Humans are relational beings. We begin this series today with a true understanding and definition of certain relationship words. Everyone needs to prepare for life relationships, whether you are at the moment planning to get married or not. “Every enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts” Proverbs 24:3-4.
Friendship in this context is the art of getting to know people of the opposite sex, making them feel comfortable as acquaintances. Friendship means liking of personality without any intentions. People who are friends talk to each other and spend time together productively. They seek to add value to each other’s lives and when such a bond becomes strong, they are called best of friends. The key elements of friendship are being kind, generous, loyal, honest and looking out for each other’s wellbeing.
Dating is a window period of time in which a man and a woman get to know each other through exposed communication that can strengthen friendship relationship and help make a decision towards marital relationship. At this stage, nothing is defined and no one is compelled to yield to any pressure from either party. Whenever people date, the man who should be ready for marriage assumes the role of protector over the woman’s body. The proposal after usually signals the beginning of courtship relationship (I Corinthians 7:1-2).
Courtship is the time during which a man and a woman get to know each other, as they develop their friendship further and begin their journey towards marriage. The relationship is known to stakeholders, as they get to understand their families of origin influences, parents, siblings and others. Accountability is key at this stage.
Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man, a woman and God, the Author of marriage that is binding for life. Cultivating friendship is a parallel virtue that runs through the stages of relationships leading to marriage. There should be no fear or bondage to anyone, as everyone should express their God given will in the choice of a marriage partner in all kingdom relationships leading to marriage (I John 4:18)
Ayo Daniels is a healthy family passionate who writes from Lagos
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a.daniels, Lighthouse NG, Ikeja, Lagos.