Archive for April 2010

Wrong Reasons For Getting Married – (6) Marrying Because of a Family Name

April 21, 2010

Years ago, I lived in the Police barracks at Onitsha. There was this young man from Sapele residing with his mother and a stepfather close to my apartment. Anytime he notices Ibo boys around his sisters, he warns them not mess around with the Ibo boys because, as soon as they are ready to marry, their mother would bring a girl for them and tell them to marry her because she is the daughter of Mr. Okonkwo. He would then get into a story of how the mothers would try to entice their sons to marry this girl because she is Okonkwo’s daughter. Do you not remember Mazi Okonkwo who has lots of large farm lands, palm plantation, the first person to ride a Whitehorse bicycle in the community, she asks? Mazi Okonkwo has a lot of money. This girl’s mother is a well behaved woman. She is leader of the women in our Church. It was so funny then and we had good laugh.

In these modern times, the parameters are still the same except that you hear such things as “that guy’s/girl’s father is the Minister of Education, the Commissioner for Information, the Managing Director of this company and the Chairman of the other company or Bank. You hear things like, her mother is a relation of the Emir or the Obi or the Oba or the Amanyanabo of one place or the other. His father is a business magnet based at Aba, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kano or Lagos, etc. Two of his or her brothers live in the United States of America. His or her family name opens closed doors.

Nothing can be more absurd than basing a decision to marry someone on the above grounds or any other like it. The truth, however, is that many marriages were contracted in the past and are contracted today and would be contracted tomorrow on these flimsy bases. Sad as this may appear, it is, undeniably the fact.

One classic example of international flavour where marrying a family instead of your spouse produced a catastrophic disaster is in the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Prince Charles was in love with Camilla but the Queen did not know her family. So she vehemently opposed the plan and then ensured that Prince Charles married Diana who is the daughter of a loyal military officer in the Royal Courts. The rest of the story is well known to all of us. The ruins produced by that marriage is still remembered annually. Prince Charles is now married to Camilla after the disastrous outing with Princess Diana.

Some years back, a transportation magnet whom I worked for in the Eastern parts had his daughter marry the son of a powerful merchant in the same city. The marriage which was arranged to ensure that the two young people do not bring in someone from a poor or unknown family more than for the benefit of the two young people lasted for only six months. This is in spite of the fact that there were cars and houses given as gifts from both families.

While the above real life scenarios are at the big time level with a lot of wealth and fame and name behind them all, there are several localized incidents of marrying because of a family name around the world today in the small villages and towns. The result is exactly the same.

One of the challenges faced by those marrying because of a family name is that a lady who chose to marry a man because of his family name most times wake up to find that she is sharing her beautiful life with black sheep of the family. Some of the time, the poor guy is a good soul, but the usually overbearing power of the head of the family robs the lady of an opportunity to have a husband in the real sense as everything the man has to do is to be cleared with the larger family. On the other hand, the man end up with the little brat of the family who has grown up to know and feel or know nothing except that the family money and name is talking and have to be listened to and waited upon. Some of the ladies never learned anything about relationships and how to build a home. Their parents family life more often than not are not to write home about and that is all she knows.

Marrying because of a family name is akin to marrying for money. He or she usually considers the other person as a gold digger. The one with the more powerful family name or who considers their own family more powerful than the other starts acting lord and master. Instead of a loving marriage relationship with friendship and mutual respect at the centre of it all, you have a master-slave relationship.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing family name and circumstance, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation. Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company. Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though. There are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone. These include friendship, mutual respect, honour, virtue, integrity, love, etc. Both parties ought to know and understand these fully. This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it. Marrying for any other reason is like standing the building on its roof.

How To Date A Guy To An Early Marriage Decision(Part 1)

April 21, 2010

Relationship pages in newspapers and magazines and even in books is replete with the lamentations of ladies who have suffered several set-backs in their dating relationships.  Many have been bold enough to ask ‘what have I done wrong?’  Many more have been rendered hopeless and hateful by their dating experiences and have vo2wed never to love a man again.  Such stories as “I have been with Mark for five years now.  It was such a fun-filled affair.  He confessed his love for me and I assured him of my own.  Throughout these five years, I never had sex with another man, I was faithful to him.  I was so shocked that Mark could treat me like this after all we shared.”  The same is the sound of the woeful stories shared by ladies who have come to seek for relationship coaching to overcome failed affairs or to get needed skill on how to manage their relationships from dating to the altar.

