Loved the Wedding; Invite Me to the Marriage
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband.
For the past several decades, weddings have been held in churches. That is a good place to start a life together. The minister talks about loving each other and establishing a Christian home. All things seem to be in place.
It is always a beautiful thing to observe—two people holding hands and making vows of everlasting love. The mothers of the bride and groom have tears in their eyes. Some dads wonder when the ceremony will end. The newly married couple can’t wait to head out on their honeymoon. The reception is a real celebration. Everyone is happy, and the day ends.
Then what? The next day is a new day, and it is the first day of a young couple’s new life together. Decisions have to be made together. They go everywhere together. They are now a team that will last forever.
Eventually the scene changes a little. Both spouses find they need some time alone, but they’re afraid to say so. Resentment can build and they may feel like the walls are closing in on them.
It’s sort of like going to church on Sunday—and then there is Monday. What do you do then? What do you do with what the pastor said in the sermon? How do you make it practical—something you can use all week?
Often the message is soon forgotten, and nothing happens to make Monday any different. We sit and listen to the advice and sermon points on Sunday, sometimes even nodding our agreement, and then we ignore them on Monday.
The advice and promises that are part of the marriage ceremony are vital to the ongoing relationship with a spouse. But during the actual ceremony the bride and groom aren’t listening to the advice. Instead, they’re trying to remember the words they have to say, or they’re worrying about their hair or how they look or if there will be enough food for the guests.
They go into their life together, winging it, flying with no parachute. Marriage does not have to be an on-the-job training situation.
Does this ring a bell? Do you remember your wedding day? Was it all about listening to the advice the minister gave you, or was it about making sure you sliced the wedding cake just right? Maybe it was making sure the photographer took one more picture.
We’ve all been there. It is an exciting, wonderful, important, stressful, nerve-racking day. It is the day we dream of all our lives, and we want to have all the memories forever.
But as you go on with your lives together, what happens next? Is the same spark there five years later? How about ten years later? We are supposed to still love when the wrinkles come and the fire is not as hot.
Have you agreed on how plans should work out, or have you agreed to disagree?
Getting married is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives. If we plan to live a lifetime together with our spouse, shouldn’t we talk to a minister ahead of time? Wouldn’t it be good to seek out what God has in mind? Marriage counseling to learn more about a future spouse would also be in order.
These things may seem obvious, but you would be amazed how many people do not do any of those things. Some feel it is more fun to run off to Reno to get married. Others decide to live together and not even get married.
God loves for us to be happy and have companionship, within the context of His will. He believes in marriage. That is why He wants us to make sure we’re making the right choices.
Running off and getting married on a whim is like putting all our life’s earnings on a blackjack table and hoping to get a 21. The chances of that happening are slim and none.
I agree that a marriage often does work out in spite of the odds. All I have been saying is pretty harsh, but just like putting all our money on a blackjack table, the Reno odds of a successful marriage are pretty dim too. Does a 50% chance seem acceptable for you? Some surveys say that as many as 50% of marriages fail when they do not have a foundation of premarital counseling that includes having plans for the future in place.
God needs a prominent place in our marriages. We need to let Him be our advisor as we plan for the future. He needs to have a special rent-free place in our hearts. No bargaining. No yearly leases. He needs to be a year-round, full-time resident, helping marriage partners live a life full of love and understanding for each other.
There should always be three people in a marriage: you, your spouse and God. The three of you make an unbeatable team.
Marriage should be honored by all.
“Will you still love me? Will you still need me, when I’m 65? That song rings in my ears many times when I look at my bride. She has been with me through the storms, and the good times. Do we have nothing but beautiful rainbows everyday? That would be backwards wouldn’t it? You need a little rain to bring on the rainbow.
That is what a marriage is like. You have days when you laugh and have fun with your spouse, but there are other days when you have been hurt by that same spouse. You feel unwanted, and dejected. That is when you should buckle down and really work hard at your marriage. Your spouse is not your enemy. They may be angry at the moment, but they still love you, and by sitting down and discussing the hurts and dejections you feel, the rainbow will come out again. The key is to still love your spouse with all your heart, when they are starting to show age with wrinkles.
Something to Ponder
Isn’t it funny how much easier it is to forgive than to hold a grudge?
(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.)