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Wednesday: Choosing a Life Partner — 15 Comments

  1. Carmel and I have been married 50 years and 3 months, so some people may be tempted to think that we have worked out how to do all the right things to choose a life partner. Nothing could be further from the truth. My first encounter with Carmel was on a blind date at College. In those days at College we were allowed to eat an evening meal (Ticket Tea) with a girl of our choice twice a week. My friend wanted to have a meal with his female cousin because it was her birthday and he asked me if I would like to choose a girl and accompany them to this meal. Carmel just happened to walk past, looking very pretty, and I said that I would go if his cousin could arrange for Carmel to come to the Ticket Tea. Well she did come, and we liked one another and before long we were using up our special evening meal allowance every week. I don’t think we ever sat down and thought though the spiritual councils on courtship and marriage. We just found we had very similar world views and enjoyed one another’s company. When it came to considering getting engaged, we started discussing it on an overnight train from her place back to College in very practical terms. Carmel says it was the most unromantic proposal she has ever imagined. Somewhere on that train trip, the decision was made and then we prayed our first prayer together asking for God’s blessing on our romance.

    God had a big test for us. A couple of weeks later, Carmel was appointed to teach at a school in New Zealand while I was to remain at Avondale College in Australia to complete my BSc. (At the time, it seemed that it was Church policy to separate engaged couples by as much distance as they could!) This would mean that we would be separated for 12 months. At the end of that 12 months, Carmel returned to Australia and we were married about 8 days later. It was a bit like being “Married at First Sight”. We had a bit of a honeymoon and then we had to cross the width of Australia (4000km) in a very old car to take up my teaching appointment in Western Australia It took a week and since we could not afford motels, we slept in the car. Carmel of course did not have a job. And being a bit naïve in those days it did not worry me as I was the breadwinner. It took a little time to sink into my thick brain that taking Carmel from a fulfilling teaching job and setting her down on the other side of the country without any job at all made it a pretty lonely time for Carmel. Tears were silently shed. I learned a few hard lessons in that first year of marriage and have been learning ever since. It has taken a lot a lot of saying, Sorry!”, and being forgiven.

    In spite of my naivety, our marriage has survived and when I look back on all the lessons learned with Carmel, I am thankful that God brought us together. We not only survived, but I think we both enjoy one another’s company 50 years later. And we have survived in spite of not having all the answers before we started.

    • My husband and I have been together 50 years this October and like you we are still in the process of learning how to communicate.

    • Maurice, it is very obvious to me, a casual observer, that God had a plan for you two and it seems like it worked in spite of our “men” thick headed man ness. I am very blessed with a lovely wife and hopefully we will be together for many many many more years! ...Royce

  2. Choice, to really make a real choice we need information about our options otherwise we are gambling, hoping we win the prize!

    Hopefully in coming lessons we will get more guidance to help us chose other than how important it is to make the right choice.

    I know the effect of lack of information in choosing a partner and a career.

  3. Thank you for sharing Maurice. I do appreciate such honesty.
    Should one marry for love or by reason? Taking into consideration first the religious aspects of course one should love the person one considers marrying. However it is certainly not enough to marry a person because you love that person. I was married for 28 years when the unthinkable happened. I do not know if someone really rise from a divorce. This is something that was not heavenly intended. I think it is like death. I think it feels like your life was stolen. It is the worst pain.

    • I understand your pain, Beverley, even though I have not had to go through it personally. Too many of my friends have divorced and my heart goes out to those who have experienced it. Within Church circles we often get into the blame cycle, trying to figure out who was right and who was wrong, rather than offering compassion and understanding to both sides. Compassion is much more important than condemnation. Perhaps we need some lessons on healing broken lives.

      In Luke 4:18, Jesus quoted these words from Isaiah:

      The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Isa 61:1

      He was giving us an example of Christian compassion which really defines how we should act towards one another. I pray that you are surrounded by a fellowship of believers who follow that example.

  4. Our Marriage just began somehow differently. Joining a catholic, Paul Kamugisha and an Anglican lady, Jadress Kyosimire in 1983. Later in 1988 I went to study a diploma in accountancy far from my home. Jesus was preached to us through Adventists. I went and shared this with my wife who got baptised in 1990. For me I had been baptised in 1989. May I Thank Jesus For Finding Us And Sustaining Our Marriage for over 36 years. May His Name be Praised.

  5. As anything in life, we cannot really explain exactly what put us together with our spouses. But I'd say that God is the fountain of love. And if we are connected with Him, love can change or secure our ways. Life is a thrill, and human heart is a mystery. Choices can be reasonable, but feelings seem to be much more complex. I think that choosing a life partner, which can start with a small flirt, can last as much as we allow ourselves to hang on to love. But this has to happen for both sides. Relationships demand a lot of patience and self denial. I'm in a 18 y-o marriage, with a 10 y-o daughter.

  6. Not all marriages start with 'being in love' or even attracted to the other one. I have witnessed many marriages among the Indian doctors within the neonatal unit I worked in. I used to invite some home for meals and heard their stories. A lot were lucky to have met once before their wedding day which was arranged for them by their parents. Those marriages work because they take into their marriage, good manners, and the support of their families:
    For me, I was disappointed with my father who - when asked him what he would chose for me, disregarded my request and said I might be the one who would not marry. I felt he had not bothered to get to know who I was. I since feel that it is important for parents to supervise their children's choice. Sometimes loving parents can see trouble brewing and be able to at least warn their child of their possible future.
    I was surprised in Vanuatu to see a lot of arranged marriages there too. The main issue here is land ownership. Parents want the best for their children and land security means the growing of food and other life needs. Surely, this is real parental love in action too in relation to choosing a life partner. Godbless today, Mrs A Stolz.

  7. Adam was really blessed to have a perfect and only woman.he had no one to compare Eve with in order to make a choice,Eve too.the rest of us have more difficulty to choose among the many imperfect partners.our perfection seem so far because of sinning but our weakness was made perfect in GOD'S love.we ask for God's presence cause we enter into partnership with him since he is the beginner of the family.if you put the owner aside then marriage won't work out or be built.the more you last in marriage with all its challenges, you preach GOD'S love, the fruits of love.love is the beginning of marriage and it ends in love(till death do us apart),GOD is love.i thank those who have spent many years in marriage you are testimony of love.

  8. I almost make a wrong decision to married a man with different belief. My sister not agree with my choice but others no comment. Pray is the best thing to do when I really don't have a friend to talk to. Telling everthing how I feel and ask for guidance, so I won't feel regret with my decision. Finally, I make the right decision. I rather not to married with the man I loved than change my belief. I'm thankful God has answer me. Amen

  9. I have problems with the statement the author says here at the end of the first paragraph, "since none of us is perfect and have many more people to choose from." Before I came to know God as someone that will help us to make the right choice on a life partner, I came to the point that I chose to be a bachelor and even told God so. I had a male room mate that had already made that choice and then I followed his lead. But then I went through a seven lesson Seminar about the Prayer of Faith. This prayer led me to know God in a more personal way and God, through His Providential leading, led me back to a woman who was still single and I am still married to her and it has been over 40 years of marriage with her. At the point where I came to know God, way better, He only had one choice for me. But before that time I do not see that I had "many more choices." I just did not know God enough to trust Him to help me with the only choice He had for me.

  10. I thank God for the lesson this week. Thanks Maurice for sharing your experience in your marriage.
    I was married in 1991 to a catholic man. I Thank God he didn't tell me to go to Catholic church but I was always on my kneels asking God to touch his heart join our church.
    Because God is faithfully He answered my prayers after praying for 15yrs. He was baptised and we are happy family.


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