Marriage - a union God intended for man and woman because He said it was not good for man to be alone. Therefore, He created a suitable helpmate.
How we have corrupted the original intention God had for marriage in the Bible. We’ve come to believe that marriage should be this fairy-tale, problem-free, continuous romance with the person who makes our heart flutter. (Hollywood has brainwashed us.)
I think a major problem is that most of us try to pretend we have that kind of a marriage and resist sharing the true struggles and rewards with others. I'm talking about Christians here. Many non-Christians have no problem bad-mouthing their spouses to anyone who will listen. This attitude ultimately leads to the death of a marriage. (Okay, I have seen Christian couples behave like this, so we're not immune.)
In a healthy marriage, a couple will seek Godly advice or help without condemning their spouse.
I look at people who go to church. We all put on our “church faces” Sunday morning, and most would not dare show signs of marital strife. That would be “un-Christian-like”.
Everyone knows that it is acceptable to stand up and ask for prayer for your prostrate surgery or cancer, but heaven forbid, someone would stand up and say, “My wife can’t stand the sight of me. Could you please pray for us?” We also can’t admit we may have a teenager in rebellion. What kind of a Christian would that make you? (Or so the devil would tell us.)
Rick and I are starting a marriage mentor program at our church, and we recently held a workshop for the future mentors. I’m still amazed at the couples who didn’t think they qualified for this position even though they were recommended by the pastor. We keep the health of our marriages well hidden behind closed doors. No wonder couples feel alone when they face problems, as if they are the only ones going through it.
I realize my passion in life is to help married couples, so it is my duty to “tune-in” to marriage issues. I believe, though, as Christians we should all reach out to other couples and talk more about marriage relationships. We need to mentor each other. Most of us don’t have a clue about marriage because we come from families who have not been ideal role models.
A couple should not wait until their marriage is in the dumper before they seek advice. Find a couple who has been married for a while and appears to have a healthy marriage and ask them what their secret is. Dare to reach out to other couples by asking them about their marriage. What a wonderful tool to also share the love of God.
There is no perfect marriage out there. (If you think you have one, please don’t tell anyone.) They all require work and more work, and lots of love and God intervention. Hearing how another couple survived a crisis in their marriage can be a saving grace for a couple having trouble. We all need support in our marriages; we need to learn to reach out for it and to share it as needed.
*More to follow on God's intention for marriage.