February 7 I Friday
“Marriage should be honoured by all…” —Hebrews 13:4
Good marriages do not just happen; they have to be formed. Some of us may be experiencing a difficult marriage and it does not mean one married the wrong person; it just means one has got to work on making that marriage good and well. But what makes two people blend together working, living and functioning in harmony? The following are five ingredients of a successful marriage.
The first ingredient needed in marriage is “Consecration,” which means we are set apart to God and God becomes the centrality of our lives. Proverbs 19:23 tells us, “The fear of the LORD leads to life.” If the fear of the Lord leads to life, it goes without saying that the fear of the Lord should be the foundation of our individual life as well as in union together. A good, wholesome and growing marriage allows two people to grow spiritually together. The second ingredient is “Character.” We will marry a fallen person, and remember, we ourselves are fallen too; hence, it is necessary for the relationship to develop the ability to trust. Trust is crucial in a marriage relationship. Once trust has been undermined, it is very hard to rebuild. Proverbs 12:4 says, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown…” A noble character is someone who is utterly trustworthy.
The third ingredient is “Communication.” Probably the single most common complaint about marriage is poor communication. This is because men and women communicate differently and for different reasons. In general, men communicate to fix problems while women communicate to build relationships. Yet, Proverbs 20:5 writes, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw them out” (ESV). This verse talks about friendship but could also apply to marriage. There are deep waters down in the heart of one’s spouse and understanding will draw them out––it is part of the adventure of living together.
The fourth ingredient is “Commitment.” More than just a commitment to the marriage, this is a commitment to grow, support, understand, enrich and love each other. The commitment is not to change each other because she is who she is and he is who he is. The last ingredient is “Chemistry.” Without a doubt, physical chemistry is important but to marry on the grounds of physical attraction alone is a recipe for disaster. Rather, we are physically attracted to our spouse because we love the person who lives in their body and because we love the person, we’ll love their body too; this will stand the test of time as our body ages.
A successful marriage does not come easy—may we earnestly strive to honour God with our marriage.
Prayer: Almighty God, though a successful marriage requires many things, it is most important that I keep my focus first on You. Consecrate me, Lord, and develop in me the qualities to make You the center of my life. Thank You, Lord.