Making Your Marriage a Success!

If you were to believe what you see on TV and in movies, you would think that marriage is all about romance, about feelings of tenderness and about the sexual desire shared between a man and woman.  However, as more than a million people find out in this country every year, marriage is much more than a sexual relationship.  It is a relationship that affects every area of life whether it has to do with intimacy, finances, careers and employment, family relationships, where you live, children and child rearing, communication, commitment, religion and so much more.

 According to marriage-relationships.com, we continue to experience a divorce rate of 50% and more people are now in second marriages in the United States than in first marriages.  If the divorce numbers are not high enough, we also see a general trend of fewer people entering into marriage at all.  It was reported that the number of adults living as married couples has declined from 68 percent to 56 percent over a 20 year period.

 We can suppose the thinking is, why bother getting married when the success rates are so poor?  But, then we should ask the question: why is the success rate for marriage so low?  You would think that if two people love each other and are committed to each before they get married, they would have the commitment to exist as a married couple, as a family.  And yet chances are that for every two couples who marry, one will break their “’til death do us part” vows.

God hates divorce.  The book of Malachi records God’s thoughts on men’s disregard for this “holy institution” (Malachi 2:11).

 [God] does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.  Yet you say, “For what reason?”  Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously.  Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit?  And why one?  He seeks godly offspring.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.  For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously (Malachi 2:13-16).

 We see the effects of the “violence” God speaks about all around us.  More than a million children are affected by divorce every year.  The men, women and children involved in divorce walk among us with wounded hearts and lives because of the violence of divorce.  We should understand that it takes an act of violence to separate two lives that were joined together as one in marriage.  God did not make it to be this way.

 After creating Eve, it was declared that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 1:24).  The covenant made at marriage between a man and a woman was to join them to be one.  As much as you are joined to your own body, you are to be joined to your spouse.  As much as you love and care for your own body, you are to love and care for your spouse.

 Marriage is a covenant requiring the participation of two people.  As much as one wants to try and make it work, if the other is unwilling, it simply will not be successful.  Therefore, before entering into any marriage covenant, it is important to make sure you know the person you are going to marry.  So many people get engaged before they ever receive counsel from their parents, from marriage counselors and/or from other respectable married couples about the questions to consider before they become engaged to be married.  Marriage is the most intimate human relationship we voluntarily enter in our lives.

 Knowing the statistics of how marriage fails identifies the problem, but what is the solution?  The first is to seek good counsel from Bible-based advisors.  You should ask the questions about what it takes to have a good marriage.  What are the roles God designed for the man and woman in marriage?  What are God’s instructions about having a good marriage?

 You should know each other’s philosophies and practices of living.  Whatever is important in life needs to be shared upfront.  Romantic love and sexual desire never overcome the real issues found in marital relationships; they only mask the problems until people are in the marriage and then the real issues must be addressed.

 For example, if one likes to spend every dollar he makes and the other likes to save, that will end up being a problem in marriage.  If one racks up credit card debts and the other wants to save and then buy, that will be a problem.  If one likes going to the Lutheran church and the other, the Pentecostal, that will be a problem.  If one desires to have four children and the other one, that will be a problem.  If one likes to spend a lot of time together and the other likes to spend most of his time on his own, that will be a problem.

 Marriage brings with it many complexities of which you probably never dreamed.  Therefore you must be willing to get as much good counsel as you can before you decide to marry someone.  However, even with that, the reality is, you will still encounter difficulties.  Every relationship does.  So how can you ensure success?

 Every marriage must be based on a commitment to and an unselfish loyalty and concern for the other person.  If you are marrying for what you can get from a person, your marriage will not last.  If you are both marrying for what you can give to the other person, your marriage can be a huge success.  When it really comes down to the issues couples face in marriage, the answer must be found in the question: how can we both best serve the other person?

 The Bible’s instruction about marriage and life will resolve every relational issue as long as both are willing to submit to the instruction.  The Bible instructs us on the character we need to have to bring a positive, healthy, well adjusted person (that’s you!) to the marriage.  God tells His creation and His children how to live joyful, peaceful and emotionally healthy lives.

 Our marriages fall apart when we fail to live by the instructions of the God who created not only us, but also the relationship of marriage.  Our Father in Heaven gives us all the instruction we need to be successful in our lives and in marriage.  So the question is, how are we submitting ourselves to the wise instructions He gives?  If we will, we can have success not just in our marriages, but in all our relationships.  So often the problem we find in marriage is the one we bring.  By each following God’s teachings, we can be successful in our relationships.

We really need to read the whole Bible and follow all of its teachings and instructions, but specifically in regard to marriage, listed below are some verses you can study and meditate on to help you be successful in your marriage.  Even if you are thinking about marriage, these are verses you should know.  Two people living by the verses below will have a successful marriage.  We also recommend you listen to the audio message found at AbundantLiving.org entitled “A Godly Marriage”.

Genesis 2:18-25                    Marriage instituted by God

Proverbs (All)                           The wisdom needed to be successful in your relationship.

Romans 12:9-21                    The kind of love required to be successful.

I Corinthians 12:12-27            Man and woman become one in marriage.  How does one live?

I Corinthians 13:1-13                        The kind of love we need to have for our spouse.

Ephesians 4:1-3                      The attitude of godliness we should bring to our marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-33            Specific instruction to husbands and wives to be like Christ and the church.

Philippians 2:1-11                    A Christ-like attitude to bring to marriage.

Colossians 3:12-4:1                       The attitude that makes your relationships a success.

I Peter 2:18-3:12                 The example of Christ in marriage.

 

 - Written by David Liesenfelt  Copyright © 2004