Martin Zerrudo: Is the next step for you and your significant other marriage? Is it something you’ve already talked about planning for? Is that a topic you’re currently avoiding? What should you know before popping the question and how can you make sure that you end up having a successful marriage?
Let’s have a Heart & Soul conversation.
Martin: Hello, everyone, hope you’re doing well and are safe at home. Today, our topic is focused on helping our listeners gain a better understanding on what to expect when getting married and what to do to make sure their marriage can be happy and successful. At the end of the day, we want to give you as much information and guidance before you commit to one of the most important decisions of your lives. And joining me today to help us with that is Brother Felmar Serreno, a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ. Brother Felmar is a husband and father of two and is also the minister on the brand new Happy Life podcast, a podcast where newlyweds can get some tips on having a successful marriage. Hi, Brother Felmar, how are you today?
Brother Felmar: Hello, Martin, and to the Heart & Soul team and to everyone who’s tuning in. I’m doing well, Martin, thank you for asking. And I just like to say it’s a great pleasure for me to be here on Heart & Soul.
Martin: Thank you so much, Brother Felmar. And thank you for taking the time to help us with such an important topic that is pivotal and is an important topic for many of our young adult listeners. So, when it comes to deciding when a couple in the Church Of Christ should marry, what are some of the questions that they should be asking themselves?
Brother Felmar: To answer that, let’s first be reminded that a true spouse is from God. This is proven to us by the Bible in Proverbs 19: 14 we’ll quote from the New Revised Standard Version:
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
[Proverbs 19:14 New Revised Standard Version]
So based on this, one of the very important questions to ask oneself prior to getting married is, is this person that I am courting, or is courting me the answer to my prayers? Is this person the blessing to me from God?
Another important question to ask oneself prior to getting married is, am I ready for the blessing like what we heard from the Holy Scriptures, house and wealth are inherited from parents, but house and wealth or other possessions are not just things you just receive? Right? You need to take care of them. There are responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. So, so much more when it comes to marriage.
According to the Bible, in God’s design of marriage, which is the true and right design, there are responsibilities for the husband, and there are responsibilities for the wife, and there are also shared responsibilities. That’s why on the Happy Life podcast, we discuss things like making adjustments, expectations, communication as a married couple for members in the Church Of Christ who are at the courtship stage. Be sure to ask yourselves even before getting engaged. Are you ready for the blessing and the responsibilities that come with marriage? It’s important to consider that you have feelings for each other. But it’s also important to consider how compatible you are with one another, especially when it comes to working together and shouldering and fulfilling the responsibilities that come with marriage.
It’s important to ask too, if you are ready, financially, mentally and above all, are you ready spiritually? So I hope, Martin, that answers your question regarding some of the things that others ought to be asking themselves before getting married.
Martin: Of course, we want to be able to ask those questions so that it helps us prepare, like you mentioned financially, mentally, and above all spiritually. But some might say, Well, I know some successful couples who weren’t 100% ready financially, and they worked out. Maybe they rushed into it too quickly, but it worked out. What would be our answer to those kinds of scenarios?
Brother Felmar: Well, going back to the Holy Scriptures, to the verse that we just read in Proverbs 19:14, the truth is clear. A prudent wife is from the Lord. So a true spouse will come from the Lord God. So if it is the will of God that He will grant to an individual the true spouse, the answer to that individual’s prayer, and maybe it would not necessarily fit the timeline, so to say, when it comes to the norm, right, on how others have gotten married, but that is the will of God for that particular couple. So by God’s grace and mercy, things will fall into place.
However, that doesn’t mean that we should rush into marriage. Based on the Holy Scriptures, marriage is sacred, so we ought to be careful, and we ought to make the necessary preparations so that we will be able not only to receive the blessing, but to continue to take care of the blessing of marriage that comes from the Lord God,
Martin: Very true, Brother Felmar, and I guess it just all the more indicates why the decision to get married in the INC is not one we take lightly. So how does one know when they’re ready to make an important decision? What if they feel like okay I may have all my ducks in a row, financially ready, I think God is answering my prayer. How do they know it’s time to make that important decision?
Brother Felmar: Well, I think if those who are currently in courtship can say, “Yes, we care for each other.” So those feelings are there. But they can also say “Yes, we have proven ourselves to be compatible with one another.” Because even though emotionally, you know, they care for each other, they feel deeply about each other. But there are moments that arise where the compatibility is in question, a lot of times they’re fighting. Well, that can’t be a good sign. So that’s something that should be considered. What else? Again, we should also be able to say, “Yes, we are ready financially.” That is something that is important, because according to the Holy Scriptures, we ought to be able to provide for our household. What else should be considered? That we can say “Yes, we are also mentally ready. We are capable of making mature and responsible decisions. But above all, we are ready spiritually.” A man and woman who are about to make that decision to go into marriage must make sure that they are ready spiritually, both are spiritually mature.
