When the topic of relationship is brought up, most people can admit that nothing is as it seems until time has been invested, and for many that can be too late. Too late to spare one’s feelings, get back time or see how we blew past red flags in the beginning. It wasn’t until I grew tired of performing for love from a partner that I stumbled upon two chapters of scripture that gave me a baseline of expectation for a committed relationship. Proverbs 31 is for women what Job 31 is for men, and both are elaborated upon throughout the rest of the Bible, especially in Hosea, and Song of Songs. But with so many adults migrating through divorce in this day, many have relinquished the idea for matrimony in hopes to preserve their hearts from breaking again. So if baby steps could be put in motion toward settling down with the one God has for you, the final decision of entering covenant would fall naturally into His alignment.
Job 31:1-10 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above, and the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Does He not see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood, or if my foot has hastened to deceit, let me be weighed by honest scales, that God might know my integrity. If my step has turned from the way, or my heart walked after my eyes, or if any spot adheres to my hands, then let me sow and another eat. If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, then let my wife grind for another and let others bow down over her, for that would be wickedness”. Much of the remaining chapter goes into detail of the characteristics describing a man of valor and is quite magnificent compared to the qualities most men hold today. Is it possible to reach such purity of heart in a world that is so fast paced and demanding? For the Job 31 man, it was and still could be attained today if willing.
The same goes for the Proverbs 31 woman who is expected to not only hold down the fort through domestic chores, but also to display temperance and long suffering, qualities that for the modern-day-feminist- driven society, could be challenging. Nonetheless the most widespread scripture is Pr.31:30, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised”. The opening scriptures develop the patient persona that wives should embody but it always loops back around to the partnership being willing to learn.
The topic of marriage should be one had in the beginning of dating if two are looking for someone to grow old with, accomplish God’s call on their lives with and help the other change destructive beliefs as His word manifests between them. This takes courage to learn about a holy way that would anchor love on a firm foundation of prayer and worship. And in the beginning all you need is willingness. Willingness is an attitude and it doesn’t commit you to anything more than a beginning. So let go of the rules for engagement and the need to pursue walking down the aisle as you start the journey of oneness, because chances are that Daddy God in heaven will reveal if the one you have in mind is the one He gives His blessing for.
To guide you on your journey of love for a lifetime, it is safe to proceed when you feel the green light is on. That “GO” is easy in the beginning and can remain bright even when new fears erupt as your circles of influence enlarge and other people share their opinions. The yellow light softly changes to “SLOW DOWN” when tempers flare or mis-communication places a wedge between emotional connection. The red light is best known for the halting “STOP” signal when a lifestyle, faith barrier or future hope has damaged the view of one person toward the other. But if we answer some of the hard questions prior to loving someone with promises of forever, much of the confusion can be avoided.
Why did you choose her/him?
Do you realize the importance of the right choice of partner for the rest of your life? (Solomon, Ahab, Samson, and Herod)
What confirmation do you have from The Lord that He wills for your union?
What is the life purpose of your togetherness?
How will you follow The Lords description of love between two people?
Can you see your partner as a gift from God and not a possession?
In what ways are you are Proverbs 31 woman or a Job 31 man?
Do you see engagement as something necessary?
Is it difficult to separate sex from love? And how important is to your partner to abstain?
What conflicts would compromise of sleeping together too early, bring?
Anything you need to divulge to your partner that needs to be discussed and brought out of secrecy for acceptance to be achieved?
Are you a dedicated believer who pursues the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
How do you pray for yourself?
How are you leading your own walk with Christ and do you make that a priority?
How will you implement prayer and worship into your couplehood?
Are intimate prayer settings more comfortable than large gatherings to you and how have you both discussed that?
What do you know about his/her life callings?
Is there a contradiction/conflict in your callings?
How are you going to combine ministry, work and the integration of them into daily routine?
Is reading the Bible something you already do or need inspiration to do through accountability together?
Why is this important to pray about and determine during courting?
How do you react to misfortunes in employment, finances and family?
What do you think your partner possesses that will aide in your ability to trust God during hard times?
Relationship means working on yourself first, are you ready to change yourself?
Why is that important for long term satisfaction?
How do you react to offense?
What method of anger do you rely on to communicate disappointmnet?
Do you withhold love and acceptance if you do not get your way?
Are you able to take instruction?
How would you react to spiritual/emotional contradictions that might surface between you two?
What traits or behaviors do you still need inner healing for?
Are you willing to get christian advice or counsel for areas that your partnership struggles?
What is your personality temperament and what is your partners?
Do you believe a couple should share everything and solve issues together or do you take on too much responsibility?
Does your partner value the same routine, function and standard that you have maintained, if not how will you compromise?
How important is mental health and honoring investment for it?
How will each person help to support the combined family?
What will you discuss concerning debt brought into relationship from each side?
What do you think about incurring debt?
Is it easy for you to share possessions?
How to do spend your free time and will it be quality?
How often will you date eachother so each personality is satisfied?
How will you confront the other on relational topics that were damaged prior to your meeting, ie. children, ex-spouses
When will you know that marriage has become safe ground and an option?
Will you permit the other to question your motive and plan for future committment?
Can you agree that if The Lord says “NO” to your relationship that you would trust it is for the best?
Can you begin to ask God for His confirmation on the union He hopes for you both?