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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Take control: How to choose a long-term mate!

Choosing a mate is a life changing experience...!

The process of choosing an ideal long-term mate is challenging for most people; it is like finding a needle in a hay-stack.  The scary part is declaring your undying love to the total stranger hoping that what you are saying will outlive you.

What is a marriage?
Sociologically, marriage is defined as a socially supported union involving two or more individuals in what is regarded as a stable, enduring arrangement based on a sexual bond. Spiritually marriage is sacred; this means it is a divine covenant through which the Creator authenticates childbearing and creates a connection whereby a man is given a social responsibility of providing and protecting the offspring from the sexual relationship.   Marriage is commonly defined as a binding lifelong commitment in which a man is a head of a social unit. It has two key binding conditions: First for the man to love and honor a woman until death parts them. Secondly a woman is created for a man and is to submit to him and also honor him until death parts them.

Biblical history in the Old Testament indicated that two families agreed to marry their children and that agreement was enough to regard the couple engaged until they come mature enough to consummate marriage union. Christian marriage emphasizes leaving and cleaving to denote that both man and woman must leave their respective families and cleave to each other; withhold nothing. They are therefore referred to as “one flesh”. Another important aspect which the couple is expected to bind themselves with is to raise their offspring according to the principles and guidelines of God who designed the marriage.

The process of choosing the mate:

The following constitute key factors when choosing a mate:

1.    Physical Attraction: Unlike other mammals, mankind is equipped with internal mechanism that helps in screening several candidates for the prospective mate.  It is critical to note that physical attraction is not enough. The knowing-each-other period is very important and must be totally open.  The couple must rise above the physical beauty to the reality of life-long intimate life as man and wife. This is a huge step, which requires individuals to be guided on issues of compatibility. True beauty radiates from within and permeates the physical features.
2.    Compatibility:  Key pointers of compatibility can only be established if the couple is open and willing to regard their communication as the tool that will enable them to see and feel compatibility.  Christians are encouraged to choose a mate from Christians so that their values would enable them to raise their offspring from the solidarity of principles.  From the Christian perspective compatibility does not include experimenting with sex. While sex is an important aspect of marriage, it should not be the deciding factor and this usually requires guidance through premarital counseling.
3.    The family background: It is wise to know the family background to have an idea of the environment in which your lifetime partner was socialized into. Such knowledge will reveal childhood issues which influence the way he or she makes decisions. 
4.    Education differences: The level of education is another key factor because parenting requires both parties to re-socializing themselves to weed out values and beliefs that do not support their agreed optimal family standards. For an example, will you register your children at community school or English Medium School?
5.    Culture and social environment  Your mate could have a background, which dictates how a wife should behave and interact with the community. For example, if you are a modern woman you may be prohibited to wear pants and a make-up. This subject must be addressed and agreed upon.
6.    Personality differences: You are likely to differ in personality types and it is important to know how much. There are four types: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic. – If one party is a carefree and the other is cautious; the relationship is likely to experience a bumpy ride.  Hobbies could unite or separate the couple and create irreversible discontent. If one likes outside activities like hiking and the other likes to settle on a couch with a good book that will eventually affect the couple negatively.

Life is what you make of it. Nothing changes within you; only cultural norms dictate how you have to behave. If you choose to comply with such social pressures, you may lose focus of who you are or want. You are likely to develop new expectation of each other; thus unconsciously creating a gap between yourselves. Taking control denotes designing your life and finding someone who also know what he/she wants and take it from there. Attempting to find someone to control is not finding a life partner with whom you could share yourself and resources unreservedly.