*The quotations are my dads direct speech to me*
1. God fearing: ‘What keeps a marriage together is the fear of God. It is the fear of God that causes you to pray. The fear of God will determine the decisions you make when you are faced with a challenge in your marriage’. This factor is so important because the fear of God literally determines the purpose and direction of a person’s life, as well as his values. It would equally shape your marraige.
2. Religious Compatibility: Although the fear of God is important what is more important is a man that actually has a relationship with God. It is even more important to be compatible when it comes to your religious beliefs. Aside from the fact that a lot of religions acknowledge God, even amongst Christians there is still uniqueness in the way people serve God. So this point is focusing on your values as a Christian and if they align with each other. For example, do you both believe in fasting or taking all your decisions to God in prayer or speaking in tongues? These are things that matter if you want to build a home together. Remember, two cannot work together unless they are not agreed (Amos 3:3).
3. Potential: ‘He might not be where you want him to be now but do you see potential in him? What are his goals? Is he a lazy person or someone that is hard working? See, it is not just about him being smart academically but he also needs to be hard working’. The person you want to be with might not have everything together in the present. However, you might see potential in him. While it might not be so obvious who will be successful in life, there are some things that definitely lead to a person’s failure. Some of these things are laziness, unnecessary spending, a life dependent on self and not God.
4. Disposition: ‘His disposition is important, is he a kind person, is he gentle?’ I have posted a lot about the fruits of the spirit. The character of the man you choose to marry is very important. It determines the way he would treat you and others around him. Does he have the fruits of the spirit? (Galatians 5:22). His character would show how much he is grounded in God.
5. The company he keeps: ‘The friends a person keeps will impact the decisions he makes. You don’t want to be with someone that hangs out with friends that get drunk and stay out late. It would eventually influence him even if he does not believe in these things’. It is important to have godly friends that keep you accountable and also encourage you in your walk with God. On the other hand, friends can be distractions and they can also come in between your marriage and even more importantly your relationship with God.
6. Family background (Social): The family he comes from is very important because this determines, to an extent, his values. ‘You need to take into consideration these differences when choosing who to get married to. This is even more important when there is a huge difference’. This is the part of getting to know him and how his upbringing might shape some of his values. You might find out that there are things you are yet to learn and you might also find out there are things that needs to change for your relationship to work. ‘What is of utmost importance is the guy himself and his beliefs, but be careful because a persons family/ parents can have a huge impact on him’.
7. Family background (Economic): ‘When I look at my generation and my friends, I realise that most of us that are successful today did not come from rich homes. I lived in Ikorodu for example and my friend that lives in Ikoyi now grew up in Festac. This does not mean that if you are from a wealthy home you would not be successful. However, be careful to see that he wants to make something for himself’. The economic background of the family you marry into is also important, especially if it is quite different from yours. When it comes to family, these things might not be deal breakers but they are factors that need to be taken into consideration and discussed.
You have to put your emotions aside and sincerely ask yourself these questions. If you are confident about your answers to these questions, then you have found a good guy!