So, you’ve decided to take the risk to commit the rest of your life married to someone. Here are some of my final thoughts just before you sign on the dotted lines. Sadly, many married couples discovered these too late but you don’t have repeat their mistakes.

The wedding is not the marriage. Don’t spend your hard-earned cash or take a loan to have a great celebration when you have no house to live in and you’re struggling and managing after the guests have said their goodbyes. Instead spend your extra and surplus funds for a wedding celebration you can truly afford.

Don’t waste your hard-earned cash showing off at a lavish wedding ceremony to people who care less about your future together. Most couples are stressed, and sleep deprived as they mentally calculate what’s owed to the various vendors. The music is too loud, the food is mass-produced, everyone is sweating. Is the stress really worth it?

 “Love may be a feeling, but after you get married, love becomes a decision.”

Don’t get married to anyone who has neither discovered nor is on a journey to discovering God’s purpose for their lives. After the wedding is over and you’ve returned from your honeymoon, after lots of time under the sheets and the kids are here, only pursuing a higher purpose will take your marriage the distance in life. Every one of us needs to find out why God sent us to Earth and every couple needs to discover what assignment God’s entrusting to them.

Every marriage will go through a shock, you will be disappointed, your expectations will not be met. Instead of eating out and posting pictures online during your courtship, spend all that time planning and drafting a vision for your marriage. If you don’t have any plans, it won’t be long before your marriage begins to drift and eventually fail.

No one can love you like God. Only God can meet the deepest longings of your heart. Don’t get married expecting anyone to love you or make you happy, that’s so much pressure on anyone to keep you happy. You would need an overflow of God’s love to give love to your spouse.

True love is not a feeling, it’s an intentional decision. Before you sign the dotted lines, love may be a feeling, but after you get married, love becomes a decision. The world defines love as the warm feelings, the gifts, the time under the sheets but God defines love as being patient, kind, humble, not keeping a record of wrongs, etc. If God hasn’t kissed, cuddled or hugged anyone of us, then love must be more than all these.

When you surrender your life to Jesus, your name gets on one of the enemy’s hit list. When you get married and commit to doing marriage God’s way, your name gets on another hit list. Marriage is an intense spiritual warfare. Couples would need to constantly cover each other in prayers as they fight a common enemy.

“Only God can meet the deepest longings of your heart.”

Marriages are engaged in an unseen warfare, Jesus said ‘If two of you shall agree, if you ask anything, it will be done’. But we have an enemy that doesn’t want couples to agree so God’s will won’t be achieved in their marriages. Instead, he will let trivial and irrelevant issues morph into major issues, so couples are busy and distracted than fulfilling the purpose God brought them together.

The most important thing in life isn’t getting married but fulfilling your assignment. Your spouse will either take you further into all of God’s will or away from it. When we stand before God in a coming day, there will be no crowns for those who got married to the most handsome or beautiful spouses but only for those who completed the assignment God gave them when He sent them to earth.

It’s better to be single, happy and joyfully serving the Lord, enjoying your space, time and cash than married, mad, depressed and stuck with the wrong person in regrets of a marriage heading nowhere. It’s an irony that those who are unmarried are cluelessly anxious to get married while those who are married sadly wish they could turn back the hands of time.

Don’t be in a hurry to tell anyone that you love them. You don’t know them yet. You can’t truly love someone you don’t know. Don’t be naive and gullible to trust anyone who says, ‘I love you’, wait to see how they will act and behave when life doesn’t go as planned.

People pretend a lot before they sign on the dotted lines but after the wedding, when you finally meet the real person, you may not love them as much. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Ask God to give you a spouse who has a heart like Him, someone that fears God and whose heart pants after the business of the kingdom.

God’s standards about sex before marriage remains unchanged. When we spend time under the sheets before marriage, we lose the ability to make the right judgement in the choice of a spouse and we will end up settling for less than God’s best as we confuse being overwhelmed with sexual passions with true love.

It may be acceptable to have sex or cohabit before marriage, but we may be setting up ourselves for major spiritual and emotional issues in the future. If you are not disciplined to wait to sign on the dotted lines before getting under the sheets, chances are high that you may not be disciplined after marriage. Many couples are unable to connect spiritually and emotionally with each other because they have soul ties with previous partners.

Marriage is a huge risk, you don’t know what will happen. People change, circumstances change. Take the leap with God. It’s absolutely vital to hear from God in the choice of a spouse. Many people have been disappointed, marriage didn’t bring with it all it promised. When we run ahead of God, we will pay a huge price for our impatience.

“It may be acceptable to have sex or cohabit before marriage, but we may be setting up ourselves for major spiritual and emotional issues in the future.”

There’s no perfect spouse, you’re also not perfect so why do you expect someone else to be perfect? No one tells you but even after the wedding, you’ll certainly meet someone who is more beautiful, more intelligent or more engaging than your spouse. You will need to constantly be grateful for your spouse.

When you stop thanking God for your spouse you will begin to look down on your spouse and consider an affair. If the grass is greener somewhere else, then it may be time to look after yours.

There is an increase in domestic violence in recent times even among those who claim to love and fear God. Don’t ignore the red flags, look out for the tell-tale signs of an angry and violent spouse. When we ignore the red flags and refuse to walk away from unhealthy, ungodly and abusive relationships, we will spend the rest of our lives praying and fasting for someone who has no plans to change. 

