Faith, Relationships

Building and Maintaining a Strong Marriage

Falling in love, getting married and having children – that is many a young girl’s dream. We begin to plan our weddings from when we are very young by dressing up like little brides with a towel or mom’s lace tablecloth draped over our heads. We also enjoy many hours of playing “mom” to our dolls. As we get older and start thinking about boys, we eventually begin to daydream about the perfect guy coming along to sweep us off our feet, marry us and make us happy for the rest of our lives. We take this beautiful dream into our marriages.

The truth is that God does have a great guy picked out just for us. We, however, can make the mistake of thinking that because God chose him for us that our lives are going to be perfect.

When we get married and the problems start, we worry that we did not really hear from God and that this is not the man He meant for us to marry. What we fail to remember is how much of an effort each of us put into the relationship before we got married. We even went to great lengths to deceive each other; for example, we pretended to like sports and we laughed at all his jokes. He gazed into our eyes like he was interested in what we were saying and pretended to like our friends. I could go on and on – the list is quite long. We were on our best behavior with each other until we got married and then we stopped making the effort because it was too much work to hide our true selves. We wanted our significant others to see only the best side of us.

The bottom line is that when we decide to get married, we are committing to a lifetime of getting to really know each other.

God warns us in 1 Corinthians 7:28 that if we get married we “will have many troubles”. Not just some of us, all of us; therefore, we need to rely on God’s Word for wisdom, guidance and strength to help us through the tough times. It is obvious that many of us are not practicing this because our divorce rate is over 50%, and that includes Christians.

The good news is that it only takes one of us to turn a bad situation around. It means that we have to let go of our pride and selfishness. (This is not for anyone who has been or is being abused by their spouse. Abusive relationships have different dynamics that are not being addressed here). We waste too much time waiting for the other person to make the first move, all because we think we are right and they are wrong.

The other good news is that we do not have to be in the wrong to be the first to say sorry or to do something nice for our spouse to break the ice. It may be very difficult for us at first because it may go against our nature, but if we walk in obedience to God’s will and let our will die, we will achieve great success in our relationship with the Lord, our spouse and our children. It is definitely worth the effort.**

Written for All Woman by Bianca Gabris, Calgary AB, celebrating over 30 years of marriage.