From this one paragraph scenario, you could find several anti-thesis of dating within a supposedly dating relationship.  At this point, it appears critical that we separate the wheat from the chaff.  Let’s start by defining the words date and dating in the relationship sense.

Date is an appointment to meet somebody for a social or business activity; a romantic engagement with somebody.

Dating is the activity of going out regularly with somebody as a social or romantic partner.

From the above definitions, the purpose of dating can be deduced.  For the avoidance of doubts on the part of new comers, the implied purpose of date and dating is to meet someone new for social, business or romance.  To extend this further would be to get to know someone with the expectation that the knowledge could lead us to further intimate relationships such as courtship and engagement.  Even at these two later stages in the romantic engagement of men and women, sexual intimacy is not appropriate.

There is nothing in the definition and synonym of the words used that suggests sexual intimacy.  So when we give the excuse of dating as reason for sexual intimacy, we are placing the cart before horse.  Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman is ordained of God in a legal and lawful marriage relationship.  Sexual intimacy has its own purpose different from the purpose of dating and can and should only come after a legal and lawful marriage contract has been entered into – signed, sealed, delivered and by appropriate legal authority.

If sexual intercourse should not be part of dating, how then is a girl and even a boy to date with hope of achieving the ultimate activity of their engagement – marriage relationship?

Here are a number of dating mindsets and activities which has helped:

  • Keep A Purpose In Mind: Why do you want to meet with this guy?  If I remember the thoughts and feelings that has been expressed by many a babe, it is to find my Prince Charming, my Mr. Right.  In the relationship dictionary and scriptural sense, it would be to find a companion, a life partner.  Keep this as a laser focused purpose.  It does not matter whether you are considering marriage immediately or three years later.  You will see that there could not be any sexual intimacy here because you have not really found your prince charming until he signs the dotted line.  The pre-marriage relationship called engagement has been broken off at the last minute.  Some scheduled wedding ceremonies have been cancelled at the last minute.  So, there is no social, moral, legal or spiritual reason for the two people involved in this relationship to engage in any form of sexual activity.
  • Seek Friendship First: Friendship is one of the foundational pillars that sustain marriage relationship.  This is what remains of any relationship, this is what will keep a man as yours, after age, childbirth and sickness has ravaged your body and disfigured it.  The power of friendship in a marriage relationship is ultimate.
  • Define Boundaries and Erect the Hedge: First define in your heart and mind and I suggest on paper, what and where the boundaries are.  Many men who come into your life are on their way to somewhere else.  You do not reside in a brothel, so you are not that whore that the traveler passes the night with.  Make it clear from the onset that sexual intercourse is not part of the bargain.  State your desire is to get to know him without any obligations.  Men usually do not believe that a girl do not want to have sexual intimacy with them.  In fact, they believe that a girl is dying to do so.  If you notice this mindset and activities tending to it in a dating relationship, be it on the first date or the tenth outing, stand up and leave at that moment.  If he is a man who is for you and who would honour your womanhood, he will come back begging.  If he is a charlatan like many of them are, he would go away in search of another victim.  You are not a victim, are you?
  • Go Out With Him, Don’t Go In With Him: When you are in a dating or any pre-marriage relationship with a man, don’t go into the room alone with him.  I teach young single adult men not take the girl they are dating in, but they should take her out.  The reason for this is that if you are a long for even a short period of time, so much can happen to your body and your heart that can ruin your life and your relationship, even if you finally married.  Every man in the presence of a lady, no matter his calling in life is always undressing the lady in his heart and mind and would seek under suitable circumstances to actually undress her.  The oxygen in the rooms is limited.  There are plenty outside.  While struggle for the small space when you have plenty of freedom outside.  Don’t follow him to the home of friends.  They may have arranged to have you cajoled into sexual activity or rape.  Forget everything you have been told; ‘if a guy had sexual intimacy with you before marriage, his trust for you is destroyed.  He can endure you for the rest of his life, regardless.  So go out to suitable and friendly open and public places.  There is plenty of time when you would be alone locked in either embraces or quarrels after you are married.
  • Rule Out Sexual Intercourse: You may wonder why this has to be spelt out here when it had earlier been mentioned in the previous subheadings.  This is because, the average man does not take no for an answer, especially when it is coming from a woman.  There are many reasons for this.  One, if it has to do with his desire to have sexual intercourse with a woman, every man believes all he needs do is to continue to mount pressure, then for sure, she would cave in.  Two, most men would rather be afraid of approaching a woman, but most of the time; they have little respect for the woman.  The dominant thought is to get under her skirt.  So your boundaries need specification.  That is why there should be a statement ruling out sexual intercourse until marriage.  The good news is that if he sincerely desires a worthy relationship with you, he would decide earlier to marry you so he can own you, than when he is able to get unsecured sexual intercourse with you.  If he goes away because you denied him sexual intercourse before marriage, he is not worth your while.  It is also good news that he gets out of your life so that another guy would come up.

