The reason why so many unhappy families exist today can be attributed to the misunderstanding of the purpose and importance of marriage.
Marriage is serious business for adults. Marriage is a crucial step for those who are old enough to do so.
As regards marriage, it has to be taken very seriously because if you are unhappy in your marriage it will reflect in your everyday life. It won’t matter who you are in the society, or how much money you have in your bank account; if you come home and constantly have quarrels and fights with your spouse, you will both be unhappy.
One of the main problems of the world is that of Marriage; we are called to be ‘doctors’ and not ‘patients’ for the world’s problems and problems of marriage are not left out.
God sees matrimony as the union of two hearts, wishing to be one. However on the road to achieving this, many obstacles will be encountered by the partners that seek to be one.
So let’s examine the different stages of marriage:
The first stage in any mutual relationship i.e. falling in love, are raw emotions – this is when we think, “yes! He/She is the one, the very best of them all!” or “this is who I have been looking for!” At this level, emotions overwhelm us; we tend to see everything in bright and colorful lights. The thought of the other party just sends us spinning around and around. We are always in high spirits.
This stage is called – the stage of blindness (maybe that is why people say love is blind).
If you stay sincere to the emotions mentioned in the first stage, then you graduate to the next level. This is the stage where the man might ask the woman to marry him and she normally would say yes. Even if the question is not asked, they begin to consider the possibility of marriage at this stage.
It’s a stage of happiness where both parties feel like these experiences and feelings are eternal.
We often hear statements like “I will always love him/her” at this stage. We also hope that all our needs will be fulfilled by our partner.
It is the stage where we dream and we hope that all our expectations will come true and with this person we shall always be happy… Unfortunately, it is at this stage that the beginning comes to an end.
Naturally, after a ‘yes’ to the marriage question; comes the next stage – the wedding. This is where they promise to stay true and sincere to each other until death separates them. They also meet the relatives officially.
Then here comes the stage where you are already married and live together. At this stage each partner knows exactly what their role is in the home; they fall into a routine lifestyle.
This stage is sometimes called the stage of shock; usually the partners might question their actions i.e. “I am sure I made the right choice for a husband/wife?” or “I think I have made a great mistake”. They begin to see each other in their true colors. They must begin to thank God for each other and see each other as a blessing; at this stage and also speak about everything.
This stage of shock can either be long or short, depending on how long it takes each party to see each other as a blessing. If each one will take a position against each other, then this stage might last decades. They will only end up irritating and accusing each other. They would usually not see anything positive in each other – which leads to subsequent deterioration of the marriage.
If each party will start to appreciate each other and stop feeling like God’s gift to the other party and begin to see the positive(s) in each other; then the stage of shock will be greatly condensed.
At this stage, the parties concerned only notice negatives attitudes and characteristics, he/she simply seeks a lack in everything – consequently reproaching and criticizes the spouse for every possible reason. This is the beginning of the death of the relationship. Each spouse begins to shut out the other spouse because to their minds it’s impossible to change or save the family.
After that, certainly comes death. They begin to say “nothing good can come out of this marriage” or “our characters do not mix- we are not meant for each other” sometimes “…we have most likely made the wrong choice of each other!” The parties involved begin to live their separate lives and as a result the family dies. This is where you find divorces.
Ephesians 5:21-30 (KJV)
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For many families, the first stage is the main level; therefore having noticed it we can discern preconditions of the emotional death stage and undertake concrete actions and strategies to stop the process of getting to the death stage.
Understanding the golden truth of a happy family life will enable a happy family life for those who are married and those who will get married.
So, the main recipe of happy family:
- do not accuse each other and stop looking for offences;
- do not expect that someone should make you happy, instead aspire to make others happy;
- constantly update yourself on Home building or family matters (by reading books, listening to tapes, attending seminars etc.);
- rekindle your love and dedication to each other;
- seek fresh revelations from the God about (your) marriage;
- observe successful families and imitate them;
- sincerely speak with each other about problems that emerge;
- openly discuss probable suspicions;
- update precepts with each other.
May God bless you!
With love and honor, Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God church
For further study of this topic, I recommend the following books:
- “Successful marriage takes work” by Sunday Adelaja