Some years back, A fine young man requested to see me. He mentioned that it was quite important. I obliged; though I was travelling that morning. When he came, he mentioned that he wanted to propose to a particular sister in the church. He was not a member but he comes for our midweek services.

He began to speak about the sterling qualities of this young lady. He reeled them out effortlessly. He also began to speak about the values that she will bring into his life. I listened patiently.

When he was done, I appreciated him and backed it up with a question, “What will be your contributions to her life? What did the Lord show you that will be your responsibility towards her”. He had no answers. I told him it would be great if he gets answers before he goes ahead with his intention. That was the last he raised the matter.

Everything about marriage is rooted in selflessness and service. A lot of people make decisions about who to marry based on their dreams and desires. A dear teacher said that “Marriage is God’s cure for man’s selfishness”. Even to make a choice, we want someone that will meet our needs. It is always about you.

But it is deeper than that. For Adam to marry Eve, he had to bring “bones and flesh” that God used to shape and make Eve. Before you see those sterling qualities and the wonderful shape, would you be willing to let go of yourself for breaking and shaping? What will you give? It is not just about getting.

That is why marriage is not for consumers but for contributors. Sex outside marriage is lust-filled. It is always about satisfying yourself. It is fornication. It is sinful. Sex in a godly marriage must exhibit the fruit of the spirit. It is love-making. You focus on satisfying your spouse. It is not some selfish passionate flame.

Men who have not died to themselves will only think of themselves. Patience is lacking. Joy is not present. Kind words and acts are rare. Self-control is absent. Manipulation, intimidation and control will be the order of the day.

Some people see marriage as purchasing jewellery they really desire. After purchase, they see other jewellery they like. If you are not dead to yourself, you will despise the sterling qualities you shouted about and begin to long to taste a stranger. A man in Christ must learn selflessness.

A teacher said that a great marriage must be about two funerals and a wedding. It is made up of two people who are dead to self and sin. Marriage will test the fruit of the spirit that you have grown. If you lack it, it will show. Are you dead to yourself?

You will apologise when you are not wrong at times. You will sacrifice to see each other grow and blossom. You will pay the price for peace. If you lack fruits, it will be hard!

There is love in sharing

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