You may have had some unpleasant experiences of late that make you think that your marriage must be the worst there is around. It may be that your relationship at the moment is not giving you the kind of excitement, fulfillment and joy you’ve always dreamt of or expected, so much that you have concluded that yours must be the worst marriage among others. That’s not strange! Sincerely each and every one of us feels that way once in a while!
I recall some years ago while preparing for marriage, my fiancee [then]and I, attended a counseling section with my Pastor and father in the Lord. During the counseling hour, he made a beautiful analogy about marriage and happy home which I still remember vividly even today. He asked if either of us knew the processes involved in cake making. I knew next to nothing about cake making but my fiancée did very well; so she briefly described the processes involved.
Cake is indeed sweet but the process of making it is not that smooth: butter, egg, sugar, milk, salt, flour and other ingredients are thoroughly mixed and stirred together, garnished with currant, colouring etc and put in a pan to be placed in the oven to bake after which it is designed and decorated with icing sugar and the rest. Unless the processes are duly completed, you may have anything but cake! Happy marriage, like sweet cake, is a product of a process involving sacrifices, contributions, conscious efforts and strong commitment of the partners; happy home does not happen, it is built! Just like sweet cake, happy home comes through a chain of processes which are incomplete without the oven - heat!
Our worst frustration comes from the fact that most of us see marriage as a finished product, well packaged and beautifully wrapped, waiting to be picked on a supermarket shelf! We come into marriage with so much expectation and dreams but with little sense of commitment. We often forget that it takes time and conscious efforts on the part of the partners in marriage to build a happy home. Our responsibility as partners to build our own dream home is revealed through the scripture that says ‘a wise woman builds her own home but the foolish one pulls it down with her own hands’. Building a happy marriage requires that we exercise patience with each other as husband and wife.
Honestly no marriage is destined to fail and no marriage is destined to succeed! What becomes of any relationship depends on the partners to it! So many couples drift apart because they claim that they are not compatible! This is laughable! It should be expected that two persons with different nature, temperaments, background and upbringing will not automatically fit into each other. Marriage requires that two distinct nature fuse into one; two unique personalities melt into one; two separate visions and aspirations aligned into single one! This explains the reason why couples who have stayed married for years end up resembling each other! Renowned World Evangelist and Elder Statesman, Billy Graham who has been married to his wife, Ruth Bell Graham for about six decades was once asked the secret of his happy home. Without mincing words he said “The secret is simple I and Ruth are happily incompatible”! Marriage provides the ground for aligning and compatibility if the partners are prepared to make their marriage work by themselves.
There is no way we can keep God outside our relationships and expect to have the very best. The reason is not far-fetched: marriage is entirely God’s idea and not man’s. Although the society, civilization, liberalism and all that, have brought a lot of negative impact on homes and relationships, but we can still have the best if we weave our lives and relationship around God and His ways. Divorce, no matter name the society has given it, can still not downplay its destructive effects on the lives of people who settle down for it. Divorce can never be the best option for us as believers; God says He hates divorce. Malachi 2: 15-16.
The challenges you presently have in your marriage are not meant to pull your home apart. Someone may say ‘but I’ve done all that there is to do yet things wouldn’t just work’. The truth is that there may still be one thing you are yet to do. You need to stay glued and committed. Remember if you do not cave in now, someone someday will find encouragement through you and your experience. This is one of the reasons God permits us to go through some challenging moments in our homes so that we may encourage others to stand their ground in the midst of storms and waves in their marriages.
It would be wrong to blame the failure of our marriage on anyone or anything while we ourselves have willfully neglected our commitments and responsibilities. It is not that most of us do not know our responsibilities in building a happy marriage; the problem is that we have neglected them. It is possible to turn your relationship around to that glorious one you have always dreamt of.
Honestly there is no such thing as the best marriage. Every home or relationship has its own peculiar problems and challenges. What keeps us going is our determination to make our marriage work by making our partners happy. If you do not care about the happiness and fulfillment of your spouse, you also may not find happiness. Love is not about what we can get but what we can give; our commitment must be total!
While there is nothing wrong in appreciating and learning good things from other people’s homes or marriage, it is deadly wrong however to compare our spouses with others. We must understand that no two homes are the same, so there are no grounds for comparisons. It is our responsibility to build our own homes to that point that we derive all the fulfillment and excitement we desire in our relationship. Your marriage is not the worst!
Ezekiel, this contains much wisdom and a very timely message. Mary and I will soon be married 46 years, but I would be wrong to say we have not had to work at our marriage. When things really looked troubling, we took our marriage relationship directly to the greatest Counsellor of all, God. Thanks for sharing. Thomas
Certainly with a little bit of editing, this article could be used in a Christian magazine. You have a good writing style. I liked the anecdotes and quotes from others' experience, and thought the 'cake story' was very fitting. The title was eyecatching!
I just noticed a few mistakes e.g. 'I and my fiancee', should read my fiancee and I. Also one or two sentences could be broken up by commas e.g.
'Our worst frustration comes from the fact that most of us see marriage as a finished product, well packaged and beautifully wrapped, waiting to be picked on a supermarket shelf!
Don't worry - I'm very fussy about these things, and other than a few little tiny things, it read very well.