These men who get unsecured sexual intercourse with women usually hang around you purposelessly not because they love you, but because of the free access you provide them to massage their ego.  They end up obstructing the way for you to meet and get involved in other more worthy and more rewarding relationships.

Wrong Reasons for Getting Married – (5) Marrying for sexual prowess

April 12, 2010

You would be amazed to know how many marriages are contracted just because the man or woman is so hot in bed.  If the statistics reported by some surveyed counselors and relationship coaches are anything to go by, then the figure would alarm you.  As alarming as the figures would appear, it is more alarming to learn how fast those marriages crash and the pain and sorrow that trail both the crashed ones and those that are still hanging on.  There is an African proverb that says: “had I known said that even if given a hundred bags of money, he would still come at last”.  Nowhere is this proverb more fitting than in the case of marriage contracted because of the sexual prowess of either of the partners.

Many women have lamented – ‘the way he made love to me made me think he loves and cares for me’.  Men have often been heard saying – ‘she is so hot, she devoured me like she would not let me go out of her life.  All these have come as those involved, men and women, are licking their wounds, wondering aloud what befell them in the misadventure of their marriage decision influenced heavily by the sometimes uncanny sexual prowess of those they got involved with.

Sexuality is an ingrained natural trait embedded in the brain of every human being.  Sexual prowess can be acquired by practice. Just like the power of numeracy, this can be attained, enhanced and improved over time by everybody no matter their status, experience or lack of it and their state in life.

Most men, when they consider marriage, the only thing that to seem to be on their mind is to be able to have access to unlimited sex.  During the initial relation with the woman in their radar, the most important consideration to them is how she would happen in bed.  For this, they look for things akin to physical attraction, her curves and several other things than what matters.  When they meet with this woman, they shoot the aura of masculine sexual invincibility.

For many women, when they think that they are in love, they are actually lusting after the imagined sexual prowess of this really macho looking man.  They are easily influenced by the aura of masculinity and their own imagination of how hot a sexual encounter it could produce.  When this is the barometer for deciding who to marry, then the relationship is already doomed to failure.

Ongoing research is indicating that the longest lasting value of a sexual intercourse session is for a period of one hour.  The average is actually less than twenty minutes.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing on sexual prowess, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation.  Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company.  Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).  This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though.  Latter-day prophets have clearly stated that “sex between a man and a woman in a legal and lawful marriage is ordained of God”.  These are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone.  Both parties ought to know and understand this fully.  This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it.  Marrying for any other reason is like standing the building on its roof.

Wrong Reasons for Getting Married – (4) Marrying For Physical Attraction

April 10, 2010


Physical attraction is quite important in any relationship.  One young man once said that he is prepared to suffer any hell in the hands of his wife, provided she is a beauty to walk the road with and make others jealous.  There is a popular saying that “the eye must first eat of any delicacy before the mouth”.  This is a way used to express the feelings people have in their hearts about the place of physical beauty or attraction, especially the relationship of the sexes.

A lot of people have fallen for the physical attraction trap in their relationship only to wake up on the other side to see that they have been ‘holding the tail of a gecko’, an expression indicating that one has no substance in his or her possession.

Physical attraction and all that is connected with it is the most transient of all elements in human relationships.  In one hand, it usually does not last beyond a few months in a marriage relationship.  The feeling it excite is easily overwhelmed by the demands of marriage that very few see it after a few months of marriage.  On the other hand, it is easily destroyed after one or two pregnancies for the women.  For the men, lack of money easily erodes whatever physical attraction a man brings to a relationship.

