It is very important to engage in extensive discussions in all of the important areas that will enable you to obtain adequate information about the person you are developing romantic love for.
KNOWLEDGE is the foundation for any form of meaningful relationship with people.
Adequate knowledge and understanding of the people we relate closely to, and the kinds of romantic relationships we enter, will eliminate or prevent many of the surprises we see and hear of in the rampant conflicts and breaking of courtships and marriages that are terribly infesting our communities and nations in massive proportions in ferocious and relentless fashion.
Therefore, don’t be apprehensive, afraid, shy, or embarrassed to ask ALL the questions you need to ask your prospective partner or courting mate.
Understand that the person is going to be your permanent bonded spouse for life, and you cannot make the wrong choice or fall into pits you did not know existed, or face needless mountains you are incapable of climbing.
Ladies tend to be more sensitive than men. Therefore when a lady knows that she has a particular issue or problem (ex. divorced, has a body that is not too attractive, has poor educational background, has a health problem, comes from a poor family etc.), or feels that she is getting old but is not married, then she could become very concerned about asking any questions that would put the man off, make him feel embarrassed or scared, or inject negative thoughts into his mind that would discouraged him from continuing with her in the romantic relationship.
The men sometimes have their own concerns and fears as well, which can prevent them from delving too deep into the life of the woman with probing questions. If, for example, a man feels inferior to the lady (because of her beauty, high-class, prestigious family background, top position of authority, very high educational standard, wealth, and riches etc.), then asking any sensitive questions could be a herculean task.
But, is it rather better to be silent and go ahead to marry, and later discover a serious flaw, deception, or problem, which can make you develop deeper problems, and in some bad cases, bring about painful separation or divorce?
The truth is that if God is really giving you someone to marry and be in such a sacred and permanent institution of marriage that is very important to Him, and you are cooperating with the Lord in prayer and obedience, who can stop God from accomplishing His divine purpose, if you asks genuinely intelligent and important questions?
“Indeed before the day was, I am He (God Almighty); and there is no one who can deliver out of My Hand; I work and who will reverse it (stop Me)?” (Isaiah 43:13).
Keen and critical observation of each other, and a dialogue to ask and provide answers to all the important questions, will enable you to know each other quite well, and be free to relate better to each other in the relationship.
You need extensive knowledge to be able to relate and live properly with anyone you associate with, and most especially in a dating or courtship relationship that would lead to marriage and creation of a family with children and associated in-laws.
We have to admit that none of us fully discussed all matters adequately before we finally launched into full-blown courtship or marriage, although the knowledge levels differ — some did barely any proper discussions at all; some did minimal or very little discussion of important issues; and some of us did extensive discussions but could not firmly conclude on some essential areas or made erroneous conclusions, or adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude in order to figure out what to do when matters cropped up.
I strongly suggest that no matter the stage you have reached in your relationship or marriage, it is never too late to tackle any knotty points or deficient areas you discover or definitely see as important for the progress of your courtship, home, or marriage.
The list, therefore applies to dating, courtship, and marriage relationships of all types.
SOME GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS AND PLANNING WITH YOUR PARTNER DURING COURTSHIP
Some of the guiding principles for all courtships and marriages, I believe, should be (from my perspective as a Christian):
1) Motives for the choice of mate and for the relationship.
2) God's will for both of you, and for the relationship.
3) Fear of God through obedience to God’s word.
4) Purity and holiness in your thinking and conducts.
5) Dealing with bad habits and learning new good habits.
6) Forgiveness, conflict resolution, and dealing with offences.
7) Anger management.
8) Development of your talents and gifts.
9) Prayer, individually and corporately.
10) Dealing with each other's friends.
11) Bible study, scriptural principles, and basic beliefs.
12) Faith and church involvement.
13) Relationship with each other’s family members.
14) Obligations we carry into the relationship and finally into the marriage (e.g. assistance to specific people or family members, promises to people and expectations of your family members, fulfillment of obligations etc.).
15) Commitment to each other's welfare and interests.
16) Travel plans.
17) Future accommodation.
18) Future ministry.
19) Positions of responsibility and memberships (posts held at work, in organizations, your community, membership in a secret society, organization memberships; plans and position in ministry, at school, or at church etc.).
20) Clear purpose and goals, personally and for both of you.
21) Transparency, honesty, faithfulness and integrity.
22) Good and effective communication that is open and mutual.
23) Building of intimacy (closeness).
24) Education and Career or Professional development, and vocation.
25) Financial planning, savings, investments, business plans, joint ventures, and financial management.
26) Any debts or loans to be paid.
27) Planning for running of future home.
28) Sex and romantic life (including sexual impressions and preferences).
