• A long distance relationship requires more attention than when your intended lives in the same place as you do. It is not enough to communicate through mails and telephone calls; you need to spend at least a year in the same environment, where you can study your partner to be.
• Your partner must have the same religious beliefs as you. It is not safe if they are not similar. They must be the same; otherwise there will be serious problems.
• Investigate the background of your intended spouse’s family traditions and beliefs.
• Only when dealing with God and not with man should trust be blind.
• Use the test of time to make sure that your chosen partner is not dancing with borrowed garments.
• Love is not a two-way affair; it is tripartite relationship between a man, a woman, and God.
• Falling in love and choosing who to marry is too big for you to handle on your own; God has a plan for this part of your life.
• Practice critical discernment.
• In courtship, try to identify the flaws of your intended spouse that you can cope with, and those you cannot tolerate. It is better to have a broken relationship than a failed marriage.
• Never make assumptions about a person’s character by virtue of his or her position. If you do, you may be getting married to a total stranger.
• Do not substitute prayers for courtship because you need to know the person you intend to marry; yet prayer should not be underestimated.
• Before making your choice of a life partner, the questions of compatibility and communication must arise, as this is the lifeblood of any good relationship. If these questions are not answered satisfactorily, it is a danger signal. Heed it or risk suffering.
• Be sure that the person you commit to is already committed to God.
• Marriage is a partnership. Giving you best will not make a marriage successful. It requires equal commitment from both parties.
• Make the right decisions through experience which can be gained by learning from others mistakes.
• Time will reveal if your intended is part of God’s will for you. Take time to check your spouse-to-be’s character, values, goals, convictions and personality. If you are not compatible socially, spiritually, and mentally, then you did not hear God.
• Also, if you have not found a good person who does good things, then you have not found God’s will.

Culled from “Choosing a life partner” by Pastor Bimbo Odukoya

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