Have you ever heard someone say, “a good relationship takes 50/50.” Well, if you want your marriage to work, it is going to take more than 50% of your efforts. If you are only putting in about 50% of your efforts half the time, than you are only going to see half the positive benefits that you can to rely on within a marriage. Marriage takes 100% of you. Both spouses have to be committed to each other 100% of the time for full-time success. I don’t normally mention my marriage on my blog because I am only a mere student of marriage. I am in the learning stages and I am trying to understand how to make a committed union work joyfully. But there are many lessons that I am learning along my journey.
1. Don’t be afraid to learn from others.
I am willing to learn from others couples you have been working at their marriages much longer than my husband and I have. I willing to learn from their triumphs and their failures. Of course it may be hard not to compare your marriage with others, but it is important to understand that no two relationships are the same. While there may be many similarities, each relationship is charting its own path.
In 2006 when I first became a wife, I had too many expectations of how I thought my husband should be, how he should think, how he should act, and what other couples around us were doing. Although, we knew each other well, as new responsible adults we were just starting to learn more about ourselves. Before you get married you need to be at a place of contentment within yourself. Contrary to popular belief, marriage doesn’t fill every void. He or she will not be your everything That is too much pressure to place on another human being and you are setting that person up to fail.
2. Marriage doesn’t wipe away loneliness.
I hear my unmarried friends who long for companionship within marriage say, they want to be married because they are currently tired of feeling lonely. Well friends, there is nothing worse than being married and still feeling alone. At the end of the day, you determine your perspective about loneliness. Stop feeling down and start changing the world around you. Make a difference.
Marry someone who you enjoy being around. Marry someone who makes you laugh. Marry someone who challenges you to become a better person. Marry someone who inspires you to be an agent of change. Marry someone who supports you and will be your advocate, not because you are not able to do those things on your own, but because the two of you are so in love that one of your greatest desires in the world is to help that person live up to his or her God-given potential.
I truly believe that my husband is one of the smartest men I have or ever will meet. I don’t just see his potential, I believe in him whole-heartedly. I want to see him thrive and I believe that with me as his helpmate he will have an easier time working on being the man he dreams to be. The only way for the two of us to complete and happy is if we see the best of each other in both good and bad situations. The only way of to achieve that goal is if we are relying on God. Spiritually, we have to work on our relationship with Him in order for us to the companion that each other needs.
3. Marriage is about giving.
If both the husband and the wife each truly gave of themselves to each other then they both would be able to equally meet each others needs. While the last sentence describes a perfect picture, it rarely happens that way in reality. But how can we make that a reality within our relationships?
The only way for us to be whole in our relationship and support wholeness within our spouses, is if we take time to surrender to God’s will daily. Basically, you can’t do it alone. Many couples relationships are plagued by selfishness and self-fulfillment. Love is not always about what makes you happy and excited. Love is about doing what’s best for each other and challenging your relationship to see the blessings even in the midst of bitterness. Love is about opening your heart to make the other person feel loved beyond a doubt. Love is helping your spouse feel hopeful when he or she hopeless, beautiful in spite of flaws, victorious is spite of making mistakes.
I Corinthians 13 says it best,
“13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (Source)
Reader response: What’s the best marriage advice you have ever received?
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