Marriage is an institution ordained by God. Marriage is not man’s idea, neither was it initiated by him. It was God himself who realized man’s need for a companion and addressed it.
          From God’s perspective, marriage is and should be a voluntary union of one man and one woman. For a marriage to be within the plan of God, it must have all the ingredients and fulfill the reasons as initiated by God.

          Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31
(a)     A man to leave – to separate from prenatal home He and his wife are to form their own home, separate and district from both parents.
          To avoid interference, it is advisable that the new couple live in a different home, away from both parents.
(b)     A man to clave to his wife- to cling to, a coming together and a blending of two district individuals into one.
          For the union to thrive, parental attachment by the couple should be discouraged.
(c)     The couple to be one flesh – the union is meant to produce oneness. Physical union of the couple enhances this purpose of God and acts as a protection for both of them.
(d)     The couple to be fruitful- fruitfulness is all encompassing in God’s plan for a couple. It is His means of multiplying and filling the earth. The issue of reproduction will be treated in another lecture.

There are several reasons why people decide to go into marriage. However, the biblical reasons for marriage are outlined below :
(a)         To solve the problem of loneliness – Gen 2118, Ecc1 4:9-1
(b)         To set up  a family where oneness reigns –Gen 2:23,24
(c)         To satisfy biological desires – Gen 2:25, Prov 5:18,19
(d)         To obey and fulfill God’s command – Gen 2118     
You should be careful not to marry for unscriptural reasons such as
(i)           wealth of a person
(ii)          a result of pressure of age, friends or family
(iii)        a show of sympathy or returning a favour  
(iv)        not wanting to miss out on a particular person.
Marriage, God’s way, is not for person with childish minds. It is for matured minds because it is a lifetime commitment with no escape route. Maturity must be displayed as follows:
(a)         Physical maturity –you must be old enough to take your own decision and not one tied to parents apron strings
(b)         Mental maturity- you must show some level of intelligence by the display of wisdom, knowledge and understanding in issues of life. It also involves ability to think before acting, and the inner will to handle marital demands.
(c)         Spiritual maturity- you must show a high level of faith in God in all situations in life. Your ability to live in obedience to God’s word and give spiritual  direction to your family is very essential.
(d)         Financial maturity – you must have a legitimate source of income and able to provide the basic needs of the family.

The success of your marriage depends on you allowing God to be the master planner of your home. Secondly, its success also depends on what you d in it. Do all you can to make it succeed.           
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