“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.”
I recently came across an article about the Ashley Madison scandal, and I saw comments by men and women who were sharing how you should never completely trust your spouse because it doesn’t take much for them to go astray. Wives were stating how you shouldn’t submit to your husbands because their take on things cannot be taken seriously, husbands were talking about how they were no longer satisfied by their wives sexually. I was already appalled by the existence of such a site, and as I pondered upon it, I grew to hurt for these couples.
See, here’s the thing that baffles me: why in the world do people marry someone whose character they cannot trust; whose opinion they cannot respect? Is it because of the overwhelming butterflies they felt when they first met but have obviously flown away in time? Is it because the other party was good-looking and they were given a sense of feeling wanted? Is it because their personalities clicked and they had fun together?
Well I’m sorry, but that’s a very poor criteria for choosing someone to marry.
You can find someone who knows all the right words to say and the right clothes to wear, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right person for you. It’s actually very easy to find someone to have fun and feel giddy with, but it’s very rare to find someone you can build a life and home with.
So here’s a nugget of thought from someone who has never been married, has seen her parents faithfully in love for the last 25 years, and plans to get married and be as happy as they are 25 years from now: marry someone out of your league.
I don’t mean out of your league in a way that they’re more good-looking or richer than you; I mean out of your league in a way that they just appear so beautiful to you, inside and out, that having them would be too much of a privilege.
Marry someone whose flaws are so visible to you, and yet they seem still too good to be true simply because they are constantly growing and flourishing where God has placed them. Look into the eyes of a person who seems to never lose sparkle, whose face always reflects the glory of God. Fight for your destiny with a warrior who challenges you to not settle for less than what God has planned for you, with a soldier who will correct you when you are mistaken but has your back no matter what. Learn together with a humble heart who allows rebuke and is eager to become more Christlike. Grow old with a lover who has time for you and will walk with you not only when your knees are rusty, but also as you together turn weaknesses into strengths. Enjoy life with an adventurer who lavishes in the love of God and gives back to the world by selflessly sharing this beauty. Hold hands with a child of faith who inspires you and joyfully pulls you up, not a pessimist who just pulls your life down. Fit together with a whole being who complements you and will communicate with you, not someone who looks to you to fill in the missing pieces. Embrace a beautiful soul who is committed to only you through the highs and lows, and still points back to God as your source of security. Partner with an intercessor who understands everything God is and explores more of Him and His people each and every day. Build a family with a leader whose character is founded, someone you can look up to and trust to raise your children in an upright manner. Leave a legacy with a visionary driven by God and desires to make an impact in this generation and the generations to come, who understands that the marriage you live is a big part of the inheritance you will leave.
At this point, some people may call me idealistic, but trust me when I say I’m being realistic. Statistically speaking, 50% of marriages end up in divorce, not counting the ones that haven’t gone through the legal process but are emotionally separated already. There are far too many broken marriages in this world, and so this is a decision we need to be wise about. Don’t be hasty just because you are feeling lonely or because there are bursts of emotion. Take time to pray about it, and allow God to grow and mold you through it.
You get to choose who you marry, so always remember that it is far better to be single than be married to the wrong person. It’s dangerous to commit just because you see the potential of a person without any actual guarantee that the person will change, so learn to wait. Always remember: good doesn’t mean godly, and your love won’t make a person godly. Also, please know that there is a huge difference between someone who is active in the ministry and someone who has a heart like Christ. Don’t fall in love with someone just because you see them on stage, doing amazing guitar riffs, only to find out that their character isn’t as solid as their drum rolls.
And if you’re a married person reading this, thinking you’re already too far in to take back decisions, please remember that you get to choose how you act within your marriage.
But as much as I have listed down wonderful attributes here, there is this bottom line: we are all works in progress. You are a work in progress, just like the person you are going to marry. So likewise, marry someone who thinks you’re out of their league. Marry someone with these qualities because you allowed God to mold you into having these qualities also. Marry someone amazing who knows just how amazing you are too.
Marry someone who loves God more than they will ever love you.
For even after you wed, you will still be under construction. In every relationship, there will be conflicts. And there will be times when your spouse will slip up. But it’s okay, because you will slip up too. It’s okay because you both understand that true love isn’t driven by emotion, it is mirroring Christ’s selfless, forgiving, unconditional love. It’s okay because you both have solid relationships with God so He will be the One to point you back and guide you through the relationship.
Looking back at the first ever couple, Adam and Eve, they lived in peace and tranquility as they were totally submitted to God and to each other. But as they allowed themselves to give in to temptation, they lost their harmony. They were accusing each other, pointing fingers, acting selfish – which is very much a normal thing between wedded couples these days. This kind of self-centered, privileged mindset is what causes so much separation, so let’s go back to that original design, when there was nothing but serving God, loving each other, and working His will together.
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Let it be that as you fall deeper in love with God together, you fall deeper in love with each other. For giving love (the 1 Corinthians 13 kind), not getting sex, is the core of what marriage is about.