So if we can say yes to all of these questions, then I’d say you’re pretty ready. I’d say, What are you waiting for? Assuming of course, you’re both of legal age. In addition to that, Martin, here’s a Bible verse, a teaching from the Holy Scriptures, that should also be considered here in the book of Proverbs 3:5-6 in the New King James Version:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
[Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version]
If you trust in the Lord with all your heart, if you acknowledge God, if you pray to Him regularly, the Bible says, “He shall direct your paths.” And that has been the experience of many members in the Church Of Christ, when we were not yet ready for marriage, although maybe we wanted to get married, but God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, He knew that we were not yet ready. God directed us. And when the time was right, God directed us again. But to avail of this wonderful and precise direction from God, it is crucial that we do trust in God with all of our heart, and that we are prayerful.
Martin: Thank you so much for that, Brother Felmar. As someone who has been married for a couple of years now, can you describe to our listeners, maybe for those who are not members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ, the beauty and the splendor that is a blessed marriage within the Church Of Christ. Can you describe to our audience what that is like?
Brother Felmar: You know, it’s very hard to put into words. It’s very hard to put into words. The Bible teaches us that when we put God first, when we make God our happiness, He will give us our heart’s desire. And that’s why I mentioned earlier, how wonderful it is to have that direction, that precise direction from God, because only the Almighty God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly who the right match will be for us. There are many things we cannot foresee going into marriage. Although you know, with what we can see things may look like they align. But there are also things we cannot see, because we are human beings, we are limited with what we know and what we can foresee. We don’t know what will happen five years from now, 10 years from now. Maybe in courtship, the chemistry is there. But will the chemistry still be there when challenges come, when you may lose your livelihood, or when your spouse is ill? But God knows those things. So again, only the Almighty God knows who the exact match will be for us, who will be our true partner in life and will compliment us on all levels, and above all, will be with us in our services to God. In worshipping Him and putting our faith in Him and in praying to Him, you know, until we make it to our salvation.
So having said that, to all of our listeners and, and to our friends who are not members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or the Church Of Christ, the priority would be God. Know God first, make the Almighty God our happiness, understand His teachings and all of his commandments that we must fulfill so that we prove to God He is our happiness. And that’s why we always invite our friends and loved ones to know more about the Church Of Christ. Of course, we’re so happy when we have our friends and loved ones who are with us in the Church Of Christ, but really that invitation is for you. It’s for our friends, so that they will be able to experience how wonderful it is to have the true God and to receive His blessings. And a very important and crucial blessing in life is true marriage that comes from God.
Martin: Thank you so much for that, Brother Felmar. And as you as a husband, how does that make you feel that that’s a blessing that you’ve been given in life?
Brother Felmar: It’s humbling that you know, like, the Bible says, when God is your happiness, He will give you your heart’s desire. So those qualities that I hoped for and prayed for, you know, when I was still single and praying for a spouse who not only would be my partner in life, but my partner in the holy ministry, so it is humbling that God, you know, He gave me really like what the Bible says, one’s heart’s desire. I don’t want it to seem like you know, I’m making my wife sound like she’s, you know, this perfect woman. There’s no such thing as a perfect man or woman, right? So, but really, you know, there’s the perfect one for you.
Martin: So thank you so much, Brother Felmar, for those wonderful verses and the spiritual advice. For our listeners who are considering getting married, and especially for our listeners who are newlyweds, we have a brand new podcast we recently launched and I’d love to share it with you. It’s called Happy Life, where you’ll have none other than Brother Felmar and Host Sister Myrtle Alegado to help provide Bible-based advice and guidance to newlyweds in the INC as they begin their new journey together. Brother Felmar, what can listeners look forward to when they tune in to Happy Life?
Brother Felmar: So you have to listen to each episode from start to finish, so that you can come away with the complete package that each episode brings, which includes reliable and relevant marriage tips from real life experiences of newlyweds who guest on the show. More importantly, Bible-based teachings, which are the foundation for a happy and enduring marriage. These teachings can be applied to resolving conflicts that may arise in marriage, as well as preventing future conflicts, especially serious ones that could severely harm a marriage. Our warmhearted and spirited host, Myrtle Alegado, does a wonderful job of keeping the discussion meaningful, focused on the topic at hand, and we have fun too. So lots to look forward to on Happy Life.
Martin: I believe you also have an Instagram account.
Brother Felmar: We do. Yes. Thank you for mentioning that, Martin. So yes, please, if everyone tuning in could follow us on Instagram, subscribe on Apple podcast, Google podcast. And of course you can find us as well on our website incmedia.org.
Martin: Thank you so much for that, Brother Felmar, thank you so much for joining us for providing that wonderful insight. Please, for all of our listeners continue to follow our hashtag on Instagram, #heartandsoulconversations to stay up to date with all things Heart & Soul. Thank you so much, Brother Felmar, for joining us. We really appreciate it.
Brother Felmar: All praises be to God and thank you as well, Martin, and to the Heart & Soul team.
Martin: Thank you so much, this your first time hopefully not the last. We look forward to it in the future. That’s it from us today. Hope we were able to help, hope we were able to connect and hope you’ll join us next time ready to listen with all your heart and soul. Take care.
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