Posted in Christian Living

Making Marriage Work

Happy anniversary to me! Today marks twenty-six years since I stood before a pastor and vowed to love, honor and obey until death.

Sadly, the duration of my marriage is remarkable to many people. My parents-in-law, celebrate 51 years in August. I know people who have been married more than 65 years.

Marriage should be a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman. Standing before the minister (or judge), the couple shouldn’t be having any thoughts about the relationship not working out.

If you’re worried it might not work out, don’t do it. If you think, “We can always get a divorce,” then marriage isn’t for you.

Consider the marriage vows. Remember that in God’s eyes it’s better to not vow at all than to vow and break it (Ecc. 5:4-5).

I didn’t choose the title of this post haphazardly. Marriage is work. Life isn’t a fairy tale. Every happily ever after in the real world requires diligence, care and mutual respect.

In other words: work.

I firmly believe that marriage involves a loving union. Without love, any relationship becomes harder to endure (think about that co-worker who made you want to quit your job). Marriage shouldn’t be a test of endurance, although sometimes it is.

Love isn’t this starry-eyes, heart-palpitating event of Hollywood movies, romance novels and prime time television. Love is a choice to put another person’s needs above your own. Love means putting your agenda in a box and throwing it out the window of a speeding car.

At our Renewal of Vows
At our Renewal of Vows

The thing about a successful marriage is that the two parties are more concerned about the other person’s welfare. “He likes sauerkraut so I’ll make that for dinner.” “She wants to see that new romantic comedy, so we’ll go to that instead of the action adventure I really want to see.”

When the husband wants to please his wife and the wife yearns to please her husband, both people come out ahead. There is no, “We always do this because it’s what you want to do.”

All of this requires good communication. How can the husband please the wife if she never tells him what she wants? He isn’t a mind reader. Even after 26 years, I spell out my wish list very carefully (so I don’t end up with a camera when I wanted pots and pans).

In a happy marriage, partners choose to overlook faults. For real. Not roll their eyes and text their girlfriend, “He did it again.” Not keep a secret list in the notes section on his smart phone for handy reference during the next fight.

All this communication and pleasing the other person takes effort. Like I said, a successful marriage is work. Hard work. It’s not just going to happen because “we’re married now.”

As mentioned last week, love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand into the happily ever after sunset.

Next week: God who gives the Desires of your Heart



Freelance writer and editor whose background in education and BA in English Language & Literature amps her love of all things books. Twenty years of parenting and 26 of marriage gives unique insight to her preferred audiences of women, young adults, and teenagers.

One thought on “Making Marriage Work

  1. There is so much truth in this. Marriage is work. I equate it to making a piece of furniture.

    You start out with separate pieces and through careful craftsmanship, join them together to make one solid unit. You then sand, file and finally add a protective sealant. Once completed, you end up with something that is beautiful and strong.

    Now, given the way life works, occasionally something will dent the exterior of your piece and it will need to be repaired. It is the same with our marriage. Something will happen, and in working towards a resolution, there is time spent going through and working over the rough spot – and just like furniture, the evidence of the dent will always be there. But when handled properly it becomes invisible to the naked eye unless you know what you are looking for.

    As time progresses, a great marriage, again like a great piece of furniture, will develop that beautiful warm patina that makes it so attractive. Older furniture often gets a ‘golden glow’, after years and proper care have brought out the fine details and internal beauty of the wood. A husband and wife, when under the guidance of Gods word, and with proper maintenance from it, will develop this same beauty.

    Continuing on with this same analogy, I must confess, that I am truly looking forward to being a beautiful ‘antique’ with my wonderful wife. Showing all the richness and warmth that God has finished and furnished us with.

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