People are often surprised that my teenage marriage has been so long lasting. Six children and 20 grandchildren later it’s not uncommon to be asked “O.K. what’s the secret?”.
I’ve decided it doesn’t really matter what physical age you are when you marry, the truth is all candidates of marriage must realize the weight of their decision to say yes is a vow to each other and God. Of course, maturity has a lot to do with a successful marriage but it’s spiritual maturity that truly holds the key. It’s a union that includes three.
Becoming one in marriage is a miraculous spiritual act. God works a true miracle. He weaves a tapestry with Him included in the new relationship. Somewhere deep inside of me (even as a young bride), I knew that once I entered into marriage there wasn’t another option. It was a triple braided cord. Unless the spouse you have covenanted with is dangerous and/or repeatedly dishonors their marriage contract with you, the anchor should always hold. Sure, there will be trials and stormy times but it’s knowing that your bond is tethered in God is what makes it sure.
In marriage two distinct personalities come together to create a collective whole. As God brings or knits together the unified “one” He’s combines the strengths of two individuals to fashion a brand-new entity. What you are individually is different than what you are together. It’s actually better – stronger and the couple must grow into that new cohesive identity.
The world system has taught us to be proud and self-serving, justifying our angry words and selfish actions. We rarely want to admit fault and reconcile. But marriage is not selfish. A person is no longer single – selfishness will not serve the new entity. Not reconciling differences or apologizing for wrongs creates animosities and pain that gets buried deep in the heart — the collective heart of the couple. Be kind to one another, treating each other as you would want to be treated. Understanding and showing the same compassion that you desire the other to show you.
Just as we must work out our salvation bringing every thought captive to Christ, marriage also takes a “working out”. It takes some work as you endure disappointments and frustrations It’s about mutual respect and tolerance. It’s about being able to listen to perspectives and work out differences with compromise or agreeable concessions. It’s about being vulnerable enough to communicate and share your inner most thoughts without being fearful of being debased, ridiculed, or judged. It’s about desiring to change in the image of the husband or wife that God designed you to be. And yes, He can mold you into His image. Don’t cop out on that one!
Marriage is a called a mystery. Allow the Lord to introduce you and your spouse to the unique amalgamated creature that He is creating you to be.