Marriage is a situation whereby a guy of over 20, 30 or 40 years old, leaves his parents with certain established values, orientations and character, and picks a strange lady of about the same age bracket, who has lived with her own parents or guardian for so long, with established ways of life.
Now, something has brought two strangers of the opposite sex together to live forever. This thing is supposed to be love. Love is different from commitment. Marital relationship is not just about love. It is also about commitment and responsibility. This is why love unbelievers would tell you that love alone cannot pay house rent or school fees. Commitment, responsibility, cooperation, oneness of mind and maturity all combine to make marriage work. Commitment in marriage is a silent, consistent reminder of your marital vow.
You cannot love by your own power. You can hardly retain commitment except by grace and power from above. This is why Bible describes marriage as a great mystery in Ephesians 5:32. Without Jesus, you
can do nothing (John 15:5).
Before you got married, there were things you loved doing naturally. From the moment you got married to someone, you had to drop your SELF and become selfless. As long as you are still yourself, you may never be able to have a sustained marriage with the joy and peace it comes with. There is no joyful marriage outside God. Who is God? God is love.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1st John 4:8)
Your heart can only be filled with love that can build commitment in marriage if that heart is possessed by Jesus Christ. Here, you must drop yourself and allow him to possess your heart. Anything that possesses your heart has possessed your entire life.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
There are times you may feel that your reasons for entering your marital relationship are not met. I tell you, at those times, there is still something else you may need that will give you joy. You may enter a shop to buy English suits and end up buying native attire you did not plan to buy instead. This is because you later discovered that you needed the dress.
Of a truth, there are times in marriage that your mood changes because of either pressures of the moment or some happenings. There may even be times you don’t just feel like having your partner around. Now, this also happens to your partner sometimes and you may tend to misinterpret the situation. The negative or strange mood of your partner at a particular time does not call for tantrums or mean that the relationship has to end. Here, commitment to the marital vow rings a bell in your heart. Commitment does not shake, just because of emerging challenges, especially when Christ is involved. This is why marriage is not for babies or emotional toys. It is for matured adults who are ready for commitment and responsibility.
Just as you cannot sell your only biological child for peanut to raise money to buy a plate of food to quench a momentary hunger, you cannot talk about separation or divorce because of a simple disagreement or quarrel in a marital relationship. Here, a natural YOU, cannot remain committed and keep loving, amidst conflict. But a selfless you, whose heart has been possessed by Christ Jesus can do it because it is no longer you that lives but Christ who lives in you.
As a wife, there is a way your husband might offend you sometimes. The natural YOU would have contacted your police or military father or uncle to handle him. A selfless YOU cannot do that. A selfless YOU would swallow the offence and forgive for Christ’s sake. As a husband, your wife could offend you and the natural YOU is expected to first slap the hell out of her, and beat her up but the selfless YOU will absorb it and overlook, for the sake of God’s love. The natural YOU cannot sustain your marriage. You must be selfless to find joy in marriage.
As the years go by, things change. You naturally change your physical shape and looks as you grow older. You change your car, furniture, house and even, your attitude. Yet, you expect your spouse to remain the same way she looked on wedding day 20 years ago. You are just being hypocritical, selfish and self deceptive. Be realistic for once. Yes, physical looks and beauty can be maintained but there are limitations. What you should do is to obtain grace and wisdom from above to be innovative in the relationship. Keep doing new things that increase your spouse’s appreciation of who you are. Those who are not spiritually blind know that money is not everything, even though it answers all things.
As for you who is involved in adultery or dating a married person, you must break that ungodly relationship immediately because such relationship never ends in praise. Stop deceiving yourself. The person who is not your legally married spouse is not. You are just being a thief and your punishment is coming.
As long as you remain yourself, you can hardly sustain your marriage. So, you must be selfless. You cannot become selfless unless you surrender your heart to the superior power of the flawless personality that died and rose again after three days, JESUS CHRIST. Only Jesus Christ can make your marriage work.
You can read our MARRIAGE CLINIC COLUMN every Saturday in Saturday Telegraph Newspaper. Your marriage shall be a blessing and a testimony in Jesus name.
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