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A relationship can either be one of convenience or one of strategy. A relationship of convenience is a relationship that is entered into because of some benefit that is in it for you or because what you want to achieve demands that you necessarily relate with the person.

For example, there are people you become friends with because you are in the same class with them or you live in the same neighborhood or you attend the same Church. Sometimes too you become friends with people simply because your parents are friends.

Also there are times you can become friends with somebody because the person provides a certain need for you, like helping you with school work, business, ministry etc. All these are relationships of convenience. This kind of relationship is not a solid foundation for marriage.

The other kind of relationship is a relationship of strategy. Marriage certainly will fall into this category. This is a relationship that is entered into consciously, conscientiously and cautiously. It is a matter of choice and destiny. At that point it is not about ‘our parents are friends’ or ‘he/she supplies my particular need’. It’s about ‘that particular person who complements me’. You know, like Adam said ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

In a relationship of convenience we love people because we need them but in a relationship of strategy, we need people because we love them.

Let’s look at an example of a relationship of strategy. Any relationship that is a good foundation for marriage must settle these five questions.

Ruth 1:16-17
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also if anything but death parts you and me(NKJV)

From the above scripture we can glean five important things to consider before entering into a relationship.
i) COMMON DIRECTION: Wherever you go I will go
A relationship of strategy is embarked upon with another person with whom we have a common direction. Two people cannot relate deeply when one is looking to the left and one to the right. In a relationship leading to marriage, the two people should have a common direction.

ii) COMMON ADDRESS: where you lodge I will lodge
Before you choose somebody to occupy the single slot of your life you must be prepared that once you marry you will share the same address.

iii) COMMON TIES: Your people shall be my people
Are you prepared to take the family of the person as your own? Are you prepared to relate with his or her parents as your own parents? Are you comfortable with the people he keeps company with?

iv) COMMON FAITH: Your God shall be my God
Is the person a born again Christian? It is against scripture for a Christian to marry a non-Christian. Also even in the Christian faith, there are many persuasions and doctrinal emphasis. The two of you must decide to attend the same church. It is usually the custom for the woman to leave her Church and join the man. However in some situations, the man rather leaves his Church and joins the woman’s Church. There is no hard and fast rule.

v) COMMON DESTINY: Where you die I will die
Are you both candidates of Heaven? This ties in with the fourth point. Also if you are the woman you must know that you are to be a comparable helper to your husband. This means that if you accept to marry him, you must be willing to support him in his God given calling and assignment. If it doesn’t happen like that, the marriage will not fulfill its purpose.

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