Having placed much emphasis on the importance of courtship before marriage in our previous articles, it is also important to say not all things can actually be engaged in during courtship.
Just like there are very crucial things that if not embarked on, will not guarantee a successful courtship exercise.
We must also remember that the foundation of a balanced marriage begins with a thorough and successful courtship period.
The rules are simple, do the things that will not leave anything bugging your conscience. Hide nothing and be yourself.
As easy as this may sound, they appear to be a bit tasking especially given that at this point, intending couples are yet to know much about each other.
First, intending couples do not need to see the marriage as a do-or-die affair as this thinking tempt them into doing things that will not be right as far as courting is concerned.
Things you must avoid Within the period (Don’ts)
Let me start from things we must not engage in during courtship;
- Do not lie during courtship
Marriage is fundamentally based on trust and if courtship begins in falsehood, then the foundation of marriage itself is faulty.
Both parties must understand the fact that it is an opportunity to begin afresh not minding your historical pasts.
Nobody without a past, the past must not destroy the present or future.
And one of the major ways the past can be rendered ineffective is by unearthing it to your partner during courtship.
For instance, if you had a child out of wedlock, please inform your partner.
Do not be scared of him/her backing out because if he/she does back out, then it was not meant to be.
Through this, you can also know if the was love real or false
A few years back, a lady expressed her worries to me stating her boyfriend of six months’ relationship suddenly left after discovering she had a child of 2 years outside wedlock.
And she was like ”Sir are you sure any man will stand this news and go ahead to marry me?”
In my response, I let her understood that her rightful man who will sincerely love her and not mind her predicament of having a child before getting married will come and stay.
And I advised her to ensure she discusses the issue with whoever seeks her hand in marriage first before accepting the proposal.
To God be the glory, she did a couple of times and finally, the one God created for her saw it as nothing and they got married. Today, they are happy couples blessed with two other children.
Should you have any issue that you think your partner needs to know beforehand, please do not hide it from him/her.
Inform your partner about such an issue, discuss it and agree on how you can handle such an issue in marriage and work out a feasible way of overcoming whatever after effect this predicament may have presented. Be it health issues or whatever, inform your partner during the courtship period.
- Do not continue in old ill habits.
The journey of life is full of ups and downs, during this process we may have at a particular time tried to solve problems our own ways which may have culminated into some unpleasant consequential habits.
And over time we saw ourselves repeating some of the activities that are not right which along the line became our habits.
For instance indulging in illicit drug consumption and addiction, watching pornography movies, drinking alcohol without regulation, smoking, clubbing, gambling, etc. are old bad habits that must be stopped as you plan to start creating a home and raise responsible and God-fearing children.
All these kinds of habits are unhealthy hence we must be determined to get rid of them and discuss them with our partners with the aim of helping us to work together to find permanent solutions to address them.
Sincerely repent of all unhealthy habits.
True repentance can only come when we take the decision to turn a new leaf by ourselves without been forced to do so.
The holy bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” KJV
Repent of such habits to be ready to start a fresh new life.
Marriage is a serious business; you cannot go into it with any of such habits and expect to succeed.
- Avoid Sexual Immorality(sexual sin)
The holy bible says ”Marriage is honorable with bed undefiled” Heb. 13:4.
Do not allow yourself to from things that will tempt both of you into committing fornication.
For it is sin that God hates.
Avoid discussions that will lead to temptation because the bible says “evil communication corrupts good manners” 1Cor 15:33.
Do not dress in a way to lure your partner into sin during courtship. Dress modestly and responsibly.
Stay away from close body contacts so as not to tempt one another into immorality.
Have patience because one day you will get tired of sexual intercourse as a married couple. Take your mind away from thinking about it to avoid been tempted into it.
The consequences of premarital sex can better be imagined, hence do all you can to avoid it and wait until you are married.
- Avoid cooking and washing for your courting partner
It is not a crime if you assist him or her with basic assignments or run errands, but it is not advisable to undertake major responsibilities that should only be done when you are fully married.
For example, cooking for him, washing his clothes, cleaning and mopping the house, buying undies for each other, insisting on viewing and assessing each other’s body parts, etc.
Cooking food for your partners brings some form of emotional and psychological attachments during courtship that may lead to some unwanted behaviors thereafter.
- Do not cohabit
To cohabit while courting when you are not yet married is a sin. You are only permitted to live together after you have been legally married.
The temptation to commit immorality during co-habitation is eminent, part of the reasons it is highly frowned at by the scripture and the Christian community.
Note that sin is a sin but the holy bible places emphasis on the magnitude of sin due to immorality.
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1Cor 6:18(English Standard Version)
Try to live in purity as you court because, amongst other reasons, this will prepare you for the journey of marriage ahead with better confidence.
Also, when you co-habit chances are that you will get satisfied and get tired of each other before marriage.
