How Can I Make My Marriage Work?
Why are so many marriages falling apart? How does it happen that 2 people fall in love, get married and then divorce a few months or years later? Did these people not understand the meaning of love? Did they not understand the meaning of marriage? Did they not understand the commitment required to make a marriage work?
Marriage is a good and divine institution. However, like many good things it requires work, commitment and of course TRUE love to keep it alive.
Am I ready for marriage? How can I make my marriage work? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, below are at least 11 things you should know about marriage if you intend to get married or if you are already in a marriage relationship.
- Are You Willing To Understand That There Are Certain Things About Your Spouse’s Character That You Might Never Ever Change?
Let’s face it. If your spouse had certain habits or certain undesirable characteristics 20 years before you got married, it’s unlikely that your spouse is going to change those undesirable habits or characteristics overnight. Many people whilst dating assume that when they get married it will be easier to change some of their spouse’s habits because they’ll be living together. Sometimes it’s not the case and habits or characteristics that have been engrained in a person’s personality do not change easily.
If a person will not change – don’t focus so much on strategizing how to change the person. Rather just love the person as they are – yes, with their bad habits. Don’t be too critical or judgmental. You might discover that you’re also not so perfect yourself and that there are things in your own personality that need to change too.
1 Peter 4:8NKJV – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins”.
- Are You Willing To Realise That Love Is Not A Feeling – But It’s A Mindset & A Doing-Word?
Love is not a feeling. Love is not an overwhelming strong “force” that takes over 2 people who are meant to be together. Feelings are temporary. Feelings come and go depending on the external situation or circumstance.
True love however, remains the same irrespective of the external circumstances. True love is a mindset. You love a person whether they deserve to be loved or not. You love a person even when they are at their worst state. Love is a choice. You don’t feel it but you choose to love.
Many people get married without understanding the difference between love and lust. Others get married without understanding the difference between infatuation and love. Some get married without understanding the meaning of love at all.
1 John 3:18NKJV – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
- Are You Willing To Forgive Your Spouse For The Same Mistakes Over & Over & Over & Over & Over Again – And Still Love Your Spouse Anyway?
One of the reasons why many marriages eventually fail is because of lack of forgiveness. Spouses cannot forgive each other for past errors or faults. Having a forgiving attitude will help one’s marriage to last but having a vengeful and unforgiving approach to marriage will destroy the marriage. Unforgiveness will also cause communication problems and resentment.
Matthew 18:21-22NKJV – Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
- Are You Willing To Stay Married Till Death Do-You-Part?
Contrary to the worldly culture and standards, marriage is not a human contract. Marriage was created by God and marriage is defined by God. Part of God’s rules for marriage is that divorce is not an option.
Marriage is a lifetime commitment to love & live with your spouse. This commitment does not change because your feelings change. This commitment does not change because your spouse no longer has a well-paying job. This commitment does not change because your spouse no longer looks beautiful. According to God, marriage is for life.
Malachi 2:16 NKJV – “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
- Are You Willing To Lose A Fight or Argument Even If You’re Right?
There are many reasons why couples fight and argue; bad habits; money; sex; communication and the like are one of the many reasons. In marriage, it’s not about who is right and who is wrong. Humility is an important character to have in a marriage. Would you rather be right & continue to be enemies in the home – or would you rather be peacefully reconciled and in humility agree to disagree?
In a marriage where 2 people come from 2 different family backgrounds & have had 2 different life experiences there is always the likely chance that as a couple you will not always agree on every topic or issue.
Differences will always arise even in the best marriages. The question is, how do you handle your differences as a couple?
1 Corinthians 13:4-5NKJV – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
- Are You Willing to be Faithful & Never Cheat Including During the Worst of Times?
There is no good excuse for cheating on a spouse. Adultery is a sin no matter how bad your marriage becomes. There are many reasons why a spouse may cheat but none of those reasons are good enough before God’s eyes. God honours faithful people. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 13:4NKJV – Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
- Are You Willing To Discover New Surprising Things About Your Spouse BUT Still Love Him Anyway?
Before couples get married they always make the mistake of assuming that they know their partner very well. The truth is, no person truly knows their spouse until they begin to stay together. Before you’re married you may know a small percentage of your partner’s personality, but the truth is you will learn more of who he is and what type of person he is during your marriage. You can be married to your spouse for 15 years and still discover that there are many things (good and bad) that you did not know about your spouse.
However, whatever surprising new things you find out about your spouse – are you willing to continue to be committed and to love that person? Remember – love is not a feeling.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8NKJV – (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.
- Are You Willing To Love An Imperfect Person?
Are you a perfect person? If you’re not perfect, would you still want someone to still love you?
None of us are perfect in this world. We are all a bunch of imperfect people falling in love and getting married to other imperfect people.
Therefore if 2 imperfect people get married, you’re going to have an imperfect marriage that might be full of disagreements & differences.
In marriage, don’t focus on the imperfections – but focus on the strengths; focus on the good things in the marriage; focus on the things that can make the marriage stronger and better.
John 15:12NKJV – This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
- Are You Willing To Realize That Love, Sex & Romance Isn’t What Celebrities & The Hollywood Films Teach?
Celebrities and Hollywood is the last place that any serious couple should want to learn about love and marriage. Hollywood films only distort the meaning of true love and true marriage. Married celebrities themselves are not good examples to learn from about marriage because their marriages never last. Yet Hollywood culture has had a subtle effect on how we think and view issues related to love, sex and marriage.
Hollywood & celebrities have given the youth and many others the subtle perception that our definition of love, sex & romance should be as we have seen and experienced it in the films that we watch.
Colossians 2:8NKJV – Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
- Are You Willing To Love & Stay With Your Spouse During Financial Challenges?
Money is one of the major reasons why marriages collapse. The Bible says that money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Money is the reason why some people want to get married to someone.
Money is the bait that some people use to persuade someone to marry them.
However, money should not be the foundation of any relationship – especially marriage.
The foundation of a good marriage should be God & His word, love, commitment & trust.
1 Timothy 6:9,10NKJV – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- Are You Willing To Accept Your Specific Marital Roles As Husband & Wife
In any kind of institution, team or grouping, people will always have different functions and different roles to play. It’s the same thing in a marriage. According to God’s word, the husband has his role and the wife has her role. Whenever their respective marital roles are not performed or if their roles are reversed – this situation will cause problems in the marriage.
Ephesians 5:22-28NKJV – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself
So are you ready for marriage? Or are you willing to make your marriage work?
Remember – marriage comes from God. Approach your relationships prayerfully. As long as we are on this earth, our relationships are not going to be problem-free. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect relationships. The question is – are you willing to selflessly & prayefully do the right thing to make your relationship work according to God’s principles.