Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
One of the many impacts on our lives from the Covid-19 pandemic has been wedding planning. Difficult decisions along with related stresses have occurred with the postponement or modifying showers and teas, as well as the wedding event and honeymoon celebrations. Seeing all of the detailed planning and joyful anticipation being derailed can be disheartening. Fortunately, couples facing these difficulties can recognize that in the long run, the wedding is only a small portion of their life together. Actually, in the big picture the preparation for the home is really of most importance. In Ecclesiastes 9, we understand that we are to enjoy marriage and family arrangements during our short time here in this life. So, the following are just a few, short reminders for married couples to optimize a godly life in our short life on this earth.
Matthew 19:6 They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
First, commitment to God and to each other should be our highest priority. Any commitment these days has become a fading practice in our society including marriage. I hear too frequently of friends that after years of marriage ending in divorce. How do we reconcile this with the understanding that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16)? It seems judicious that we should seriously consider the vows that we make on our wedding day to our spouse, before family and friends and most importantly before God. It’s imperative for us to make a good choice of spouse that will greatly enhance our lives (Prov 12:4). We should enter this covenant with the mindset that I have one shot to get it right. Those in the world that choose to marry look at divorce as a viable alternative if things don’t work out. However, those that have experienced divorce can confirm the continued long-term commitments, especially if children are involved. We all can see the significant wisdom in the seriousness with the choice of whom we marry. Rough patches are part of every couple’s journey together, but inevitable hard times in life are not the time to look for an escape. Couples in long-lasting marriages adopt a lifelong commitment mindset. Divorce should not be an option.
There have been scientific studies conducted to determine the phenomenon of married couples who grow to look more alike over time. You may have even heard that over time married couples will finish each other's sentences. I believe that there is truth to these observations. Many couples that have been married for years will tell you that the secret to a successful marriage is their friendship. Not only does friendship enhance the commitment to one another, but serving in the kingdom of God together as a couple has far reaching benefits. Make a determination that your home will be committed to serving God. Couples who embrace God’s call to walk worthy together will experience spiritual growth of their faith loving like Jesus is well worth this commitment.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is Patient, Love is Kind.
There is a true saying that unrealistic expectations and poor communication can destroy any relationship. The realistic expectation is that I want my marriage to be successful and communication is one area of our marriages for ongoing awareness and improvements. One of the best ways to communicate is through showing our love as demonstrated by kindness. We must learn self-awareness including the ability to not make a “much ado about nothing” and to recognize the selflessness in consideration of our spouse. A new marriage will require adjustments. As you establish priorities and set boundaries as a couple, work to communicate these with care and respect to the loved ones in your lives. The ability to talk to your spouse is important to keep a marriage running smoothly. Having an encouraging and even humorous nature is vital to the long-term success of marriage. It’s inevitable for there to be differences of opinions, thus conflict management is essential. Successfully managing disagreements keeps small problems from becoming bigger issues in marriages. Couples in long-lasting marriages learn how to face their differences and work through their disagreements. Unresolved conflict can lead to resentment and even serious heart issues.
Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.
Lastly, contentment is non-optional to those wisely desiring a lasting marriage. Contentment in the home will save it from destruction. The temptation of sexual immorality is strong according to the warnings in the Word. In Proverbs 5, the temptation of a forbidden woman leads to death, “her steps head straight for Hell”. The appearance is alluring initially, but then “she doesn’t consider the path of life”. The resulting emotional consequences include one’s reputation and respect, bitterness, regrets and sorrow. There could be physical consequences such as financial hardships, unwanted pregnancy and disease. There are certainly spiritual consequences of sin impacting our relationship with God. “Her steps head straight for Hell”. This is unquestionably an attention grabber with this straightforward and graphic language. Sexual desires are to be reserved for marriage. Efforts must be made to meet the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of our spouse in order to avert temptation from the one forbidden. Do not be deceived by sexual temptations considering these overwhelming consequences. These actions will forever change one’s life in ways they could never imagine.
Although not an all inclusive list, implementing the need of commitment, communication and contentment is a good start as one enters into marriage.