I believe that marriage
readiness should precede the choice of a life partner. I’m not referring to
being ready to marry, but being ready for marriage. Being ready to marry means
being ready to perform marital rites or do a wedding. Whereas, being ready for
marriage means being capable to handle all the responsibilities that come with
The choice of a life-partner
that is made at the state of un-readiness may be disastrous in the sense that
the individual (who made the choice) may not be appropriately informed about
the choice. He may be unaware of certain realities that surround his choice,
and he may also lack the capacities required to build a successful relationship
and marriage. This is why it is necessary to get ready for marriage before one
should choose whom to marry or get into marriage.
Unfortunately, I have
seen many situations where people don't bother to check whether they are ready
for marriage or not. They jump into marriage decisions that collapse at the
relationship level or proceed chaotically into a regrettable marriage. I have
also found out that one of the reasons this is rampant in our society today is
because young adults do not want to be single until they get married. They like
to be identified with a relationship, a marriage proposal, or a wedding. They
like testing or trying out different people that request for a relationship
with them, instead of preparing themselves for marriage. It seems they have
forgotten that jumping from one relationship to another has degrading and
deteriorating effects in their psychological, physical, social, emotional, and
It is sad to say that some
'smart' guys and ladies like to 'secure' a woman or a man, respectively, and keep
her or him in an undefined or falsely defined relationship first before they
are ready for marriage. Most times, when they are ready for marriage, they find
fault in the choice they had made earlier, and that may result in disaster,
heart-breaking, regret, and forceful marriage.
To prevent this, I’m
advocating that the right thing to do is to get ready for marriage first before
choosing whom to marry, and going into other relationships and marriage
processes. This does not imply that one cannot have opposite-sex friends. But
we should define our friendships and keep them in context. That means a friend
should remain a friend until a time appointed (if necessary) for a friend to
change to a spouse. To make this point clear, a marriage proposal should be made by someone ready for marriage, and
should equally be accepted by someone ready for marriage. Hence, if someone
ready is proposing to someone who is not ready, the proposal may be kept
pending or rejected. Likewise, if someone who is not ready is mistakenly
proposing to someone ready, the proposal should still be kept pending or turn
In the remaining part of
this article, I have explained different areas of readiness and how someone can
know when he or she is ready for marriage. I encourage you to read carefully to
The first area to be
ready for marriage should be spirituality because marriage is spiritual more
than it is physical, even though it has more physical manifestations. Moreover,
for Christians, marriage is used as an illustration, a symbol, or a
demonstration of the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians
5:22-33). Therefore, it is of a great necessity that someone who intends to
marry would first become spiritual. The
following indices show whether one is spiritual or not:
Having a continuous faith in Jesus Christ.
Having evidence of being filled with the
Holy Spirit, and working towards intimacy with Him.
Having the habit of reading and studying
the word of God every day (at least morning and night) to discover the truth.
Praying in the Spirit always.
Having a lifestyle of obedience to the word
of God in all areas.
Being faithful to preach the gospel of the
Kingdom of God to others.
Having frequent fellowship with other
believers of Christ.
Listening to good messages from different
men of God constantly.
Reading good spiritual books from
different servants of God constantly.
Having Godly friends that can sharpen,
exhort, or encourage one daily.
Trusting in God with all your heart,
leaning not to your understanding, but acknowledging Him in all your ways.
are not spiritual if you are trusting in your abilities, strengths, or capacities
to do things well. The spiritual man recognizes that his
strengths come from God and that he can fail if God is not with him. So he does
everything possible to keep a sound and unbroken relationship with God. Also,
he ensures that all his decisions, choices, desires, and actions are pleasing
to God. Thus, a spiritual man will not make a marriage decision without getting
approval from God. He would have to seek the face of God and get a conviction
from the Holy Spirit to approach a marriage matter. That is, he wouldn’t give
or accept a marriage proposal when he has not gotten approval from God to do
so. He would first pray about the marriage decision he is planning to make, and
wait patiently for God to answer him. He would not go ahead with the decision
if God says no! Before he prays, a spiritual man will first remove wrong
motives, special considerations, favouritisms, biases, and other idols from his
heart so that God can answer him.
sign of spirituality is not being conformed to the standard of this world. That
means, making decisions that are not based on self wills, selfish desires, popular
opinions, or opinions of men, but the word of God. That means a spiritual
person will have the habit of always being in alignment with the word of God. This
is achieved by regularly checking whether intentions, thoughts, feelings, decisions,
opinions, ideas, behaviours or actions are supported by the word of God. This
will help one to know the will of God concerning how to live as a single, whom to
marry, when to marry, and how to marry. Accordingly, the real spirituality is
shown in following the will of God in all respects, walking in a manner worthy
of the Lord, fully pleasing Him in all respect, being fruitful in every good
work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
I recommend that you pray
the following prayers for transformation often to increase your spirituality:
ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give me the
Spirit, who will make me wise and reveal God to me so that I will know him. I
ask that my mind may be opened to see His light so that I will know what is the
hope to which He has called me, how rich are the wonderful blessings He
promised His people, and how very great
is His power at work in us who believe. Amen!” (Ephesians 1:17-19).
