The Marriage I’ve Always Wanted
“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:9 (NIV)
If you were to describe your ideal marriage, what are some things you would include? Engaging conversations, romantic dates, fun adventures, shared responsibilities, financial security, passionate intimacy, and a partner to pursue dreams together would be some of mine. As I walked down the aisle on my wedding day and mindlessly repeated the vows the pastor instructed us to say, I toted with me all these expectations of my ideal marriage. I thought our marriage would just have these things built in and all this would naturally come as part of the package.
I soon discovered, however, that a marriage is like that wonderful toy that you get on Christmas morning. You rip open the attractive packaging and go straight for the “on” button. When nothing happens, you feel confused and very disappointed. You are so sure that getting the toy will result in instant happiness, so when it fails to meet your expectations, you set it aside and move on to something else.
If only I’d taken just a moment to read the instructions, I would have discovered three little words that could have made all the difference: “batteries not included.”
Had I read the instructions I would have realized that I can only get the toy to meet my expectations when I take the time to put energy into it. Having a great marriage is a matter of choice, not chance. Leaving it up to chance is saying, “Well I just hope we’ll have good communication, great sex, romantic dates, and share the responsibilities of life.” Unfortunately, the realities of life don’t lend themselves naturally to these things. We get busy, stressed, distracted, and before we know it, we’ve neglected our marriage for years. We keep pushing the “on” button hoping to get more from our marriage, but without putting in the batteries, we’ll never really experience all that it can be.
I don’t want to leave my marriage up to chance. I want to make the choice each day to invest wisely in my marriage. If I want good communication, then I have to set the scene for times that my husband and I can really talk. Not just debriefing about the events of the day but taking time to dream together, plan together, laugh together and grow together. If I want romantic dates, then I have to educate my husband on what this means and discover things we can enjoy doing together. If I want my husband to long to come home at night, then I ask him to define the word “haven” and make sure our home reflects that.
When I invest energy into my marriage, suddenly it starts working the way it’s supposed to. I must also remember the real power-source for my marriage comes from getting into God’s Word and letting His Word get into me. God’s Word is the ultimate marriage instruction manual!
Dear Lord, help me to put aside my pride so I can hear You whisper to my heart things I can do to improve my marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
° Set a date for you and your husband to go out and have time to really talk.
° Ask your husband to define what a haven is to him.
° Identify the areas of marriage you are struggling with and look up verses in God’s Word that address each.
° Commit to memorizing these verses and refer to them often.
Whether you’re a seasoned spouse or a newlywed, you have at some point realized that after every wedding is a marriage. Marriage is not a fairy tale…it’s a reality. What helpful advice or wisdom has God given you about the reality of marriage that you could pass along to single women or brides-to-be?
Malachi 2:15, “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.” (NIV)
Romans 12:9-10, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 7:5, “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 16 March 2007.