Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who have made the decision to live together as husband and wife. Marriage is the union between two imperfect individuals, as such, it is not strange to see so many imperfections in marriages. Every one comes into marriage relationship with a number of dreams and expectations; few of these expectations may be realized, but it is certain that some may never be met. This does not call for serious concern and should not lead to frustration for the couples as long as they have the understanding that marriage is not about what you get but about what you give.
Although marriage is the union of two imperfect individuals, God’s desire however is for His children to experience happy married life. The first secret of a happy union is that the partners must always seek to be like Christ. The more our lives reflect the nature and characters of God, the more our marriages will improve. Our marriages get better when we get better as individuals! The real source of frustration in marriage is for the partners to expect to have a happy marriage when they themselves are unwilling to change and be a better person. Unfortunately, most marriages are full of window dressing and hypocrisies because no lasting change can take place in marriage until the partners have made up their minds to change. ‘And be not confirmed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God’ Romans 12:2.
It is possible for us to live happily in our relationships even with imperfections in one form or the other. Truth is, certain things or habits in our partners may not change the way we had expected, but that does not mean we can’t be happy putting up with such things. Those who have been married for two, three, four decades can testify to the fact that not everything has changed in their partners despite many years of adjustments and living together. Marriage is indeed a lifetime affair! One decision we must make to be happy in our marriage union therefore, is to accept those things we cannot change in our partners. Of course this is not to be taken by partners in marriage as excuse to hold on to things and habits they need to consciously improve upon for the happiness of their spouses. ‘Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things’ 1Corithian 13:7.
Happy marriage requires hard work! One aspect of our lives that requires real diligence is our marriage union. Unfortunately, most of us would rather direct all our time and energies to our career, business, ministry, vocation and profession at the expense of our marriage. This is where majority of us are guilty; if we would give our marriages the same attention we give to other aspects of our lives, our marriages would no doubt radiate and glow with happiness. Beginning from today, our home must be topmost on our priority list and we must be prepared to invest in our marriage union with all diligence. We cannot afford to hold our marriage with slack hands, the price may be too much than we can afford. The work required of us to build a happy relationship include, creating time for our spouses, working towards making each other happy, effective communication of deep feelings, forgiving each other of past misdeeds, talking over issues and misunderstandings, assisting each other and so on.
Happy marriage is a product of firm decision and commitment. Your marriage at the moment may be full of so many flaws and troubles that it appears things are really fallen apart, but going by God’s word as contained in Philippians 3:12-13, our aspiration must remain attaining better marriage relationship. We are not to spare any effort in our drive for a happy marriage. ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before’ Philippians 3:12-13. Truth is, no marriage is perfect, but each and every one of us is expected, like Apostle Paul, to forget those things which are behind and reach out for an improved relationship. This requires that we learn from our failures, faults and flaws and be patient with each other while we work together to build the happy home we have always dreamed of. May the Lord grant us understanding and wisdom. Amen.