Marriage is for life. Once you have decided to be part of the institution, you must ensure you succeed. We decided to write about the basics for choosing a partner, courtship and finally marriage in order to enlighten readers on what they need to know before plunging into it. Some people have described the institution of marriage as a life sentence;once you are in it, you must sustain it.

Most of the time, young people have no information, knowledge or understanding of what they will face. Several young people have entered into marriage in ignorance only to find out that “not everything that glitters is gold”.

We have tried to provide a range of information from a personal perspective, from the experts and also from the Bible. We have had our own experiences regarding these issues. Our experience in marriage counselling over the past ten years has opened our eyes to the fact that with a proper foundation, people can sustain their marriage, especially when the wind of change blows.

When people make choices based on what the media is saying or by worldly standards, instead of the laid down biblical principles or the word of God, there is bound to be problems. It is important for singles to know that choosing a partner for marriage is about the future. It is not about the now. Since one does not know the future, he or she should stick to what the word of God says. This will guarantee you a better foundation.

.. We believe that this book, which is infused with our experiences, will help you during your dating and courtship and provide you with the much-needed information. Our Christian beliefs have contributed to our happy and sustainable marriage for over 25 years. It is our considered view that the biblical statement, “we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” should be taken seriously in your search for a partner.

In all issues concerning relationships, we must be guided by the word of God. He is the one who instituted marriage and therefore has all the answers. We need to pray constantly in our search for partners and for our marriage. In all things, ask for wisdom from God. He alone can provide you with it in abundance.

The important thing about courtship is the time it enables you to spend together with your mate; to study each other, ask questions and get the necessary clarifications about issues. Courtship is not marriage and therefore you should not throw caution to the wind. However, if this opportunity is missed because you think you can now break your set boundaries and start indulging in sex among others, then you are in for future disappointment.

 

We have had the opportunity to counsel several individuals before they finally ended up at the altar. Though counsellors cannot play God by advising against certain relationships, it is important that individuals in love do their homework well before finally sealing their relationship. Yes you may be in love. That is fine. But you need more than love start a marriage and to sustain it.

 

There are several wounded people in the Church due to marital break downs and disappointments. The emotional pains that follow sometimes become permanent scars and detrimentally affect the person’s future. This can be resolved through getting the Counsellors in place.

 

It is a well-known fact that marriage does not enjoy very good public relations. Even among Christians, the statistics are frightening. With almost about 50% marriages collapsing within the first five years, the need to find a solution has never been urgent.

 

But the root cause as stated above can be traced to the issue of choice among others. When people make choices based on what the media is saying or by worldly standards, instead of the laid down biblical principles or the word of God, there is bound to be problems. It is important for singles to know that choosing a partner for marriage is about the future. It is not about the now. Since one does not know the future, he or she should stick to what the word of God says. This will guarantee you a better foundation.

 

Divorce is real. Therefore, it is important that you take pre-marital counselling seriously. Unfortunately, most Christian partners are sometimes more focused on going through the training with the view to getting the approval of their Pastors.

Marriage can be happy and fulfilling but also involves effort, risk, and times of difficulty and disappointment. These are not easy experiences. When you have a better foundation and the storms of life hit your marriage, your anchor will hold. When things seem to go wrong and you have the right partner, the strong foundation you have laid will help you through. You can work through the challenges and problems in life with  a compatible partner with far greater success than with someone who was the wrong choice.

 

The Bible says that ‘for lack of knowledge my people perish.’ Knowledge about God’s honourable institution will bring you the essential foundations for your marriage. Therefore, if you follow the valuable advice provided in this book, we can guarantee to a greater extent that your marriage will work.

By Rev. Mrs Dorothy Appiah