Reserve the enjoyment until when it is time. Any food that you are not mature or qualify to eat will run your stomach.
Take for instance; an infant baby cannot be fed with rice as a meal, as that will spell danger to the baby.
So it is when you get yourself involved in immorality during courtship.
If you love me, you will wait for me to finish my courtship with you and we get married.
Some young men will try to convince ladies for all sorts of reasons in order to lure them into bed.
But as a lady, you must remember that the bible says “What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have of God, and you are not your own?” 1 Cor 6:19 KJV
Things you must diligently do during this period (Dos)
During courtship, there are fundamental things that if not embarked upon, will give rise to unproductive courtship exercise.
To be able to see that your courtship programme place your marriage agenda on a solid foundation, you have to observe some basic concepts some of which can be seen as follows.
- Always set prayer points and pray jointly on them
The habit of couples praying together is a strong Christian weapon in every Godly home.
The foundation of such a feat starts during courtship, to learn to pray together on the same prayer points is very important.
For example, you can pray that God reveals to yourselves His plan concerning both of you whether or not you are meant for each other.
You can pray that God reveals secret things about each other to you both to allow you to plan together.
There are several other things you can pray together about.
Note: when I say pray together I am not insinuating that you must be locked up in the same room to pray together, rather am saying you can agree on a prayer point and time to pray on the issue separately.
Sometimes you may even need to fast if it becomes necessary.
- Reveal your pasts to each other
The pasts sometimes have the tendency of damaging the future. Most marriages today are broken not because there is material lack, but because certain pasts were not revealed to each other during courtship.
With all amount of honesty, you must say it the way it happened and that will save you in the feature.
The bible says “ And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32 KJV
I know one may ask ”what if I reveal it to him/her and he/she backs out?”.
My answer is simple. It is better to have a broken courtship than having a broken marriage.
That way, you will know the person wasn’t God’s choice for you.
So keep praying to God to give you the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh who will not run away because you are honest enough to expose your pasts to him/her.
But will stay with you for better for worse.
- Know everything about each other.
You may want to introduce him/her to your family members, father, mother, siblings, church pastor, and extended family members, and so on.
It is very important to create such familiarity with your families during courtship as this helps to build stronger and bigger family bonds.
You will want to know about each other’s likes and dislikes, temperaments. Things like favorite foods, meals you do not like or react to, these things are important to discover during courtship.
If you are from different cultural or religious backgrounds, you may wish to get your partner acquainted with your own side of the divide.
Learning how to prepare certain meals that you realize your partner love so much but you do not have knowledge of how to prepare them is another great way to warm up for the marriage ahead during courtship.
- Keep all your secrets to each other
There are many foes that often come in the form of friends unknowingly to you that they do not wish you well.
As you divulge the secret been shared between you and your partner to them, they may be busy orchestration evil to stop your marriage behind the scene.
I have heard of a real-life story where, a young girl in Enugu state of Nigeria was sharing secrets about her fiancé who then lived and worked in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Both ladies were then University students studying in the same school and have been friends for almost a decade.
As Ngozi traveled to Abuja often, returning with gifts, expressing showers of love by her then-fiancé with her girlfriend, little did Ngozi know that her friend was envious of her.
Ngozi hid nothing from her friend telling her how wealthy, handsome, nice, gentle, kind, and lovely the young man was.
But her friend(name withheld) one day secretly got the man’s address and phone number in Abuja from Ngozi’s diary without her permission, pretended she was traveling home, and went to Abuja to frame Ngozi up to her fiancé.
She tried every possible means to destroy the relationship with the man, and at the end of the day she had her way and the guy turned round to marry her instead of Ngozi.
We are living in a world full of betrayals everywhere. They may pose as friends, colleagues at work, business partners sometimes even close family members pretending they are real friends, but be wary of them all.
Hence we must be careful of the information we spread concerning our partners. We may sometimes think we are doing that to gain relevance but it may backfire and land us in a regrettable situation which I pray will not be the portion of someone reading this article.
- Always dress well and be neat.
They say “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Dressing well does not connote dressing expensively. Dressing well suggests dressing modestly. Dressing in a way you will be respected.
Your dressing has a lot to speak about you. Dress responsibly as someone who wishes to be a responsible wife someday or pretty soon as a lady.
Wearing skimpy things to entice your partner is out of it. You do not need to expose your private body parts to show your beauty.
If that is what it will take men to marry a woman, no prostitute will be left in hotels and brothels across the world because they dress offensively without minding the repercussion.
Wearing make-up may not be an abomination provided it is light, neat and not excessive.
And as man, you must clean up, maintain clean shave, and do not wear one jeans trouser for four days thinking it doesn’t show dirt.
Trim your finger nails, keep your boxers and singlet neat as well as brushing your mouth regularly.
Keep your house, car, and office neat always.
Doing all these and more will diligence, the sincerity of purpose while showing genuine love will place your marriage plans on a solid path.
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