DATING, COURTSHIP, MATE SELECTION AND MARRIAGE

Relationships have changed and evolved (definitely man never evolved) over the ages. In the ages gone, partners never looked for each other; they were marched instead by parents and relatives. The oldest example I can give perhaps is from the bible about Isaac and his father Abraham who send off his servant to his kinsmen to go and find a wife meet for Isaac. Down the ages came the culture all the way until some things changed somewhere on the way. Nowadays, the process of marriage is all changed and has to follow some steps: (dating), courtship, mate selection and then finally marriage.

Dating

The book Sociology: the study of human interaction by David Dressler defines a date as a casual undertaking for mutual pleasure, a means by which individual test themselves in relations with persons of the opposite sex. A date does not indicate that a couple is in love and has no further meaning other than that indicated in the definition. These aspects mostly interact so well with friendship and just develop the responsibility characters in young men and women. The hard reality is that this part of dating has been misused a lot in the recent years with many youth engaging in activities that are not worthy of mention. Many young people are wasted at this stage by choices that bring regrets and bitterness.

Courtship

When the dating seems to be going steady (dating that is done rightly), the courtship period may begin. Courtship is defined as a behavior by which an individual attempts to bring the consent of marriage to a person of the opposite sex whom he or she wants to marry. Courtship is a crucial stage for those people who are intending to get married. In this stage, individuals try to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each other and build each other upon those lines. This stage is supposed to be taken seriously and treated with a lot of care. Good habits and Godly practices should be carried out here. Ellen G White writes, Gird up the loins of your mind, says the apostle; then control your thoughts, not allowing them to have full scope. The thoughts may be guarded and controlled by your own determined efforts. Think right thoughts, and you will perform right actions. You have, then, to guard the affections, not letting them go out and fasten upon improper objects. Jesus has purchased you with His own life; you belong to Him; therefore He is to be consulted in all things, as to how the powers of your mind and the affections of your heart shall be employed. (AH pg 36)

At this stage compatibility is very crucial indeed; the undertaking is to see if two people who undertake to get married can be compatible in marriage. White further advices on compatibility, the happiness and prosperity of the married life depend upon the unity of the parties. How can the carnal mind harmonize with the mind that is assimilated to the mind of Christ? One is sowing to the flesh, thinking and acting in accordance with the promptings of his own heart; the other is sowing to the Spirit, seeking to repress selfishness, to overcome inclination, and to live in obedience to the Master, whose servant he professes to be (AH pg 59)

Marriagemarriage

Marriage is a formal, usually durable, and socially recognized union between persons of the opposite sex. Marriage is socially defined. In no society may an individual decide for himself what constitutes a valid marriage. Marriage requires psychological, moral and maturity competence for the partners involved. The woman and man should learn and know their roles in the new niche they enter as husband and wife. Haste marriages entered to should be avoided and the partners involved should be prepared to be custodians and take an obligation for their family. If blessed with children, they should take good care of them. White has this advice for a long lasting relationship, though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.5 All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve. (AH pg 78)

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

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Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at ndegegeoffrey@gmail.com

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