The foundation of a good marriage
What you need to know:
The union of a married couple is sealed by a mutual gift of themselves so that they become one body and one soul, and so find wholeness and happiness.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines marriage as a legal relationship between husband and wife. From creation in Genesis 1:26-28, God intended that man and woman stay in harmony as husband and wife; to be instruments of peace, have dominion over the earth and co-create.
To keep a marriage afloat, husband and wife are duty bound to be each other’s keeper through sharing love, joy and sorrow. That is why a man leaves his father and mother, and clings to his wife and the two become one body (Genesis 2:24).
Contrary to this foundation of marriage, many couples continue to go through devastating experiences inflicted upon by their marital partners and other external factors. They are living a sorrowful and regrettable life, a marriage that lies between a rock and a hard place. To be sorrowful, one feels sad, depressed, lonely, downcast, discouraged, disheartened, crushed, and sad.
All these have a ripple effect on the family setup and society at large, which define a toxic environment in which our children are raised.
Every child is born into a family. The faces of a father and mother are the first things the baby sees at birth. With the help of the parents’ guiding hands the child learns to walk and trust in their love. Those who are deprived of this positive experience at the start of this life often find it hard to trust others as well as believe and accept love.
World over, we continue to witness an increased number of single parents, moral decadence in children, unfaithfulness, death occasioned by disagreement in marriages, loss of marital property to illegitimate partners, anger and resentment, low productivity at work, to mention but a few. This is why we have drifted away from the foundation of marriage.
As the Psalmist in Psalms 13:3, many couples are wondering and asking themselves, “How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day?”
But before you give up on your marriage, try the following:
Do self-examination by taking a reflection of where you want your marriage to be. Start erasing the dark corners in your marriage; for darkness cannot drive out darkness, but rather light and good deeds.
Build your marriage on the principle of love. Love is kind, patient and compassionate. Loving your spouse builds a legacy which you cannot afford to destroy because you build for posterity.
Respect your spouse
Co-existence will be a nightmare if you do not respect your spouse. God formed a woman out of a man’s rib not because He was short of material to create a woman separately. He wanted to keep them in union as members of one body who respect each other. Pay attention to your partner’s trials and joys. Interest yourself in every step of their life because you partake in their failures and successes.
Be a committed student
Marriage is a school of learning and unlearning every day. Keep your door open and listen to your spouse, filter and consider the life building lessons for your marriage.
Understand the temptations of your spouse. Have the desire and take action on minimising your spouse’s emotional, spiritual and behavioural downfall. This will require you to keep communication lines open and committing to your marital obligations.
Pray for your spouse
Your spouse is weak and fragile and will disappoint you if the devil is given space. Take therefore, the position of an intercessor for your spouse and seek for the revelation of the will of God in your family. Pray that God sets you free from past hurts, present failings and unrealistic expectation of one another. By praying, you are standing in their gap.
Humility requires that you possess a positive attitude at all times. As such, you will ably ask for forgiveness when in the wrong and be grateful to your spouse when they do good.
Carry each other’s burden financially in supporting family projects. This will give you a chance of building trust, developing together and enjoying the treasures God has bestowed upon you.
In a nutshell, be each other’s keeper and pray for God’s grace to reign over your marriage. The union of a married couple is sealed by a mutual gift of themselves so that they become one body and one soul, and so find wholeness and happiness. Have faith in your abilities as a couple and strive to have a family of value, as you grow together in marriage to inspire generations.
Patrick Mubangizi is passionate about family and childhood development