10 Hard Facts You Should Know About Marriage
Why are so many marriages falling apart? How does it happen that two people fall in love, get married and then divorce a few months or years later? Did these couples 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? Did they not know about the kind of challenges they would face?
Marriage is a good and divine institution. However, like many good things it requires hard work, patience, commitment and of course TRUE love to keep it alive.
Every marriage is bound to encounter tests, trials and challenges. However, how a couple respond to their problems is always important.
Most marriages end in divorce because many couples did not learn the true reality what to expect in a marriage nor how to resolve marital issues whenever they arise.
So how can you make your marriage work? If you’re not married – what can you expect to experience when you get married? How can you keep your marriage from falling apart?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and more, below are 10 hard facts you should know about marriage if you intend to get married or if you are already in a marriage relationship.
1. Be 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. Whilst dating many people assume that when they get married it will be easier to change some of their spouse’s habits because they’ll be living together.
However, it’s not easy to quickly influence or change habits that have been ingrained in a person’s personality for many years.
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 – even 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 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins”.
2. Be Willing To Realize That Love Is Not A Feeling – But It’s A Mindset & A Lifestyle
Love is not just a feeling. Love is not an overwhelming strong “force” that takes over two 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 should love a person whether they deserve to be loved or not. You should love a person even when they are at their worst state. Love is a choice. You don’t always feel it but you can choose to live it.
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 3:18 – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
3. Be Willing To Forgive Your Spouse For The Same Mistakes – 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. Keeping grudges is never a good thing in a marriage. Having a forgiving attitude will help one’s marriage to last. However, having a vengeful and unforgiving approach to marriage will destroy the marriage. So a spirit of unforgiveness in the home will also cause communication problems and resentment.
Matthew 18:21-22 – 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.
4. Be Willing To Stay Married Till Death Do-You-Part
Do you remember those vows that are made when you get married? For rich or for poor; through sickness and health; till death do us part?
Do these vows still have any meaning in today’s world and culture?
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 meant to be an easy option or an easy escape from the challenges associated with marriage.
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 or handsome. According to God, marriage is for life.
Malachi 2:16 – “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.”
5. Be Willing To Lose A Fight or Argument Even If You’re Right
There are many reasons why couples fight and argue. For example, bad habits; money; sex; communication and the like are one of those many reasons. In marriage, it’s not always about who is right and who is wrong. Humility is an important character to have in a marriage.
The ability to say “I’m sorry, I was wrong” is an important characteristic to have. Therefore a couple should always have the ability to reconcile as quickly as possible, especially after a fight or quarrel.
Ephesians 4:26 says that we should not let the sun go down whilst we are still angry.
So 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, there is always the likely chance you will not always agree with your spouse 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 13:4-5 – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
6. Be 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. God detests adultery and all forms of sexual immorality. Therefore no matter how bad things are in your marriage – never cheat on your spouse.
Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
7. Be Prepared 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. It’s only as you stay together that you begin to learn more intimate details about your spouse.
You can also 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 13:7-8 – (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.
8. Be Willing To Love An Imperfect Person
Are you a perfect person? If you’re not perfect, would you still expect someone to still love you?
None of us are perfect in this world. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23).
So we are all a bunch of imperfect people who fall in love and get married to other imperfect people.
Therefore if two imperfect people get married, you’re going to have an imperfect marriage that is full of disagreements & differences.
So in your marriage, don’t focus on the imperfections – but focus more on the strengths; focus on the good things in the marriage; focus on the things that can make the marriage stronger and better.
John 15:12 – This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
9. Be 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 6:9,10 – 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.
10. Be 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 5:22-28 – 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 & prayerfully do the right thing to make your relationship work according to God’s principles.