29) Health and fertility issues (prescribed or special medication being taken to deal with some health issues, predisposed conditions for some illnesses such as high sugar or cholesterol levels, fibroids in the womb, menstrual problems, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction or impotence, past or pending surgeries, chronic diseases, frequent ailments, allergies etc.).
30) Diet and meal matters (eating habits, meal preferences etc.).
31) Physical state — any deformities (visible or hidden), heritable or non-heritable.
32) Friendships and associations.
33) Property and inheritance.
34) Planning for building future family (childbirth, birth control, and parenting).
35) Understanding the fundamental differences (make-up) and real needs of males and females. These will always dictate how the man or woman thinks, perceives matters, behaves, enjoys, exhibits particular mood swings, recoils or rejects particular things, and reacts or responds to things in life.
36) Where you will obtain good counseling, and how you will bless your marriage.
37) Family history that is important to prepare and deal effectively with strengths, weaknesses, inherited diseases or genetic issues, passed-on cultural and traditional practices, habits, deep-rooted mindsets etc.
38) Past relationships, courtships, and marriage (present relationships with old boyfriends or girlfriends, cohabitation, divorce, separation etc.).
39) Step-children issues. Any child with another person, who will become a future step-child.
40) Plans to accommodate other family members or friends in your marital home for long periods.
41) Domestic duties – the personal notion, understanding, and performance of duties for the home and family.
42) Understanding of true love and commitment to each other and to the relationship, and readiness to make full commitments.
43) Crisis and emergencies — the mindset and readiness to deal with any possible crisis or emergency situation (illness, prolonged illness, loss of job, delay in childbirth, loss of fertility or ability to perform good sex, the unexpected happening to your child or in-law etc.).
44) Adjustments (ability to adapt quickly, reasonably, and effectively to each other’s strengths and weaknesses; adjustment to any initial or temporal long-distance relationship etc.).
45) Conflict resolution, forgiveness, and anger management that builds more tolerance and godly character in both of you. Admitting wrong, making apologies, and taking practical steps that go past the offences to still deepens the mutual love and care for each other, and a mind of humility to bond to each other in ways that serve to maintain the infrastructure of the love, commitment, and romance.
46) Setting of boundaries for the building of excellence in the relationship. Taking steps to avoid anything that could open the door for outside attacks by enemies. Boundaries that will prevent any reduction in the value of any of you, or cheapen the relationship. Checks and balances that will also serve to avoid pitfalls and temptations or carelessness that could (or will) dilute or destroy the pure and sweet bond of love and trust between the two of you.
47) Sufficient exploration of the BACKGROUND of each other for the understanding of each other, and promotion of the total settling of your heart and mind regarding the type of person in whose company and hands you are entrusting your life and future.
48) Sufficient understanding of the definition and dynamics of courtship and marriage.
You will notice that any courtship and marriage problem that we encounter, falls under one of the enumerated items in this list, or pertains to multiples of factors in the list.
I listed them from personal experiences, and from accumulated observances of people’s courtships and marriages, and through varieties of counseling sessions with hundreds of people over at least three decades, in addition, to disseminating stories.
I encourage you to add your own items to my list for discussion with your mate, fiancee, or spouse, based on your peculiar and specific circumstances, and the goals for the objectives you have agreed on for the future direction and success of your relationship.
Written by Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo, Biology Professor, Ordained Licensed Minister, International Evangelist, Author, Conference Speaker, Bible Teacher, Marriage and Family Counselor, Founder and President of Fruitful Ministries International Inc., Virginia, USA. E-mail: email@example.com.
Obtain more on mate selection processes and courtship from Dr. Kisseadoo’s new book: “Qualities For Choosing A Marriage Partner, And How To Solve Courtship Problems”.
Obtain Dr. Kisseadoo’s books directly from him in Virginia (Tel. & Text 1-917-7410643; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), or in Accra from Challenge Bookstore, or from Baptist Bookstore opposite Anglican High School at Amakom in Kumasi, Ghana; or call Fruitful Ministries Office in Accra on 233-20-8126533. A few books are on Amazon.com.
Tune in to JOY 99.7 FM in Accra (transmitted through LUV 99.5 FM in Kumasi), Ghana, to listen to Dr. Kisseadoo’s weekly broadcast “Hope For Your Family” on Sat. 5:30am-6am, Ghana time (12:30am-1:00am, US Eastern Time in November – March). Access the broadcast on the Internet with MYJOYONLINE.COM.
For free counseling, programs, prayer, messages, books, speaking engagements, call Dr. Kisseadoo in Virginia on 1-757-7289330, (or call Fruitful Ministries on 233-20-8126533 in Accra or 233-275-353802 in Kumasi, Ghana). Website for resources: www.fruitfulministriesint.com.
In Ghana, call Tigo or Airtel 545 and follow the prompts for daily inspirational messages of Dr. Kisseadoo. Permission granted to freely share but with acknowledgement