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I can sum it up in one word. OVERLOOKING. Overlooking all the little things that annoy and frustrate each orher. As a Christian mom (and foster mom for 34 yrs) and being married for 43 yrs we have been through a lot of ups and downs over the years. People divorce over the minutest things nowdays. My hubby and I didn't always "like" each other but with God's help we got through and have a greater love for each other now. It helped me to realize that everyone is born in sin and because of the fall of man everyone is somewhat dysfunctional (even you)in one way or another from having little quirks to being mentally ill. There is no such thing as a totally functional family. God wants us to turn to him with all issues. It is only through Christ that any marriage can be whole.
I think if both husband and wife have a good solid foundation and understanding of the gospel and a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, especially if that relationship is established before they meet each other, then their marriage can last until death does them part. One of the issues we have in society today is people are driven by their feelings. If I'm not happy in my marriage, then I should divorce this person because I deserve to be happy. People seem to have no commitment to vows, or the sacred covenant of marriage. They have no "staying power". When things get rough, they abandon the love and start looking for the nearest exit. Marriage is two people that become one flesh and sometimes that can be a challenge. Because even though they are already spiritually one, that oneness still has to be worked out in their physical lives. But when both parties have a solid understanding of the God ordained family structure it does make the transition easier and in the long run more beneficial to a happy and healthy marriage. My wife and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in November of this year and I can honestly say that if she or I didn't have the relationship with God that we have or an understanding of the marital covenant, our marriage would have been another statistic.
Marriage is a covenant. A choice. It is CHOOSING to love another human being as Christ first loved us. Unconditionally, selflessly, without seeking its own. It is laying "self" down. It is being the vessel through which Christ loves your spouse. What happens when two human beings commit to loving and being loved by Christ THROUGH one another? It just works. He gives us very clear instructions in the Bible on how to love one another. Yet we deviate from it... out of fear, out of insecurity, out of a lack of faith... and that is when we fail our spouse.
The Bible calls us to love and serve one another. In general, (and yes I understand this is a generalization), affairs happen because either a wife is attracted emotionally to another man and becomes involved with him, and/or a husband is attracted sexually to another women and gets involved. My advice to young couples is always the same. A husband needs to be attentive to his wife and her needs, to listen to her, connect and be there emotionally for her (even when he is tired and doesn't feel like it). Then his wife will never need to look elsewhere for her needs to be met. A wife needs to satisfy her husband regularly, again even at times when she may not feel like it. He would never need to look elsewhere for sex as his needs are met. It is all about love and a giving to one another. If every husband and wife did this one thing each, there would be such a difference in the longevity and the quality of marriages.
We have endured the numerous, typical ups and downs of marriage for almost 56 years! Why? 1. We made a vow to God to honor, serve, obey each other until "death do we part!" That's an inviolate vow! 2. We both believe the other is a gift to us from God! 3. We laugh at and with each other frequently. 4. We have verbally pledged that we would die for each other! 5. We are experiencing what it is like to "become one flesh!" 7. We both have been rescued by God and have submitted our lives to serving Him as He directs! We have both individually and as a couple faced trials, setbacks, issues and valleys in our marriage. But, God has always guided us through them as long as we depended on Him and have been obedient to His direction.
My parents, who were married 59 years, met on a blind date, dated three weeks and eloped. What the younger generation (I am a baby boomer) doesn't fully grasp about marriage is summed up in two things: (1) A Christian marriage is one where two people grow together. They grow up and grow old together. (2) The New Testament teaches that husbands are to love their wives and wives are to love their husband. Nowhere in there is the phrase, "If you want to or feel like it." God made marriage to complete each other. A wife and husband are often on opposite sides of the coin, but they are the same coin. God created Eve because, “It is not good for a man to be alone," and she is to be his help-meet. He is to be her defender and her leadership example. Husbands and wives are equal, but have different roles. Today's young people think that this permanent bond can be broken whenever they feel like it, and.too often that doesn't take into account the other person. In church, we talked about a ladder of Christian growth with "I" at the bottom rung, followed by "me and others," "others and God" then “God and I.” Too many younger people are stuck on that first rung.
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