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Life is about decisions; choices; having options and picking one above the others. It has often been said that we make our choices, and then those choices make us. What that means is that the choices we make end up defining us and setting us on a particular path. This is why making choices is something which must be carefully done; and the choice of whom you will marry is no less important.

Pastor Bimbo Odukoya provides a checklist to help young unmarried women make the selection process easier. Though this list is in no way exhaustive, the following are questions you need to look at critically and answer honestly;

• Can this man meet my needs spiritually, socially, financially and mentally? If you want to be indispensable to someone, meet their needs.

• Do I communicate with him freely or do I need to have someone around to be able to talk with him? Do I need to have people around before we can be happy? You should be able to enjoy each other’s company if truly you are blending. You don’t need to have someone around or do something together before you can be happy.

• Does he put pressure on me for sex? Is our relationship built only on romance or carefully developed intimacy which is deeply knowing and continually accepting each other?

• Do I have parental approval? If you do not have it you won’t be sure that you have chosen the right person. You need your parents’ input in your marriage. It might also be additional stress for you if they do not approve because they might frustrate you and your partner. However, if you are convinced and have waited for 2 or 3 years, and your pastor approves, you can go ahead. Your parents and pastors should agree with you.

• What kind of reputation does he have? Everyone has a blind side. If everybody says something bad about someone; it is to be taken into consideration. Other people are not in love; so they can see what you do not see.

• How does he relate with his friends? Does he run down his friends or hold them in high esteem? Does he speak well of people. If he gossips and backbites he will do the same to you. If he respects people around him, he will respect you.

• Are we compatible socially, educationally, spiritually etc. in our visions and goals?

• Have I seen him react outside ideal situations? See him in different circumstances; see him when he is pressured, down, sad, has problems, when people maltreat him, etc.

• Have we discussed our differences e.g. background differences? Know how different he is from you. When you discuss your differences you identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

• Do you have peace in your relationship or are you always quarrelling with each other? If you have been going out for about a year and 70% of the time you are always quarrelling; that is not a good signal.

• Do I like the way he makes decisions? The man will make decisions in the home as your head and mentor, you should be able to like the way he makes decisions.

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