Lots of people have been known confessing after a divorce or other major marriage challenges, suddenly realizing how pretty or handsome their spouse or ex-spouse is.  This meant that physical attraction was not able to sustain the relationship during the period of hardship or other relationship problems that always arise.

Physical attraction is a good garnishing for all relationships.  However, it remains a garnishing and nothing more.  It can be compared to the roof of a building.  A building does not stand on its roof.  It stands on its foundation.

The brain is the most important sex organ in the human being.  With this in view, the real value physical attraction in a relationship further diminishes.  Instead of physical attraction, can we try mental attraction?  We can use our brain to create and improve our attractiveness and how attractive a person appears to us.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing on physical attraction, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation.  Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company.  Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).  This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though.  Latter-day prophets have clearly stated that “sex between a man and a woman in a legal and lawful marriage is ordained of God”.  These are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone.  Both parties ought to know and understand this fully.  This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it.  Marrying for any other reason is like standing the building on its roof.

Wrong Reasons for Getting Married – (3) Marrying Because Time Is Against Me

April 10, 2010

How time flies.  Ladies as young girls had dreams of rosy relationships with the opposite sex culminating in marriage, joyful sexual experiences, childbirth and family life.  Most of these dreams are really virtuous.  Some have dreamed of not having any premarital sex and for those beautiful experiences of entering into their married life a virgin and the first night of sexual intimacy with their husbands on their honeymoon.  For many these dreams come true.  For many more, these dreams end up as a mirage.  They do not just end up not realizing the dream of a virgin marriage; they come to the point where marriage would seem completely untenable.

As these girls grow into womanhood 18 years and about, they are either lured by over-bearing and patronizing men who confuse them with lots of gifts or fake affections, which take away their virginity and let them know afterwards that it was just a game.  Or sometimes, peer pressure impress upon them that virginity is not a big deal after all.  These young and growing women either get confused or decide to play the game.  One mistake and another, they lose their focus, their grace and the dream of a virgin bride vanishes.  Then the opportunity to even marry in their prime also vanishes as one blunder follows another.  Before they are able to see what is coming, they are in their thirties.

Some got involved in academic pursuits and made decisions that meant that marriage must wait.  Others pursued careers paths or professions that took many years to reach the point of settling down.  In places like Nigeria, industrial action by the academic staff and student and political unrests may mean that academic calendars get disrupted for several years.

For many a man, especially in the third world countries, they may want to make it big first before thinking of getting married.  In some cultures, the men would still be struggling until they are forty or more before discovering that the time is far spent.

At this point, they become desperate.  They want the marriage thing to happen now.  In this state of mind, the appropriate reasons for marriage are not considered as important as being married is. In this situation, the foundation for joyful relationship, a condition precedent, is no longer a consideration.

Many a lady has in response to the situation, pushed the men to engage in premarital sex with them with a view to making them decide fast.  This booty-giving usually backfires.  But when they work and make the man decide, either because the woman is pregnant or other reasons, you have a marriage that is entered into for the wrong reason.  The attendant challenge with marriage under these circumstances is that the foundation for the relationship to be joyful is not there.  It is not laid, in the first place.  This is the time when you have marriage of ‘strange bedfellows’ outside political philosophy.

In most cases, it is better that someone stay single than to get involved in this type of relationships.

Some of the challenges faced by men are that when they finally wake to get married, there is nobody within their age group available.   They end up marrying someone in a different generation with them.  The generation gap is usually a difficult issue to manage.  While the man is probably interested in highlife music, the woman is interested in rap music.  While the woman is relating with younger generation and finds it hard to accommodate the friends and associates of the man, the man is having a hard time accepting the woman’s friends also.

One such man whose case came to the limelight had within the first few weeks of the marriage indicated that the marriage would not work because of how he interpreted the wife’s behaviour.  And it did not work.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing on the fact that time is running out, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation.  Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company.  Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).  This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though.  Latter-day prophets have clearly stated that “sex between a man and a woman in a legal and lawful marriage is ordained of God”. These are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone.  Both parties ought to know and understand this fully.  This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it.  Marrying for any other reason is like standing a building on its roof.

