Who Are The Marriage Travelers?
A marriage traveler is anyone who has interest to get married someday. It is also that person who is on a marriage journey! It does not exclude the person who is separated by distance, conflicts or even the inevitable ‘death’. All these people are Marriage Travelers.
Because we have so much to discuss in this regard, we will start this episode with:
Now You Want To Marry
Just a flash back to some days before my wedding day. I could recollect receiving a call from an unknown caller and he asked this question: “Are you sure you want to marry this guy?” the stranger asked same question over and over! This caller remain a stranger to me till date but the question he asked kept ringing through my mind for a long time. You may wonder what my answer was. Of course, I answered the stranger in the affirmative; Yes!
Today, I thought to myself; may be that question should be rephrased like this: ” Are you sure you want to marry now?” A decade afterward, I am here and sharing my thought that no one can actually say emphatically that he or she is really ready for marriage. As much as you have prepared for the wedding day; you hardly can say the same of the marriage. This is because to an extent, marriage is ‘a STEP of FAITH! Also, there is bound to always be surprises in marriage. However, there are some surprises that must be avoided from ever showing up. This brings us to the focus of this discussion:
‘Now You Want To Marry!’ It may amaze you to know that some people cannot explain the reason why they want to marry or what they actually want in a man/ woman? But for ‘The Marriage Travelers’, the questions above must be answered. However, I would say that for the latter part of the questions, there are no wrong or right answer. Rather, the answer is likened to a ‘bed’, ‘as you lay your bed, so you lay on it’ so, before you lay your bed, let us look at some things to seriously give thought to. I strongly believe that these points are also worth thinking about by the different sects of marriage travelers.
- Take a deep thought of what you want in your marriage partner. In doing this, you should identify those qualities or values that are MUST-have. Remember that marriage is not a straight jacket thing, you cannot want the same thing with everyone because you are different from everyone and probably going different direction from someone else. In doing this, you must differentiate between the qualities that are MUST-have and those qualities that you can be flexible about.
- You should consider what the relationship of your proposed partner is with God! Are you a God chaser? You should know better than marrying someone who never gets serious with God or have a relationship with Him. When I was considering a life partner, I was not giving consideration to so many things (you can call me…..) I was not bothered about the look, stature, complexion, money, etc.) not that these things are bad, but I did desired greatly for ONE thing to the best of my knowledge ; ‘ for a man after God’s own heart ‘ simply put, a man that loves God and reverence Him, a man who cannot do without God! Why? Because I know that is my only guarantee to the future I so much crave and desire. Does that make him perfect? No, but it does give me the courage to talk to God about him especially because when I asked him what he wants me to pray for him about, he said and still says “ pray for me that I would not lose sight of God in my life” That means the whole world for me! But that is my story. Whatever story you will write down the years depend on your choice of partner and remember, the relationship of your partner with God matters a GREAT deal! All these things doesn’t make a man perfect, but remember as I earlier said, marriage is a leap of faith. But before you take that leap, consider some of these things to avoid some surprises in marriage.
- Ever thought of CHARACTER as one of your Must-have quality? Well, Character is a big thing and one of the criteria for successful Marriage Travelers.
It is not beauty because beauty fades, nor money because it can develop wings and fly away or fame, fame is just for a season but a man/ woman with a character will outlive other things.
So, if you must marry, choose character above everything else. Here is a warning sign; when someone has a defect in character, it is just a matter of ‘honeymoon-away’. You will face some major challenges after the honeymoon! Character is what sustain honeymoon or allows a successful transition from honeymoon to the reality phase of marriage!
- It is also important that you not only know your values and have an idea of the kind of family you want to raise, but most importantly, do a ‘matching analysis’ of your values with him/ her. What are your values? Do you place a huge value on integrity? Are you very accountable? , are you straightforward in your dealings with others, etc. List is endless, but where you have been able to identify your values, you must ask yourself or determine which of those values a MUSt-have in your partner are. This is because often times, we don’t take time to prioritize the list of the MUST- have and the ones we can be flexible about! Am I saying you should marry your replica? No, most often, you will not even find. When you see them, you don’t make them your choice of partner. Because ‘opposite attracts’, my point is, in your differences, you must be similar where it matters! Marriage Travelers are heading same direction. Can you imagine the commotion if a bus heading to Ibadan, loaded from Oshodi but carried passengers going to Ikotun or Okota. That’s is palava! Sorry, if you are not conversant with that route, but I hope you get my point.😀
- Finance is a MUST discussion before you marry. Finance in this regard start from identifying who you are. Are you a frugal person/ a spender? Do you budget for every naira you are expecting before spending or you do you budget after you are done spending the money or you don’t even budget for anything at all? Another thing you should identify is: ‘Who the boss of your partner is? You must know if money is what controls your partner? Are you keeping joint account or separate account? Who spend on what in the home?
