My husband, Pastor Sunday Adelaja and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this week. We are grateful for the matrimony we had have for twenty one years. We cherish the values we have created and the lessons we have learned while walking through life together and achieving the common goals we set before ourselves and the family. As I congratulate my husband on our anniversary, I am also happy to share some of these values with you.
Every relationship takes work; every good relationship takes good, positive, and constructive work.
We are still learning to make our marriage work, even after so many years – and truly, it does take hard work of humility, sincerity, and acceptance. To be successful in any relationship, especially in marriage, you will have to learn to humble yourself and accept your partner, who is not exactly like you.
Marriage requires hard work before enjoyment can come in as a reward. This sequence of work & enjoyment is an ongoing process in building a long lasting relationship. There is always a sowing and a reaping season in relationships.
Another expression for work in relationships would be investment. Many people like the word, investment, as they perceive it as a quick scheme to wealth amassment. However, in reality, experienced people who have lived long enough will confirm that there is no quick way to wealth amassment.
Everything in life has its formation time; for a child it is nine months in the tummy, scientists say that it takes from five hundred to thousands of years to create an inch of topsoil, and behavior experts say that it takes from twenty one to around two hundred fifty four days (the better part of a year!) to form a new habit, depending on how strong the habit is. The truth is that you cannot beat the system. If you attempt to, you will only cause harm to those close to you.
True investment takes time to mature and bring profit; the same is true for investment in marriages and other relationships. Partners have to invest in their relationships to make them last over the years. So, sow good things into your family and you will reap good harvest at the right time.
“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” – Barnett R. Brickner.
What do you invest, what kind of work is needed in marriage, how do you become the right mate?
Apart from the general understanding of basic love that attracts lovers to each other, for marriages to survive, couples must learn to invest time.
At first, lovers, newly wedded couples, had nothing but each other; they focused intently on the important building blocks of a healthy marriage, one of which is creating time & spending it together effectively. But as time goes on different “things” begin to accumulate and distract couples from the very essentials needed for a successful marriage. We need to work hard to prevent or remove these “things” from our lives, we need to prioritize our relationships by spending time together; we need to make that time. Time must be created for what is valuable for us. More time should be created for the things that we value most.
Couples have different ways of spending time together; it could be spending more time at the dinner table, taking longer walks as a family, doing activities together, or just talking about their relationship…
Couples must learn to remove the nonessentials and focus more on the essentials, where true life is. If we don’t, we will be unable to triumph over the things that have come to take our time, and make us to drift apart.
Investing time in a relationship goes simultaneously with investing energy and money. Time is life. Your life is in the things you invest your time in. Your values are reflected in what you invest your time in, and you cannot invest your time without investing your energy and money.
Make sure you worry more about the value of your relationship than the appraisal value of your home. Be sure you are concerned more about the health of your marriage than the health of your retirement plan. Take more care of the person in your bed than of the car in your garage.
“In family relationships, love is really spelled T-I-M-E.” Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf
So, be inspired to spend time or more time with people who are precious to you.
To be continued…