Last weekend, I attended a fabulous wedding.
People always want to know when I will be getting married but never ask me what I think about marriage. So, I took it upon myself to tell you what I really think about getting hitched.
Back to the wedding; it was filled with joy, fun, and laughter. Families and friends of our lovely bride and groom gathered together to celebrate this union and it was simply magical.
So, today during my “quiet time”, I felt prompted to pause and write as this song by Bethel Music played in the background. It is titled “P I E C E S”. Listen intently here.
As I wonder about the union of marriage, I realize I am not married (in the human form of the word) so I may not be the best person to give marital advice. I cannot also ignore the wisdom that God has allowed me to see on the matter especially as I have witnessed first hand the ups and downs of my parent’s marriage. But on a heavenly note, I am married. I know this sounds cliche, almost like Christian-ese, and if you are my future husband on earth reading this, remember I am still going to be your wife. Also remember that even the Apostle Paul called it a great mystery (Eph 5:32). Ha! But seriously we; the Church, we are the Bride of Christ.
That being said; I am a (spiritual but pending physical) bride and can boldly speak on marriage.
See here, Ephesians 5;
22 Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church, which is His body. 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 and that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 In this way men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord cares for the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.”a]”>[a]32 This is a great mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
So knowing this, I am a bride in a spiritual sense and I receive love from God daily. I see some of the ways in which God works in my life and the life of others. These experiences make me realize marriage is not an easy task and should not be taken lightly. Here are a few things I know are required to make a good marriage. I am personally working on some of these things in my own life and in relation to how I serve my first Groom.
- Sacrifice. There is a giving up, laying down of “self” that occurs prior to the decision to be married, and throughout its duration. One that involves a decision of selflessness and the “whole pursuit” of the other person’s interest and maybe even purpose. I believe we should marry based on how our purpose in life is ordained to intertwine with theirs. The reason I call sacrifice a decision and not a feeling is because feelings are emotions. We all know emotions are fleeting and conditional on circumstance. It is a “whole pursuit” only when each one in the unit no longer seeks pleasure for oneself. This only happens when both individuals purposes work together. Sacrifice will maintain the desire to be betrothed to a partner through life. Sacrifice allows a woman to function as a help meet and a husband as a leader. Christ in his example of sacrifice laid down his life for his Bride. That’s too deep, I’m still working on laying down my life daily but you get the level of sacrifice!
- Commitment is a decision. Yes, love and various emotional feelings precede this but they do not maintain the marriage. It is easier to be committed to what you believe in. If purposes correlate commitment is facilitated. I love the quote that says “You cannot keep a man/woman who does not want to be kept”. This is true because each individual needs to make a conscious decision to stay married even when the temptations facilitate things for you to leave. If you have “exit tendencies” you are not ready to be married to anything or anyone. Exit tendencies are broad, but to me, they are fundamentally defined by a lack of character. Others include an inability to recognize the value in a person or situation, or a person that is easily distracted by people, places and the decisions of others. Christ is committed to the church, as evidenced by the sacrifice of his life to ensure that anyone who is committed to his sacrifice has a spot with him forever.
- Mutual Interest. Gods interest in me is thankfully not connected to my interest in Him! That is defined as grace. As humans we need support, God is God and does not need our support. But when there is mutual interest and support our relationship with God is able to blossom even better and we can operate in the best potential as His creation. Mutual interest in marriage will enrich, grow and prosper both husband and wife in every aspect. In my order of importance; there will be spiritual, physical, moral, financial growth and enrichment in the lives of those involved.
- Compatibility. I am made in the image and likeness of God. This is not a physical trait as much as it is a character trait. Another scripture calls me fearfully and wonderfully made, so I believe God is all that too.
- Love … duh! Needs little explanation. Can be laced with a strong attraction but not defined by that alone. Sis & Bro reading this; you are going to have to really love this person. Multifaceted three-way type of love. Filial, Eros & Agape. As in filially care for and about him/her, erotically want him/her and “agape-ly” desire to stick with him/her. I know I made up my own word, but look at what scripture has to say about this ( Paraphrased 1 Corinthians 13, The Message). Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head. Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,”. Doesn’t fly off the handle. Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. Doesn’t revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always.Always looks for the best and never looks back.
At the fabulous wedding, the priest gave his words of advice for the couple using the alphabet as a mnemonic. I remember asking myself how the CATHOLIC priest would know anything marriage but the mystery Paul referred to applies here too! I loved what he shared. It was cheesy, simple but very true. I dislike plagiarism but I don’t remember his name to give him credit so here it goes :-
Again I write with the agape type of love,