Part 7 of 'Let's Talk About Marriage':
After much searching (through the Bible) and praying for answers, reading articles on the topic of marriage and watching videos on the various topics of interest, I realised that my leaders where lacking training and the cry for help was not necessarily going undetected. They simply didn’t know what to do.
So I began a journey of educating myself so I could educate those who may want to help broken souls like me but are lacking in understanding and resources. First, I had to reduce some of the activities I was involved in as researching was proving very time-consuming alongside work, home duties and voluntary roles. I then had to gain the courage to say ‘no’ to further involvements.
Our marriage needed an injection of life and it was mine and my husband’s responsibility to keep love alive in our marriage. So since our church hadn’t a ministry for couples and they failed to teach on the topic from a biblical perspective (whether from the pulpit or through other forums) then I had to find an alternative option.
I had waited many years for a sermon on marriage to be preached or at least some of the issues addressed. When I was finally exposed to a sermon where marriage was addressed, it was a disappointment. But I couldn’t blame the church, if my marriage had failed, simply because there was no preaching or teaching being done on the topic. I may have resented the leaders and I may have stayed away until I was calm in my spirit but I couldn’t blame the fellowship.
My marriage was more important than simply being present for an event or being involved in all the activities of the church. I remembered one of my previous church leaders explaining to me the order of priority. He reminded me that God has to take first place in my life, my family (husband and child) next and then the church activities I’m involved in. It is God’s will for me to do what it takes to maintain my marriage and I was determined to ask, seek and knock until I received the help I needed.
Having reduced the time I was spending doing church and community activities, I was able to spend more time in the Word. As I applied the lessons learned, I began to see changes in our marriage. Soon enough we were able to recognise where the shortfalls were and with prayer, humility, forgiveness and reconciliation, we were able to move forward—slowly but surely.
We still have a long way to go but we were able to look at our childhood and make decisions that would drastically alter the negative patterns and encourage the positive traits that were effective in our childhood. We won’t see the full effects of the outcome on this side of the struggle but we are already reaping some of the rewards of making those sacrificial changes.
When we understood biblical submission, it was easy to submit one to another (see Ephesians 5:21). It made our marital relationship richer as we began moving forward. It was then I developed a stronger desire to help others grow in their marriages.
Being in a healthy marriage benefits the children as well as the parents and adds value to our surrounding communities—church community, neighbourhood, school community (for our children) our friends and extended family members.
We cannot turn back the hands of time. We can look back on the past, long enough to learn from it but we cannot change it. However, we can make the necessary changes in our present circumstances so that we can have a better outlook on life and look forward to a brighter and better future.
With a better perspective on life, we now have the opportunity to invest in the lives of the children in our care, training them up in the way they should go so that they will have a better platform to leap from than the ones we had when we left the nest. We can learn from the negative aspects of our past in order to be better partners and better parents.The journey continues in part 8 ~ Learning and Teaching from Past Experiences