Right from the start, God created everything, and he attested them to be good. When He made man, He beheld man in his glory and found out that he was incomplete. He saw the need for a helpmeet and a companion; therefore, He created Eve (Genesis 2:18). This illustration simply means every other creation/creature was “good” and complete except that of Adam, who was viewed as incomplete without the woman. If God had not seen a need for a woman in the life of Adam, He wouldn’t have bothered himself creating Eve.
The bringing together of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is what I call the first marriage instituted by God Himself. Marriage has been said to be the legal union between a male, and a female is an institution that produces individuals whose success or failure depend on their understanding of the institution, not the courses (situations) they pass through during their stay in the school.
This institution does not allow you to graduate. You either keep learning till death do you part or become a drop out (divorce). Like someone fondly said, “marriage is the only institution where you earn your certificate before you start your course.” As simple as it sounds, marriage isn’t a joke. It is hard work. What you put into it is what you get. It is not news that countless marriages are crumbling by the day; Christians marriages inclusive. This makes me wonder where did they go wrong? Why would two people who once swore to love each other till death do them part become so irritable towards each other that they can’t bear to stand each other anymore? What went wrong? Let us consider some crucial things that every marriage, be it Christians’ or non-Christians’ should have to stand the test of time.
Basic things needed in marriage
No one can replace love with anything in marriage. Marriage is like a sea-saw, and love is the center of gravity holding the balance. Once love is not properly apportioned, marriage goes off balance. You know why? Because God is Love. Any marriage where love is absent is also lacking the presence of God.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1John 4:8 KJV).
No matter how hard you try in your marriage, if Love (God) isn’t the third fold in your marital cord, it will undoubtedly break.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
(Ecclesiastic 4:12 NLT).
A good marriage is not about two perfect people; it is always about two people who can overlook each other’s faults irrespective of the number of time erred. Forgiveness is one of the vital keys to a successful relationship, including marriage. Jesus understood the power of forgiveness; that’s why he gave the disciples an impossible number of times to be offended before overruling forgiveness.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
(Matthew 18:21-22 King James Version KJV).
Kindly note that Jesus wasn’t talking about 70 times 7 (490) times in a lifetime. He was saying 490 times in one day! So, if your spouse hasn’t offended you up to 490 times in a day, you are bound by the law of love and forgiveness to forgive him or her.
No marriage can thrive under infidelity. Sexual impurity is a fast killer of marriage. It is so bad that as much as God hates divorce, the Mosaic law gives sexual impurity as one ground on which marriages can be dissolved. You must keep your body for the satisfaction of your spouse in marriage alone and alone.
“Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.”
(Proverbs 5:15 NLT)
For a marriage to be successful, the people involved must be ready to sacrifice for each other. Nonetheless, there are situations whereby, stepping out of your comfort zone is what will make your spouse happy. We all should learn to put our partner’s need ahead of ours just as Christ loved us above his life. Learn to outlove in marriage. Don’t put a gauge on affection shown towards your partner. Whether he or she could do the same for you shouldn’t be a barrier. Put him or her first, even when it is not convenient, and you will be surprised at the outcome of your selfless acts.
Lastly, I would say no amount of principles listed can be enough for having a good marriage, there are lots and lots of notes on how to make marriages work, but the greatest of all is having God at the center of your relationship with your partner. God is never too involved!