ask God to fill me with the knowledge of His will, with all the wisdom and
understanding that His Spirit gives. Then I will be able to live as the Lord
wants and will always do what pleases Him. My life will produce all kinds of
good deeds, and I will grow in my knowledge of God. May I be made strong with all the strength
which comes from His glorious power, so that I may be able to endure everything
with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made me fit to
have my share of what God has reserved for His people in the kingdom of light.
Amen!” (Colossians 1:9-12).
pray that my love will keep on growing more and more, together with true
knowledge and perfect judgment, so that I will be able to choose what is best.
Then I will be free from all impurity and blame on the Day of Christ. My life
will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can
produce, for the glory and praise of God. Amen!” (Philippians 1:9-11).
2. PHYSICAL BODY
This has to do with the
readiness of the physical body to accept the stress and the demands of
marriage. Bearing in mind that procreation is one of the purposes of marriage,
one's physical body should be developed for childbirth. This is probably one of
the reasons why an under-aged child shouldn't get married. Also, people that
are of age but still have underdeveloped muscles or bones and other physical
structures may have to get medical advice before they marry. Also, people that
have physical ailments, malfunctioning of some parts of the body organs, and
other physical defects should get medical advice to know how they can adjust to
a marriage situation.
More importantly, people
with the malfunctioning sexual and reproductive organs should get advice to
know if it would be possible for them to have sexual intercourse and/or give
birth so that they won't disappoint their partners after the wedding. Those
that are born eunuchs, those that are made eunuchs by men and those that made
or intend to make themselves eunuchs should, please, note that their body will
not be ready for marriage. Therefore, they may consider not being in a
relationship or married.
Also, one should get
treatment for some skin infections like rashes, dermatitis, blistering
disorders, among others; keep hair in minimally good shape; deal with body
odor, mouth odor, and snoring; maintain personal hygiene; have the habit of
always wearing only clean underwear and outer-wears; learn to look good from the
inside to the outside (this doesn't call for wearing of expensive clothes, but
wearing what one can afford -clean and iron them).
Besides, one should bear
in mind that there will be a change in physical look and body shape because of
marriage, especially for women. So much change should not cause anxiety when it
occurs. It is good to also bear in mind that one’s hairstyle, dress, nails, and
other physical things might change because of marriage. One’s spouse may demand
that one should look in a certain way and one may have to comply. For instance,
one may start or stop wearing or using trousers, necklace, face making-up, eye-lashes,
artificial nails, and artificial hairs, because of marriage. Hence, part of being
ready in the physical body is the ability to make adjustments and adapt to the
physical changes that will occur in marriage.
3. HOME CHORES
This has to do with learning
how to cook different kinds of meals, do farm work, manage home, take care of
children, and do other domestic chores. Anybody that is not comfortable with
house chores doesn't seem to be ready for marriage. This is because marriage
leads to the establishment of a home and family. Anyone ready for marriage will
be comfortable doing home chores without complaints.
Also, it is important to
bear in mind that one’s meal pattern may change because of marriage. Therefore,
one ought to be ready to make certain adjustments in one’s domestic life. This
requires having a mindset that one can change to meet up with any demands. For
example, someone that likes eating noddles, snacks, and drinks, may need to
consider eating solid food. Other qualities of a good home manager are found in
the following passages:
can find a capable wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her
husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with
good, not evil, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works
with willing hands. She is like the merchant ships bringing her food from far
away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and
portions for her female servants. She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants
a vineyard with her earnings. She draws on her strength and reveals that her
arms are strong. She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes
out at night. She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold
the spindle. Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the
needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her
household are doubly clothed. She makes her bed coverings; her clothing is fine
linen and purple. Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among
the elders of the land. She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts
to the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the
time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her
tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her
sons rise and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: "Many women
are capable, but you surpass them all!" Charm is deceptive and beauty is
fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Give her the reward
of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates” (Proverbs
if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his
household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy
4. SOCIAL WELLBEING
This has more to do with
associating with people without fear and lust. The following social characteristics
indicate social wellbeing:
The freedom to meet with acquaintances,
The ability to build lasting
Ability to honour others,
Ability to make new friends and sustain
the old ones,
Ability to apologize when you are wrong,
Ability to communicate your options to
Ability to exercise your rights without impinging
on the right of others,
The ability to run without crossing the
path of others,
Ability to tolerate people's weaknesses,
Ability to make excuses for people,
Ability to forgive easily when someone
Ability to love your enemies as yourself,
Ability to ask for help when necessary,
Ability to value the opinions of other
Ability to love other people like
Ability to share what you have with
Ability to do things without expecting
reward from people,
Ability to appreciate people around you,
Ability to open up a conversation with
people without fear,
Ability to withdraw from toxic
relationships without hurting yourself and others.
