The Hard Truth about Marriage 

“Marriage is an encounter. How many couples would agree with me?” Pastor Fiifi Otabi Wilson of ICGC Faith Temple asked in his sermon on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

The cheers from the married couples in the auditorium were enough to confirm that marriage is more than a bed of roses but a real ‘encounter.’ Some of us are not too old in this encounter (just a little over a year and a half) but we can attest to the fact that marriage is a lot more than what meets the eye.

Most married couples, when given the opportunity, would definitely not settle for the people they are living with. If there was a petition which allowed them about a year’s orientation of marriage before they finally make the decision, there would be a lot of signatures and I’m sure some people would not even get married after the first year.🤣

Marriage is indeed a classroom on its own. It is a course by itself but a lot of married couples love to show the beautiful aspect of it, especially on social media (that’s fine). Just like every media form, we are selective about how our marriages should be perceived. Nobody would let you see the challenging aspect of marriage but when I am approached by my friends and asked the famous question, “Oh, so how is married life?” I tell you the truth, unlike most Christians who would only smile and say, “Oh, it’s wonderful.”

In my opinion, young people who are yet to sign these agreements deserve some exposition on marriage. When this question is posed to me, I like to be as real as possible. I don’t pretend. I clear my throat and say, “my friend, it isn’t a joke. If you know you love to be by yourself, in love with your sleep and love your simple lifestyle, then marriage is not your thing,” I say to them.

“You better stay in your parents’ house or rent your apartment and be by yourself oo. Do not worry yourself or someone’s child by getting married to them because this institution is hard work,” I add.

Marriage is a period in life where the couples are stretched on all sides – your patience, hard work, Godliness and every aspect is tested. No wonder, the congregation agreed with Pastor Wilson that marriage is an encounter. The institution has its own requirements which include being a manager of resources – money, time, people (yes, your in-laws are waiting for you particularly if you are Ghanaian). This would go a long way in defining how the union turns out.

Seek Godly counsel. It’s very important. Do not write off some counselors because they do not speak your kind of language. Listen to them all and select what is useful before you settle with a partner because, for us Christians, divorce is mostly not an option. It is after you marry, that is when you realize the importance of the premarital counselling (even though during that period, our main concern was the wedding ceremony 😞 ).

All is not gloomy if both of you share the same faith because God is always available to provide us with the help that we need, for He is our shepherd. This is when you begin to understand the importance of marrying someone who is a friend.

Before you go to the altar to say your vows, remember to invest a lot of prayers in the decision you have made for the journey is indeed a long one. And as my mother keeps saying, there is no vacation in marriage 🙂

This
post was put together by Delali Sogah. 

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Marriage Series: Christian Dating and Courting

Dating. What does this word mean to a Christian in Ghana? Well, in most developed countries, dating or going on a date is doing something fun with the opposite sex but in Ghana, dating is the very first step to getting acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. This is the period that a guy and a lady decide if they are right for each other. Dating may lead to courtship and later, marriage 🙂

During the dating period, a guy and lady discuss everything except marriage plans. The courtship period is when the couple is certain they want to spend the rest of their lives together and start making plans towards marriage. Also, they make their intentions known to their parents. According to renowned counselors, there are no clear-cut timelines for the various stages but to prevent pre-marital sex, it is advised the guy and lady do not court for more than two years (I know people who disagree to this).

How to build a successful relationship

So how do you even start a successful relationship? One which will lead to courtship and then to marriage? Even the Bible establishes that it is not good for a man to be alone, so how do you identify the right person especially if you are a Christian. The first character to look out for in a prospective partner is someone who shares in your faith. The Bible categorically states that believers should not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). That peculiar feeling that you have especially at the beginning of the relationship, the butterflies in the stomach. Yes, that feeling – it fades away. It does after a few months of being with each other. How do you sustain the love if the person does not share the same faith as you?

As Christians, we base our love on 1 Corinthians 13 and not on that weird feeling at the pit of your stomach. People outside the faith have different opinions and beliefs on what love ought to be which is quite different from ours. Never compromise on that – do not allow the stomach flutter to direct you. Fall in love with someone who shares your faith and you will share your testimony with us 🙂

Watch out for other factors that account for successful relationships which lead to marriage.