God has designed marriage to be a blessing.
Marriage was designed to give us companionship and intimacy. Yet, sadly, many couples wouldn’t say they are experiencing that blessing. Why? Do they not love each other? When they got married, did they want to make it the distance? There was a time that they couldn’t see themselves spending their lives with anyone else and now many dream of getting out of the agreement they have entered so they can be with someone else. What changed?
Let’s look at some of the plans of God when he designed marriage then try and pick apart a few reasons we aren’t seeing that as a reality in most marriages.
Ephesians 5:25- “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Genesis 2:24 - “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Ephesians 4:2-3- “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 - “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Matthew 19:6- “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
I believe our biggest problem is that we don’t spend enough time or stress enough to engaged couples to prepare for marriage! My husband and I do marriage counselling and I am always baffled at how many couples will say they can’t afford counselling yet they will find THOUSANDS to spend on hair, make up, a dress, decorations, etc. so that they LOOK good on the wedding day. Yet, they aren’t prepared to spend anything to make sure they FEEL GOOD for the rest of their lives in their marriage! We have to understand that marriage is two separate people joining together to live together till death does them part. There is no way that is going to be happily ever after on accident. It will take intentional work to join two lives in such close proximity and expect them to be a blessing to each other as opposed to just getting on each other’s nerves.
When we look at these verses, we see a few things that stand out as necessary for a couple to understand as they prepare for marriage.
- Are you ready to LEAVE your parents and cleave to your wife? Are you ready to LEAVE past relationships so you can hold fast to your wife? Do not get married, and expect a happy fulfilling marriage, if you are not ready to forsake everyone else to make your spouse the most important person in your life.
- Men, are you ready to love your wife like Christ loved the
- Look at the above verse in Ephesians 4. A good marriage is when you are willing to bear with each other’s faults. You understand the other person is not perfect, but you are humble and patient and willing to go the distance and strive every day to encourage that other person to be all he/she can be. You are willing to be that person’s cheerleader!
- Look at the above verse in 1 Corinthians 13 at the description of love. Is that what your love looks like? If not, ask God to fill you with HIS love so that you can give out what you are receiving from Him. His love is the type to always protect your spouse, when the world would say do whatever you want because you are entitled to have fun even if it hurts your spouse. His love is the type to be faithful, even when you are tempted to look elsewhere. Study this verse and these qualities and really take an inventory of where your love doesn’t measure up. Ask God to help you have this kind of love and I can promise a fulfilling marriage is coming your way!
This coming Sunday night at 7:30 pm. on BTV my husband and I will be discussing the topic of how to prepare for marriage. We will discuss how his parents didn’t want us to get married and what we did about that. We will discuss how, by God’s grace, we managed to abstain from sex until we got married. We will discuss how to know when you are ready to get married and what are some qualities to look for in a spouse. Audience members asked questions that I know you are asking too as you contemplate how many people to date, how do you know if you have found the one, and much more! Our aim in creating this show is to help couples understand some practical tips on how to prepare to have the best marriage possible! We believe, after 16 years of a wonderful marriage, that it is possible and we want to tell you our behind the scenes secrets!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook page: Talking with the Thabas
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Conquering the Giants and Dive In, which can be bought at Exclusive Books. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.