Ability to move on when hurt in a
Ability to talk freely with seniors and
elders without insulting, or disrespecting them or taking them for granted.
On the whole, one’s mind
should be prepared to accept other people without a sense of resentment,
rigour, and jealousy.
Social wellbeing may give
an individual opportunity to have good friends, and one of them may later
become his spouse. However, people should keep proper rules and boundaries with
friends to avoid maladaptive behaviours. Much more, the fear of God should be
kept in front of every friendship to prevent malpractices.
Another important way to
build social wellbeing is this: “Do not
quench the Spirit. Do not despise
prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil”
So before you get serious
with people, both male and female, test their intentions with the word of God
in the power of His Spirit. Also, check their actions.
good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree
can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree
that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes,
just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by
their actions"(Matthew 7:17-20).
People's actions are very
important, and must not be taken for granted. For instance, a lady or a girl may
wish not to smile with someone that touched her breast or private part
deliberately. Likewise, she may wish not to smile with someone that sent her
nude pictures. She shouldn't even smile with someone that is calling her
suggestive names like "Sweetheart", "My love", "Sugar
baby", "Sugar Cain", "Stainless", "My wife",
"baby" and the like. She should care to find out why the person is
calling her such names. Also, she shouldn't be smiling when romantic messages
and chats are coming from someone she has not agreed to marry. Actions like
that are signs of evil that one must flee from. She may avoid such a person by
blocking his phone number on her phone and social media platforms; also make
efforts to avoid his physical presence. Such a person doesn't worth her time,
and she shouldn't be his friend.
5. EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
speaks of emotional stability or ability to maintain emotional balance. That
means, being able to control feelings even when one loves someone.
Emotional wellbeing also
means, being able to give out positive emotions when necessary. Some people are
so stiff emotionally to the point that they cannot give out positive emotions.
Their lives are so mechanical that they don't care how others are feeling. So
having a feeling of genuine love for people is recommended.
Also, emotional wellbeing includes being able to
detach from parents emotionally. Marriage demands living parents to hold fast
to a spouse and become one flesh. But people that might still be attached to
parents emotionally would find it difficult to become one with a spouse. So
part of how someone knows that she is emotionally ready for marriage is that she
can be comfortable to stay away from her parents for long. Even if this doesn't
happen physically yet, but one’s mind should be made up to stay away from
parents when the time comes.
Emotional wellbeing also
involves being able to overcome emotional baggage like fear, shyness, anger,
rejection, depression, pride, envy, strife, inferiority complex, and other
negative emotions. These emotions would prevent the flow of positive emotions
that are needed for a successful marriage. Thus, going into marriage with
emotional baggage is dangerous. It's important to get rid of the baggage before
choosing a marriage partner. I have previously explained the influence of
emotional baggage and ways to overcome: https://www.otusumconsult.com/blog/read?post-id=12;
Another way to look at
emotional wellbeing is having the ability to control sexual feelings. Adults do
indeed have sexual feelings. But it's also true that such feelings can be
able to control the sexual feeling is very important to keep consummation until
the wedding night. The inability to control such an important feeling may
result in premarital sex, which is unacceptable and punishable by God.
So emotional wellbeing helps someone to talk
with the opposite sex without being aroused sexually. It may be embarrassing if
one is always aroused while talking with, or being around the opposite sex. It
may be more embarrassing if one gets aroused each time one hangs out with a
friend or an admirer. If that keeps happening, it may lead to sexual sin.
Therefore, it's important to overcome it and have self-control.
On the other way round,
emotional wellbeing makes someone ready to express sexual feelings to his or
her spouse, starting from the wedding night. There are several reports of
couples who were not able to have successful sexual intercourse during the
early period of their marriage because of a lack of emotional readiness. I have
personally heard of a couple who could not have sex for some weeks after the
wedding until a sexual orientation was given to them. But that could have been
prevented if the couple was emotionally ready for marriage.
Moreover, the sex act
begins in the mind as a thought and gets to the body as feelings before the
action is carried out. So couples that are married can think about it and
adjust their body to it. Likewise, someone that is not married yet can think
about it in terms of what will be done in the future (on the wedding night).