Wrong Reasons for Getting Married – (2) Marrying For Money

April 10, 2010

This is the second in the series of wrong reasons for getting married that we are discussing.  Money is critical to all development; be they scientific, social and emotional.  However, marriage, and I mean marriage between a man and a woman is a fundamental business to all life’s endeavours.  The only wise reasons for marriage that I can vouch for are companionship and procreation and for me, it should be in that order.  The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible state that “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up”.

In modern day scriptures, we learn a new dimension – the eternal destiny of marriage relationships.  Even at this level, the ultimate end is the eternal companionship of a male and a female with potential to rise to godhood.

It is on these premises that marrying for money is situated as a wrong reason for marrying somebody.  Marrying for money is a major challenge to the joy and peace of a relationship.  It is perpetrated by both men and women.  You are familiar with phrase “gold digger” label on some women or men in relationships where one of them is considered rich and the other poor.  Granted that it is not in all cases that a poor marry a rich that is gold digging situation, however, many people, men and women at par, have made decisions to marry another person because he or she is rich.

Experience has shown that this is one of the greatest mistakes a person could make in a relationship.

Some of the challenges we have seen include the fact that riches or a lot of money is transient.  There are no guarantees that the money would remain with the person.  There is a saying that “a fool and his money are easily parted”.  If the one you married for his or her money is a fool, and since it is his or her money that brought you to the relationship, it then means that you could be out there a widow or widower with a living spouse before you could settle down in the marriage.

In other situations, gold diggers are easily noted and the gold mine usually starts behaving like a goldmine owner.  Remember the sufferings that those who work in gold and diamond or even coal mines in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Enugu-Nigeria go through.  That is exactly what would befall the gold digger.  No matter whatever love that has been proclaimed in the process of contracting that relationship, it would always wither away easily and the master-slave relationship would take over.

There are also cases where the two scenarios above do not quite apply.  But those in the relationship, especially the one who took the decision, find out, and sooner than later, that the money is not what he or she really needed.  The money is not able to be a caring man or woman with capacity to take care of the emotional needs of the one.

The pitiable condition of those who marry someone for this very wrong reason is better imagined than experienced.  Relationship experts and marriage counselors would tell you from their experiences that the emotional trauma and devastation that follow the realization that the money and whatever lures it held soon become a phantom in a painful imagination.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing on money, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation.  Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company.  Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though.  Latter-day prophets have clearly stated that “sex between a man and a woman in a legal and lawful marriage is ordained of God”.  These are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone.  Both parties ought to know and understand this fully.  This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it.  Marrying for any other reason is like standing the building on its roof.

Wrong Reasons for Getting Married – (1) Marrying Out of Sympathy

April 9, 2010


There are right and wrong reasons for getting married.  The worst thing a person can do to oneself is to marry a wife or husband for the wrong reason.  There are quite a number of wrong reasons why people marry. One of the wrong reasons and perhaps among the most prominent of the wrong reasons is marrying out of sympathy.

There are many scenarios under this subheading of marrying out of sympathy that relationship coaches experience in the course of counseling and coaching.  Some of the most common ones are when the woman gets pregnant as a result of premarital sex and getting married to a person just because one’s brother or sister jilted that person.  Between these two extremes, are those who start relationships with girls who are being maltreated by those they serve.  Some men get involved with the neighborhood maids or relations of their neighbours who are being maltreated.  Women fall into this kind of challenge too.

When sympathy forms the basis for a relationship with the opposite sex, it is like playing with a keg of gunpowder over a fireplace. Sympathy is a powerful emotion.  It so overpowering that it becomes difficult for the parties involved to consider the critical elements in the foundation for a joyful relationship such as friendship, understanding, compatibility etc.  If the man is the one sympathizing, he is so enamored into what he sees as the Good Samaritan’s job that he does not consider what stuff the woman is made off, her attitudes, desires and mindset.  He does not stop to find out what life purposes she has, what goals she is focused on and how all these could jell into his own desires.  If it is the woman that is sympathizing, she goes through the same emotions and also begins to think that if she saves the young man, he would remain loyal to her forever.

