By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
Single Christians in the Bahamas are hungry for practical information to help them make sound decisions when it comes life-long unions.
This was the main takeaway from last weekend's panel discussion on "The Next Step: Marriage", hosted by the Young Adults Ministry of Christ Community Church.
During the event there were discussions on some hot button topics such as: "Cloud 9 Expectations", "Merging Lanes: Leadership in Marriage", "Brukadumbam: Financial Potholes to Avoid", "Castles in the Sand: How Finances Affect a Marriage", "Heat in the Sheets: How Sex Before Marriage Affects a Union, "Communication and Intimacy," and more.
Many of these important topics, said Shawnell McNeil, the Young Adults Ministry leader at the church, are never discussed before two people join hands in holy matrimony.
Major issues of concern of those who attended the discussion, she said, were differences in values, sex, compatibility and faith.
"Persons were captivated by the frank answers our panellists gave about the long-term risks associated with the compromises we make. It was very eye-opening. It sensitised singles to see beyond the surface when choosing a partner. Other things discussed were leadership, expectations, the edge of compromise and things to find out about your partner before committing," Ms McNeil told Tribune Religion.
Panellists also helped participants weigh the pros and cons in their decision-making and to prioritise issues that singles should be concerned about.
But one of the main messages that was driven home during the discussion was seeking and learning about God's vision for marriage. In doing so, believers can manage their expectations and become aligned with God's purpose for the union.
"If we are blind to his vision for marriage, then we will be blind in how we should prepare for it. There are many unknowns in building a life with someone else. Acknowledging God in our decisions aligns our path with his purpose and sets the stage for generations beyond us to be benefactors," said Ms McNeil.
There were some overwhelming responses from young people were eager to learn, she said. As a result, she said the church intends to host more similar events to give people insight into their purpose as singles and in marriage as well.
"The turn-out was absolutely phenomenal. It was a packed house. Couples and singles came out in droves. The next panel discussion will focus on areas of finances and trust. Don't miss it. Those who attended already signed up for the upcoming session," said Ms McNeil.
For more information about the event, call 397-4272 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.