Emmanuel Afolabi: Making Your Choice, Courtship & Marriage

Life is all about choice. And the result derived from any marriage is from the product of the kind of choice made at the initial stage. Also, courtship if not handled in a godly way may void the original plan and purpose of God for creating marriage for humanity.
Nevertheless, before marriage of any kind can ever exist, it is necessary that there must first be a choice which we shall be discussing later. However, the kind of choice one make will definitely determine how the courtship will look like. The way and manner the true children of God handles their courtship of which they strictly adhere and comply to is written in Hebrews 13:4 that ‘‘Marriage is honourable among all and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterer God will judge. The reverse will be the case for those who are not the children of God, as nothing concerns them about the issue of bed defiled and that is the reason why it is difficult to see any differences between the time of their courtship and when they are married, because they had enjoyed marital experiences while in courtship. The Bible says in Amos 3:3 that ‘‘two cannot walk except they agree.

Hence, as it is possible for two people to agree on a matter that is ungodly likewise it is possible for two people to agree on a matter that is godly. Ananiah and saphira who happened to be husband and wife conspired to lie against the spirit of the Lord as a result of their covetousness, so also the shunamite woman agreed with her husband to accommodate prophet Elisha which was a good decision that was later resulted into being blessed with son even in their old age.
Therefore, any action or decision you want to make in your relationship should largely base on positive agreement between both of you bearing in mind the consequences that is attached to it. As a result of this, I would like to go deep into this topic by explaining the word choice, courtship and marriage.

CHOICE: – This simply means the chance or ability to choose between different things, or people. It can also mean choosing from available possibilities. Therefore, everyone has the right to choose what he/she desires. When it comes to the issue of choosing, especially one’s life partner, as a true child of God, it is important to allow God choose for us because He knows our frame and nature. He alone has all it takes to choose the best for us and this best will suit the purpose for which He created us. This can be otherwise refer to as the perfect will of God. Choices, especially of marriage are sometimes irrevocable except by death, and that is the reason why when we choose our life partners we must make sure God is fully involved. Meanwhile it is possible for one to make wrong choice and quickly make amendment where necessary and everything will still come back normal.
However, when we make wrong choice in marriage especially, making amendment might not be possible until death set apart either of the parties involved. That is why you need to acknowledge God when you are ready to make a choice about your life partner so that He can direct your path on whom to marry or not. Proverb 3:5-6 says ‘‘Trust in the lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths’’. Remember, anything different from God choosing for you will definitely result to living a regretful life forever, even the possibility of making heaven for such a person is not sure. Samson made a wrong choice of marrying Delilah and it cost him his destiny entirely and eternal regret. Judas Iscariot also made a wrong choice when he betrayed Jesus Christ and resulted into untimely death.
Choice making is part of our daily living and in order to make right choice you / need to observe the following tips:
1. You need to have given you life ti Christ. Through that God can have an access to your life, because the prayer of a sinner is an abomination to Him.
2. You need to build an uninterrupted relationship with God by fellowshipping with Him day and night in praises and worship, in prayer, and in devoting time to study His word.
3. In the course of your intimacy with God, learn how to hear from Him. Know when He is speaking to you and the form He takes to commune with you. For example, God may decide to talk to you through revelation, dream, trance, His word, gentle voice, inner peace, and an audible voice. Whichever form He chooses to commune with you, note it, He might use any of these means to direct you when it comes to choosing your life partner or any other important matters.
4. Avoid setting standards for God on whom to marry. Most times His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways.
5. Set high priority on your life purpose more than marriage. Man’s purpose in life precede marriage, even God, first of all gave Adam an assignment which he guarded judiciously and did perfectly before God and Adam saw the need for an helper, to help him in his life’s assignment. Therefore, I urge you to face your life’s purpose first and be pleasing to God who will then make the best choice for you when the time comes. Remember to everything in life there is a time.
6. Let your motive be right. Know the reason why you are going into marriage, as this is very important before God. God will choose the right partner for you.

COURTSHIP: This is simply prelude to marriage, it is the next step after choice, and it is the act of paying close attention to one’s partner with a view of developing a more intimate relationship. It is also a period of engagement between two people that are planning to marry themselves as at their set time. The time of courtship is not the time for fornication, like the act of the people of the world, remember Hebrew 13:4 says ‘‘Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterer God will judge’’. If you don’t want to face God’s judgement, make sure you adhere strictly to this instruction. Also, the time of courtship is not the time for partying, and clubbing, or making unnecessary fun that could be dangerous to your marriage. Meanwhile, courtship is different form marriage, in the sense that both of you have not been joined together in Holy matrimony, unlike marriage that is a life contract in which there is no room for divorce. Now, we shall be looking at the various means by which a person can have pure and godly courtship.

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