One of the tragedies of the 21st century Christian is that we are now so sophisticated with our access to Wi-Fi and social media platforms that we let compromise creep in.

There is a verse that I always keep at the back of my mind. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Take note of your surroundings and your relationships; take note of your conversations and what you are spending time on.

Before you know it, your salvation and testimony are of no value.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Guard your salvation and protect your testimony as a young person, it came at a great price.

I want to conclude the discussion on what people need to do before they enter into marriage.

If you remember I had mentioned that many young people ask whether it is necessary to pay lobola/roora when one is now a Christian considering these modern times.

Others will ask whether it is necessary to have a “white” wedding when one has already gone through the traditional process. Others will say there is no need to have a church wedding, just pay the lobola/roora and go to the Magistrates’ Courts.

We highlighted the need for single people to understand that when you are a Christian you are held to a higher standard and there are three primary areas that you have to fulfil namely the cultural, legal and spiritual.

So long as you do not go against any biblical principles you are expected to go through each of these processes as they are a fulfilment of a necessary stage.

The spiritual part is fulfilled through the church wedding where a pastor/priest is present and pronounces a blessing; this is very critical for the young couple as it is the physical representation of allowing God to be a part of their marriage and plays a key part in the future.

It is important to note that each assembly/church has its own way of doing things hence you should consult your church elders and do things accordingly.

Your white wedding does not have to be a lavish affair. We actually encourage you to not spend too much money at all, it is actually very possible to fulfil all three requirements in one day if proper arrangements are made in time.

Your pastor/priest/marriage officer can actually be present during the lobola/roora process and once that is done the two sign the marriage registry and they are blessed and all is done.

Having said all of this, it is essential for us to set our priorities right from the onset.

We spend too much time planning and organising for the wedding day and forget that it is just one day. Rather all efforts should be focused on the marriage.

I know of many young couples that had world-class weddings but their marriage was a living hell.

Unfortunately for some they ended up in divorce soon after while others were hospitalised due to domestic violence with some dying.

There are some that make it but only after getting it right where it matters most.

I want to encourage you to prepare for the marriage that you want even before you have met or found your life partner.

Pray for your marriage even before it has happened; live in a way that when you eventually meet your spouse you will be the best version of yourself ever.

Many people think that marriage is two halves meeting to make one. That may be true, but I believe that even more so marriage is the meeting of two whole people to form one whole person.

God’s mathematics is funny like that.

I want to list just five simple points that I believe can help you as you prepare for your life partner and your future. They can be more but for now we will stick to these as what every single person needs to do as they prepare for their marriage.

A life of integrity: Do all you can to be God fearing, observing the word of God as well as cultural and moral values.

No premarital sex: One of the main reasons why most marriages are not succeeding is because the individuals involved will have engaged in sex before getting married. I urge you to stay pure for your sake and that of your future. We open a can of worms when we engage in fornication.

Premarital counselling: Most churches offer premarital counselling sessions, there are also sessions offered by reputable and professional counselling organisations that one can engage. Life is too short for you to make all of the mistakes by yourself, learn from those who have been there before.

Plan for the future: The wedding day is not a life goal. There is life after the wedding day so right now before you get married, go to school, develop some skills, build your career, have a life plan, what do you want to be 20 years from now? All of these are key areas for your marriage to be a success.

Know your partner better: If you know who you are then you will want to be sure about the person you let into your life. Ask the essential questions (goals, vision, values).

Get an understanding of their background. Some people are shocked to discover certain things when it is too late which further complicates things.

I hope these few thoughts were helpful, take care of yourself.

Till next time, God bless.