discovered that 70% of marriages that fail didn’t have parental approval.
You need to see your parent’s objections(for whatever reason) as indication that there’s something wrong with the relationship,which you may not see at that stage because of your emotional involvement.
Some parents may object on the grounds of tribe,religion,or a particular professional preference. All these may not seem important, given your academic background and social exposure,but there is a lot more to people than their tribes,or the colour of their skin. This implies that any flimsy reason such as described above may simply be an indication that God may not want you in that particular relationship.
Sometimes,your parents may give reasons that are illogical and petty,even unreasonable,but careful consideration in the light of patience will reveal the truth.
SANDRA was three years ahead of me at the university. After her graduation, she decided to marry her fiancé,Felix,whom she regarded as a good Christian. She presented him as her choice to her parents,who were not born-again,but they were flatly against the relationship.But she went ahead to marry her ‘charming Felix’.
After the wedding,Sandra realised her husband was totally irresposible as a husband ,and a father.He often hits her and was promiscuous. Five children, and many years later,this woman,at breaking point,took her own life. She left a note behind to explain how callous her husband had been in their marriage and how totally unbearable her life had become.
As I do not want to exaggerate this matter,I shall conclude by adding that it is wise, especially for a lady,not to get married into a family in which she isn’t celebrated.
If you are engaged without the consent of your inlaws,his family will not support you if there are problems with your partner,especially when you are estranged from your parents or they live far away.
After you have prayed,follow your conviction that your choice is the will of God. It’s important to seek your pastor’s opinion if your parents are unrelenting. Your psstor’s counsel will not be influenced by emotions or prejudices. It is also critical that he is an anointed man of God,spiritually ordained,and sensitive to the spirit of God. If he counsels you based on emotions,without God’s leadership,the consequences will be yours alone.
Like your parents, your pastor is not supposed to choose your marriage partner,but he is ordained to guide and lead you to make the best choice. If you walk closely with God and you are sensitive to the spirit,you will most likely get insight into the heart of God from your pastor’s opinion of your quest.
A sincere man of God will not deceive you. If you have benefitted from his sincerity over time,especially in other areas,you will be wise to take his counsel very seriously,for he may well be speaking the mind of God. This is however,not denying that some pastors have been wrong in the past.
Sometimes,some pastors have given wrong counsel inorder to retain a member of their flock,usually where the member is a woman. The woman may have been a very active,or financially committed person and as such, be matched with a committed brother to keep everything in the house.Usually,such liaisons end in fiasco in which both parties are sentenced to a life of misery,unhapiness,and unfulfilment.
PASTOR TIM was honestly committed to his flock, Albert and Jennifer. He fervently prayed that he would not lose them to another church because they were faithful and loyal. To facilitate his own prayer,Pastor Tim encouraged Albert to be engaged to Jennifer. Both were steadfast and faithful members. Jennifer was an hardworking, pleasant,gently-disposed woman of God. But Albert honestly did not like her. However,they got engaged based on the approval of their pastor,but they later realised they were highly unsuitable for each other.
Unfortunately, as committed Christians,they could neither get a divorce nor be separated,so they are living unfulfilled lives,silently blaming the pastor.
When you lacked peace about something or on a matter,it simply means lack of God’s presence.This is a critical issue that must not be wavered. Not all relationships have the approval of God.
Many marriages have collapsed all because they believed that with time,things will become normal when they finally settle in their matrimony but how wrong most of them were. Your lack of peace about your partner could signal danger ahead. It’s left to you to go on your feet and pray about it.
Sometimes,your parental disagreement on your choice of partner could be one of the confirmation to your lack of inner peace.
BELINDA was a high school friend. She met Donald while she was heading back home from a church fellowship.
Few weeks later,they became friends and in no soon time,he proposed to her. Belinda was shocked as she had no deep emotional attachment for him. “He is not my type by all standards.” That was her statement. But Donald would not give up on her.
After a while,she consented to the proposal. But that was the biggest mistake she would ever make. There were strange events that happened all through the courtship and she began to feel uncomfortable and disquieted.
One day,she called him and said she wasn’t interested in the whole thing anymore.But Donald kept promising her all would be well.
Besides,her mother never liked Donald. “His aura scares me to the bones.” She blurted while she was having a discussion with Belinda. She was always throwing tantrums around the house each time Belinda returns home with Donald.When she realised her efforts wasn’t yielding any positive result,she gave up.
Donald and Belinda howevever got married.But their marriage had been a nightmare.She later got wind of Donald’s irresponsible and uncouth mannerisms. He was a stark illiterate, from a down-trodden family, and a night crawler.He had appeared as a Christian brother all through their courstship. How could Belinda be ignorant of the signs?
Belinda suddenly became a miserable,distraught,and frustrated woman. With four children,she had no option than to keep hoping for the best. She wished she had listened to her mother all along.
When we met at a family function,she confessed to me on how she married Donald out of frustration with life. She was helpless and needy of a father-figure since her father had divorced her mother over ten years ago.He was the only man who seemed ready for marriage and since she had no option,she gave in to the demands. Though she wanted to opt out at a point,but because they had slept with each other on several occasions,Donald was not going to let her go. He was determined to marry her because of what had happened between them.
But really, her choice of married partner had paved way for her unhappiness and lack of peace.
American author,Mary Ann Shaffer,once said, “I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.”
Marriage is a game of the mind and a big deal if you must know. It’s not for the immature. You must be ready to weigh the pros and cons before settling in with a partner. Like the saying, “Love may be blind but marriage will open it.”