Love is blind but marriage will certainly open those ‘blind’ eyes. Guys, don’t get married to a lady who will make loving them impossible. Ladies, don’t get married to a guy you can’t and don’t plan to respect.

Compatibility is a myth. With the different stages and phases of marriage. You don’t know how your spouse will react or behave when they lose their jobs, fail in life, struggle with a child with special needs, or become bankrupt. It’s too early to say you are compatible with anyone. Let’s hope and pray that the love of your life will be your love for life.

We all have secrets. We mask our past and put our best foot forward when we are interested in someone. Be careful of anyone who doesn’t answer or avoids questions. All secrets must be disclosed before you sign on the dotted line. Some secrets have been pleasant, others have been devastating and have changed the dynamics of many relationships.

Marriage is not compulsory. Marriage is not an achievement but a huge responsibility. Don’t get caught, stuck and frustrated with someone who neither has a vision for their life and none for you. When the candles on your cake begin to cost more than the cake, the more important question would not be ‘Are you married’ but ‘What have you done with your life?’

If couples are not getting married to fulfill God’s purpose for marriage, they might just be wasting their time, merely existing and not living the abundant life God promised. Don’t join the statistics of unhappy couples who share the same last name, live at the same address, who may even wear clothes with matching patterns but are no longer excited about their marriage.

Don’t open the doors of your heart to just anyone, not everyone deserves to be there. Getting married is signing away your ‘freedom’, make sure that whoever that person is worth it. At some point, we all have to decide, who is in our lives for a reason, or a season or for the journey for a lifetime.

Every time we break up with someone, they take a part of us away and leave some of their baggage behind. Many spouses get married with a hard heart as a result of so many betrayals, broken relationships and so much baggage and are now unable to give love to or receive love from their spouse and kids.

When you make the decision to get married, you are giving someone the permission to change your life forever, don’t hand that over to just anyone. Marriage is not a cure for loneliness, you may even be lonelier after marriage if you’re stuck with the wrong person.

When we don’t hear clearly from God about our choice of a spouse, we will continue to waste huge investments of our time, money and emotions on relationships heading nowhere that God never approved.

When people say they are too busy to stay in touch, they are not, the implication is that you’re no longer as important. Irrespective of our hectic deadlines and busy schedules, we all make out time for those who have a special place in our hearts.

Don’t get married to settle down but rather to begin an adventure. Life is so brief, marriage should be enjoyed and not endured. Getting married is one thing, staying married is another kettle of fish.

The foundation of any great marriage is a functional relationship with God, genuine friendship, a merging purpose and the power of agreement. Don’t fast track or truncate the process of genuine friendship and the pursuing of common interests. Many unhappy married couples were never best friends.

Let’s not hop around town telling anyone that we fear God if we don’t consistently walk away from every appearance of evil and the opportunity to sin. If spending time in God’s presence isn’t changing us and making us like Jesus, then, our singing in the choir or praying at night vigils at deafening decibels is all showbiz.

A hefty inheritance or a great education is no longer adequate, every child needs a solid spiritual foundation and a stable emotional environment to prepare for the challenges ahead. Many children have become adults but are bereft of the skills and nurture to survive the vicissitudes of marriage.

Don’t get married to someone who ‘goes’ to church but someone who has surrendered their heart to be led by God’s Spirit. Some people are diligently attending church events hoping to get a spouse, but are not interested in God. Beware of people who are interested in you but not in the God you serve.

Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain but a woman that fears the Lord is unstoppable. Look beyond the external attraction to a spouse whose heart truly pants after Jesus. Marriage and motherhood are not the finish lines, Jesus died for much more than these. Will your waking moments count for eternity? Our world is waiting for you and what problems your marriage will resolve?

Many times, when we upgrade ourselves spiritually, intellectually and emotionally, many of these relationships that mean the world to us will suddenly become irrelevant. Don’t begin or agree to be part of any relationship where your voice is not heard, and your opinions are not valued.

If your marriage doesn’t enable you fulfill God’s purpose for your life, if the quality of your life is worse than it was when you were alone, if you are constantly dreaming about a divorce or plotting your escape, if you seriously regret getting married, then, who knows, that marriage may have been a huge mistake.

If you’re no longer excited about your spouse or your marriage, you may be headed on a downward spiral to a divorce. Our world needs more examples of honest couples fighting for their marriages than pious pretenders whose marriages are crumbling.

Don’t die in silence when your marriage becomes a nightmare. Never be ashamed or afraid to seek counselling. Counselors have been trained to be an unbiased and independent voice to come alongside hurting couples to explore options to resolve knotty issues and keep the wheels of marriage moving again.

Two are better than one. The two shall become one. Not just any two people but two whole and healthy individuals who depend on God’s Spirit daily to add value to their relationship. ‘Cleaving’ will not happen till ‘leaving’ is completed. Don’t get married to someone who values the opinion of their parent or pastor more than yours.

When we don’t get married to pursue God’s purpose, we will end up as a sex toy, an executive nanny or our spouse’s parent. Without a vision, a marriage will begin to crumble, and with two visions, there will be certainly be division. Every couple needs to pursue a merging purpose.

What we don’t learn by instruction, we will painfully learn by experience.

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