Lastly, you must not forget that marriage is a leap of faith! Nothing you do right can guarantee a perfect partner. However, you can have the partner that you can both work towards that perfection and also avoid some surprises if you remind yourself that you will lay on your bed the way you have laid it. Thank you and looking forward to reading your comments and also learning from you.
Marriage is indeed a journey with an unpredictable ending. Just as I have emphasized, marriage is a leap of faith having God has the originator, you can be sure of a happy ending if you will only follow His road map which is God’s word! Nothing else can assure you of a glorious ending. It is true that you cannot or should not pattern your marriage after another couple, but you can study and dare to look deeper into the life of a couple whose purpose is working at fulfilling a marriage covenant. It is true that some people now have different mindsets or understanding about marriage, believing that they can always ‘take a walk out of marriage ‘ if and when it is not working but we should also know that this is nothing but a perversion of the truth! Yes, it is a fact that many marriages are broken, but the truth is there are many couples who are enjoying bliss and fulfilling the purpose of marriage. Your marriage can also become one of those fulfilling marriages depending on how you make your choice today.
In studying your partner, also know his/her personality, background, temperament, love language etc. You will be equipped with knowledge! It is also important that you have quality discussion about some important issues ( as earlier mentioned)In your discussion, do not leave out the issue of sex because you cannot run away from it. It is your reality! It is just a matter of time, your emotions will start running. My take about SEX is that you should wait until marriage. It may be one of the hardest decision / thing to take or do, but it is the best decision you can ever make. Ask me? And I will tell you it is a decision I will make over and over again! Wait until you are married before you start having SEX. Don’t be misguided that sex before marriage is a test to sexual compatibility in marriage. It is a lie! Have you been to the car dealer shop before? You are permitted to test drive a new car but when it comes to the time of making a decision of the car you want to buy, people don’t ask for the car that was test driven by them, they ask for the brand new car with Odometer (meaning a car that has never been driven by anyone). Some will even ask that the car be driven by another car to their apartment. If he cannot wait for you now, there is every tendencies that he will not wait when you are married. Ask married couples and they will tell you that there are times of waiting even in marriage. Most importantly, never based your decision to marry on feelings. You will not get another chance to make this decision so make it right this ONCE CHANCE. If you are taking a leap of faith, make sure your back is covered. How do I mean? I mean by critically considering all that we have been saying earlier on this episode! Tell yourself the bitter truth!
What are those bitter truth you must know about each other? By this, I mean your past experiences, Have you been married before, do you have a child when you were much younger, have you had some careless past etc. This is not a gender kind of discussion. It applies to both male and female. However, while discussing this, please take note that:
- It must not be the first thing you discus when you just met. Time is very crucial, or else you might scare you bone of bone away.
- Spare your partner the horrid details. For example, if you are not a virgin (male or female) say so but you don’t have to state the details in-to- to. Only give information needed!
✔Also, please know your health statues. HIV, HBV, Genotype, Blood Group etc. This is important and must be shared with each other. Remember, when you practice openness and sincerity, you will have no fear in your marriage!
I will not fail to mention the importance of spending quality time together! That you spend time together doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have sex before marriage as some churches frown at! I know of one or two people who married as strangers because it was forbidden that they get to spend time together for fear of sleeping together. Today they struggle and the strain in their marriage is tending towards divorce. However, you must not tempt each other by spending long hours together in enclosed places such as sleeping in same room, undressing or dressing up in the company of each other etc. if you must stay chaste, you must deny yourself of many things part of which we have highlighted.
Talk about how you will raise your family, number of children, to an extent discuss the possibility of some challenges that may come up in marriage and your likely disposition or reaction to it ( of course, you can never be 100% sure) but you will be surprise the likelihood of how you view life differently. For example, what will you do if babies did not come in the first few years of marriage? Are you open to adoption, fertility treatment or would you visit spiritualist?
How open is your house to extended families, friends etc. The list is inexhaustible!
This is why I will say that regardless of the number of years you spend courting, it is always a dress rehearsal and no matter what length you discuss before marriage, you will still see some surprises. Nevertheless, I can assure you that you are better equipped for marriage!
Thank you for reading till the end.
Watch Out For
‘What Kind Of Marriage Do You Want?’
“Now That You Are Ready To Say: ‘I DO’ “