Findings, however, have shown that the truth is far from what these sympathizer-lovers are thinking.  If as a result of your efforts the captive is set free, he or she will do what all captives do, “flee”.  Fleeing here may not mean running away from their sympathizer-lovers, though that has been known to happen with people who confess that the only feeling they had was to escape the environment.  In many instances, the sympathizer-lovers begin to act as saviours and lordships.  This is usually resisted, first psychologically and later verbally.  And there goes your peace and comfort.

Marriage relationship requires that both parties are open to each other.  Open – meaning that there are no secrets in their hearts that the other partner would not be allowed into.  Once these secret feelings are there, it produces reactive communication instead of responsive communication.

These sympathy missions when it emanates from the premarital sex pregnancy, the woman does not fully get happy in the relationship.  This arises from the fact that as the usual challenges appear in the scene, instead of the woman finding a good reason to endure; she only thinks she is in a mess occasioned by the pregnancy.  Some have confessed that if they did not get pregnant, there is no way they would end up with the man they are married to.  Instead of seeing the usual marriage and child rearing challenges as learning opportunities, they mortify themselves for getting pregnant. And some of the time, they blame the man for putting them in the family way.  Some blame the child that resulted from the pregnancy.  Hatred for a child has been known to have grown from such situations creating lasting bitterness.

For the men, having not evaluated the character, demeanor, temperament of their spouse before marriage because of the overpowering influence of the emotion of sympathy, when the woman shows her real character, they are usually overwhelmed.  They see themselves as having made terrible mistakes.  They now live the rest of their lives in regret, withdrawal or wickedness or under the influence of these three negative but powerful emotions.

It is necessary that we have it ingrained in the tablet of our hearts that the only reasons good enough for marrying anybody are the foundational elements for joyful relationship.  If while in a relationship with the opposite sex there is no opportunity to build friendship and if an understanding of the basic purpose of marriage is not clear to both of you, then there is no other reason why the relationship should continue beyond the next few hours.

Interestingly, many marriages that out there are based on sympathy.

Young single adults (18-30 years of age) and single adults (31 years and above) should not marry anybody for the purpose of saving face or to save somebody from suffering.  Instead of cornering yourselves to this quagmire, why not follow the appropriate dating, courtship and engagement practices where no sexual intimacy is included.  There is need to remember that sexual intimacy is only appropriate in a legally and lawfully wedded marriage contract.  You need to remember that the basic purpose of sexual intimacy is mainly for procreation and to cement companionship.

The excitement and pleasure that accompany sexual intercourse is purposed to invite people to take the responsibility that comes with it.  Any other use of sexual intimacy outside legal and lawful matrimony is a transgression of the law.  And law breakers must bear the full weight of the law.  In most cases, there would be no external police to arrest you and no external court to try you and no external prison to sentence you.  But there are internal version of the police, the court and the prison and a large farmland where your hard labour would be performed if you commit this offence.

What is the way to go?

Here is the way to go. Instead of focusing on sympathy, those planning to get married should focus on what matters most – the purpose of marriage – companionship and procreation.  Remember the good Lord Himself said of Adam in the scriptures: “it is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), hence He made Eve to keep him company.  Do not forget also that the same Creator gave them a commandment to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).  This is the creator’s approval for sexual intimacy in marriage relationship with the intents and purposes clearly spelt out, though.  Latter-day prophets have clearly stated that “sex between a man and a woman in a legal and lawful marriage is ordained of God”.  These are the foundational elements that must be established before continuing in the plan for marriage with someone.  Both parties ought to know and understand this fully.  This knowledge and understanding would bear relationships as the foundation of a building bears it.  Marrying for any other reason is like standing the building on its roof.

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April 6, 2010

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Groundwork For Joyful Relationships

April 1, 2010

The synonyms for the word relationship include ‘association, affiliation, bond, link, liaison, rapport, connection, etc.’  When you extend these synonyms a little further, you will see other words like friendship, union, alliance, attachment, contact, cooperation, involvement, understanding, affinity, empathy, etc.  The images that come into my mind as I contemplate these words include social, business, filial and marriage relationships.

Relationships are at the root of all forms of human endeavour.  Experience has shown that some foundational issues must be fully considered in order for us to build joyful relationships.  Some relationships that are critical to human peace, happiness and growth are those associated with sexes.  These foundational principles will serve all of these types of relationships very well.  It would, however, serve the marriage and its associated preliminary relationships – dating and courtship – the best.

