Father God, we bring You all the honour and all the glory for who we are and what we achieve in life. Jesus You are our deliverer and our hope. Holy Spirit we give You praise and declare that You reign in our lives. Amen!
This is the second of a few matrimonial articles, focusing on the word MARRIAGE. The first article published in September focused on Introvert meets Extrovert and focused on Me, Myself and I as well as Adjustment in the marriage. The titles of these articles are as follows:
M – Me, Myself and I
A – Adjust – Introvert meets Extrovert
R – Rock Solid
R – Relax
I – Inspire
A – Affection
G – Grow
E – Eternal
Being married for 25 years to the love of my life, we often get the question how on earth do we get it right? What is the recipe for staying married for 25 years? In this article I will share one of the reasons why we are still married and how we keep our marriage rock solid.
Friendship. When I met my husband, it was the first time ever that there was someone who wanted to be with me, for who I am and not because of the way I looked or any other earthly thing. I remember when we met and he told me within 24 hours that he was going to marry me. We lived about 150 km from each other, but he drove to our house basically every single weekend just to spend time with me. From the moment we met, we could sit and talk for hours about anything. I did not only meet the love of my life, I also met my best friend on earth. This friendship has grown deeper every year and is of such that even if we are kilometers apart, we feel each other’s hearts. Just at the right time I will get a phone call, asking me how I am doing. In this friendship many things have happened that tried to break our strong bond, but every time, with God’s help, we worked through it and walked out stronger than before.
The challenge is often not to be content in taking the friendship for granted. You have to keep working at it, spending quality time together and sharing inner feelings. Like any friendship, the friendship in your marriage is hard work and be alert to the schemes of the devil, to break the tie. Remember, satan hates love, for love overcame him on the cross and therefore he will do anything to break up friendships and relationships. So, friendship in your marriage should never be exchanged for just being man and wife. You are man and wife with a friendship relationship. If you have lost that friendship in your relationship I pray that in the name of Jesus, you go back to that first time you fell in love. Speak to your partner and allow yourselves to look at why there is no more friendship. Make sure that you work yourself back to being friends again. It might not be easy, but it can be done (Phil 4:13). Write down the things you want to change to make it happen by taking action.
Integrity. According to dictionary.com, integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” I do believe that integrity is critical to having a rock solid marriage. Two people meet and when in love and marry, they become one (Mark 10:8). Each have their own personality and although different, it is a perfect fit for marriage. This is because they love each other for who they are. Each one coming into the marriage brings moral principles and any relationship is built on trust. This forms a foundation for the new family and what is critical here is that the moral principles should be based on the principles set out in the Word of God on how Christians should live. (Col 3:18 – Col 4:1, Tim 3:4, Gal 5:22 – 23, Mark 10:19, 1 Cor 7:1 – 16) Often here is where things go wrong.
Principles are often worldly and therefore lack the blessing of God. This is steering a family in the wrong direction. Remember living according to God’s principles is what makes the marriage rock solid. If not, it is looking for disaster. The other part to integrity is trust. According to dictionary.com, trust means “a firm belief in reliability, truth or ability of someone or something.” In other words, confidence, belief, and faith in someone. A relationship should be built on mutual trust and respect. Hence, each man and woman getting married, must trust and respect each other. What is important here is that if that trust and respect is not firmly in place when you get married, it often leads to harm. You see, we have to trust each other 100% and respect each other’s viewpoints, bodies and privacy.
We need to talk about it, telling each other what is important for us and come to an agreement on that before we marry. I want to give an example. So often you hear how married couples go out individually on a ladies or men’s evening. What is your idea about this? I say it is great when men spend man time and women, woman time. However, then it should be in a group where the people build each other up, go to a place where Jesus would go and doing things that God would approve of. If this is not the case, we allow opportunity for satan to launch an attack on trust. Then, rather not do it. In our marriage it works like this. Firstly, the friends we choose are also in Christ and hence they see things like we do. When ladies have a ladies night, it would be in a restaurant, coffee shop or a movie night at the house. The men will also do a restaurant or a barbeque when they just talk men stuff. No harm and no trust broken.
In these visits we cry together, laugh together, pray together and build each other up. Going home, you are ready to face your partner in love. Some might say, where is the fun in it…..well the fun in it is to go home and still have a partner who loves you, respects you and trusts you unconditionally. You will always feel welcome, appreciated and excited to know that after a long day of work, there is someone at home waiting to receive you in love. Someone who thinks the world of you. Yes, sometimes we make mistakes and then it is critical to be honest about it. To lie will make matters worse. God loves us too much to let us live in a lie, hence He will always bring out the truth. So if you have done wrong, be honest and work through it. If trust is broken, you have to work through restoring trust. However, if it involved a lie after the event has occurred, it means you now have to work through the issue that broke the trust as well as the lie that was lived. Double trouble and double the work to rebuild the trust.
Christ – Our Rock. So here you are in friendship, having a marriage build on integrity with mutual respect and trust. What is the main foundation to keep that friendship and marriage solid? Christ, and Christ alone! Amen! A relationship not build on Christ means it is built on worldly principles. We are not perfect right? We make mistakes but if a relationship is built on Christ our rock, you will always have the strength to work through it (Phil 4:13). When you need to forgive, you do it, although it might be difficult. You forgive for that is what Christ did. He forgave you when He died on the cross for you.
You continue to love, because that is what Christ does every day, even though we sin every day. Here I give you 1 Cor 13 on love. It says it all. Love is patient, kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud and it does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails. This is having a marriage with Christ as foundation. Only with Christ can you forgive and move on. Christ alone can restore trust and heal your heart permanently.
Dear reader, is your marriage rock solid? If not, let Christ take over and give yourself and your marriage to Him. He will not disappoint you. If you are alone in serving Christ, keep praying for your partner to meet the Lord. I believe when we pray for the salvation of souls, God will hear our prayers, for that is also His wish. To all in marriage I quote 1 Pet 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Be in Christ, be alert, watch out and make the right decisions. With this, you will always be one step ahead of the enemy.
Lots of love, Princess K
Scripture is from the New International Version