It's a matter of knowing that such a thing will happen shortly after the
wedding and that one needs to get ready for it. Marriage candidates should be
looking forward to their marriage consummation on the wedding night.
6. FINANCIAL STRENGTH
doesn't refer to having so much money in one's bank account, building houses,
and buying cars. It is all about being able to meet the needs and settle the
financial demands that would arise in the marriage.
For a man, financial strength
is the ability to meet his financial demands and have the extra ability to meet
someone else's financial demands. It may not necessarily mean having a monthly
salary. But it's important to have a legitimate channel of income through which
the family would feed on. But a woman
should equally have a channel through which she can meet her financial demands.
But that channel could be her parents, and later her husband (though it can be
her job and/or her business). But a man who is having parents as the only
channel of income is not ready for marriage. He has to stop depending on
parents for finances before he can be said to be ready for marriage. So a
female child can depend on her parents until she is married and start depending
on her husband. But a male child needs to have a source of income, other than
I do not support a woman
to postpone marriage until she gets a job or starts a business. But I support a
man to do so because the responsibility of financing the marriage and the
family lies more on the man. Nevertheless, I recommend that both men and women
should learn hard and soft skills which they can use to raise money to support
themselves and their families. They should equally get a job and/or start a
business as channels for finances.
Are students financially
ready for marriage? Some students that have jobs and/or
businesses might be financially ready for marriage. But female students that
have neither job nor business may also be financially ready for marriage if their
would-be husband has good financial strength. But male students, who are only
depending on parents for their upkeep, are not ready for marriage.
This doesn't refer to the
acquisition of certificates. It has more to do with being able to think and act
appropriately. It may involve the ability to read and write. It also involves
having intellectual skills such as good memory, comprehension, reasoning,
analyzing, problem-solving, strength, stamina, coordination, psychomotor, and sensory
skills. These skills are needed for physical work and social work. The skills
are needed for building a successful marriage, home, and family. Thus, it is
recommended that marriage candidates should learn these skills and master them.
I also recommend that
marriage candidates should acquire formal education, even up to a higher level
because the intellectual skills listed above might be acquired through the
higher education process and training. But the marriage must not be based on
educational qualifications. However, the ones that cannot afford higher
education can still marry.
Should a woman marry a
man with a lower education qualification? The answer is
simple. A woman that has a degree can still marry a man that has SSCE or FSLC,
or no certificate at all if she chooses to. There is no law, to the best of my
knowledge that suggests the qualification differences between husband and wife.
But the question is, would the woman still submit to the man, or respect him as
her husband? If the answer is "yes", then there's no problem. But if
the answer is "no", then there's a problem. God's Devine order is
that the husband should be the head of the wife. No level of education should
interfere with that divine plan. If a woman’s high certificates or
qualifications will make her puffed up, then she may consider marrying only a
man who has the same qualification with her, or even a man that has higher
qualifications and experiences than her.
Should a man marry a
woman with a lower education qualification? The
answer is the same as above. If that will not make the man look down on the
woman, or treat her as a home assistant, he can marry. But it should be settled
in their hearts that the qualification differences do not matter. Therefore, no
one should feel inferior or superior to the other.
However, due to the
ever-changing world we are in, everyone must attain a reasonable level of
intellectuality. Besides acquiring formal education, people should attend
training, seminars, conference, and workshops to build their intellectuality.
It's also important to read good books, newspapers, and magazines to be
properly informed about the trends in society.
Lastly, on this point, it
is not ideal to marry for the present. It is necessary to marry for the future.
That means someone should consider where he or she would like to be tomorrow
while choosing a life partner today. That implies that someone’s spouse should fit
into his or her destiny.
8. PURPOSE DISCOVERY
Purpose is God’s plan and
calling for someone’s life. Someone mustn't be ignorant about God’s purpose for
his or her life before the choice of a marriage partner. That is, purpose
discovery should precede the choice of spouse. Someone that has not discovered
his or her purpose on earth does not seem to be ready for marriage. This is
because purpose discovery gives one sense of direction in life and also helps
one to know the kind of person to marry. Most times why people feel they
married a wrong person is because they married someone that does not match
their purpose. The right (or suitable) spouse is someone that matches one’s
purpose. But anyone that doesn’t know his or her purpose may marry a wrong or
unsuitable person. Therefore, it is important to live a purpose-driven life while
getting ready for marriage. This life begins with answering God’s two major callings:
1) calling (invitation) to salvation and 2) calling (invitation) to service. More
information on this are revealed in articles on purpose discovery. You can get
them by request or check my blog page; https://www.otusumconsult.com/blog/.
© OTUSUM COUNSELLING CLINIC, A SUBSIDIARY OF OTUSUM CONSULT,
TRAINING & SERVICES