The foundations for lasting and joyful relationships that lead to growing marriage relationships include:

  • friendship
  • mutual respect
  • honour
  • faith in God
  • Trust or faith in one another
  • clarity of purpose
  • integrity
  • virtue, etc

Find a relationship that has endured and you will find these elements at its foundation.  Find a relationship that has collapsed and you’ll find that these virtues were lacking or were not strengthened over time.  Those men/women relationships that are still there that lack these elements are one of the hundreds of millions of marriage relationships that are mere caricature of the real thing.  Many involved confess being trapped, confused, and running high-blood pressure.  It takes a life time to sustain the marriage relationships that are well founded.  What is the hope for those built upon the sand of sexual intimacy?  Most relationships are hanging on because children are involved, or the partners are afraid of what people would say or being seen as failures.

We all need to know that the depravity of premarital sex is not a mere religious jargon.  It is a foundational issue for success in marriage relationships.  Avoidance of premarital sex would enable ‘girls to get what they really want which is “a man” would care for them’.

I cannot remember the name of the movie where I heard this quotation.  I would use it anyway.  “Love is one product you cannot sell by giving out sample”. The main mindset of the ladies, especially those who feel time is running out on them on account of age seem to be “give the man a ‘little booty’ if you want help him decide to marry you”.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  We have countless cases, but no one seem to be ready to learn from their past mistakes or the mistakes of their peers.  If you give a man a little booty, if you allow a man who has not signed the dotted lines before your Church or the Law (Registry) and your parents to see your nakedness or have sexual intimacy with you, you reduce the chance that he will marry you by 90%.  That is a big risk to run if you ask me. At the same time, you erode the elements of mutual respect, trust, faith, honour and virtue by 100%, meaning: if he ultimately marries you, there would be no strength in the foundation of that marriage to produce happiness and make it endure.

There is a higher doctrine of marriage the world needs to seriously be considering at this time.  This is the eternal dimension of marriage.  The popular thing known to man is “till death do us part”.  Marriage is part of the eternal plan of God for His children.  If we plan marriages on ‘till death do us part’ basis, we increase the chance of failure and heartache.  But if we plan marriage with a vision of the eternal relationship in mind, we would make the foundation sure beforehand.

Sexual intimacy, no matter how thrilling, has no capacity to sustain a relationship beyond ‘one hour’.  I want to be quoted on this.  I want to be proven wrong on this with evidence.  Sexual intimacy is critical, wholesome, and beautiful in marriage relationship.  Outside marriage, sexual intimacy produces more pain and anguish and I consider it dangerous to the desires of the young single adults.

The late Lucky Dube cried “my mother didn’t tell me the truth; my father didn’t tell me the truth….about the government”.  Mothers please tell your daughters the truth.  Fathers tell your sons the truth.  Let fathers tell their sons the reason they have no respect or why they have great respect for their mothers.  Let them open up about why they are not happy in their marriages to their sons’ mothers.

Mothers, instead of telling your daughters to “deal” with men because you suffered in their hands as a result of your own mistakes, help them to stop ruining their lives.  My people have a proverb that says, “The sheep is messing its tail up, thinking it is messing up the shed for its owner”.   When premarital sex is involved in a relationship it is the girls/women who lose the most whether it continued into marriage or failed.  The men always get what they want – ‘sex’ and the girls always lose what they really want – ‘love’ (care).

Instead of premarital sex, dating partners can advance their relationship faster towards marriage if they used the opportunity of their dating to learn about one another and develop, build and strength the foundational elements for joyful relationships enumerated above.  Dating and courtship would be great fun games if the period is effectively utilized to test one’s partner’s commitment to grow friendship, respect for one another, understand the true meaning of love and the sacrifices therein.  For example, it would be great to know that love is not about merely looking into each other’s eyes to discover how much sexual arousal we have evoked in them, but more about both partners looking at the same goal.

To your relationship success.

Francis O. Nmeribe is a Relationship expert and coach and the President of Success Publishers ® He is the author of two bestselling books – “Foundation For Joyful Relationships” and Growing From Your Experiences”.

Website: www.successpublishers.com.ng. Blog: https://marryright.wordpress.com. Email: successpublishersng@gmail.com

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