“I Want A Beautiful Marriage!”
Developing A Beautiful Marriage Is A Process
Most couples usually enjoy an abundance of romance and fun before marriage, however, after marriage they soon experience conflict from many sources. Conflict will come from differences in personality and values, but also from relatives, friends, habits, unmet expectations and immaturity. Especially in the early years, we wish that the other person would change and be more like us. One of the important Milestones of a more mature marriage is realizing that our spouse is not going to change and become like us. After that realization, we can either continue to wish that they were more like us, or, the wiser choice, we can move into a new acceptance of who they are and what they are like and accept them for who they are. Before arriving this point of acceptance, some couples, overwhelmed with conflict and frustration, give up and get a divorce. And others, even if they don’t mention the divorce word, will certainly think about divorce as a possible path out of the turmoil and back toward peace.
However, a genuine acceptance of our spouse, with their differences, often leads to a breakthrough in our attitude toward our spouse. It can be the movement or leap from tolerating them and their differences, to appreciating them as a person. This positions our thinking to a new viewpoint and perspective where we can have gratitude and appreciation for our partner. If we can adopt this new view of appreciating their differences, and begin appreciating them as a person, we will open the way for our relationship to change dramatically. It is the Monumental change from tolerating our partner to appreciating them that can significantly change the way the marriage feels and operates. Instead of seeing a lot of problems, bother and annoyance, we can begin to see our partner as the blessing and gift from God that they are. In fact, that is what they are. It is just a matter of focus. Of course sometimes it will seem that they are a gift to torment us, but that is just the way it is here on this earth, “under the sun,” as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes. Those who arrive in heaven, will find a new way of life where the pain of relationships is no more. Revelation 21:5 says, “For God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Relationships Are Difficult At Times
As you know, relationships are difficult at times. It is at these times that patience and forgiveness are necessary to allow the beauty that God intended for marriage to shine through. It does require that both spouses follow God’s ways for a marriage to have the most beauty, the way God intended. But there can be some beauty in a marriage where just one of the two is following God and doing things His way. And either way it takes time for the refined masterpiece to begin taking shape. It is a little like how gold is refined by fire and heat. Finally, after some time of refinement, the beauty will come, but, as with gold, it will require time. It will also take commitment and endurance to see the masterpiece that God is building. If a person quits, it may seem easier for a while, but then if unhappiness with the single life leads to another marriage, the work toward a masterpiece must start again, and according to statistics, it is harder for successive marriages to survive and thrive than it was for the first. So, we can focus on our differences as a problem or as an opportunity. Our differences can be an opportunity to learn and give grace and honor to another imperfect person with their own weaknesses and issues, and at the same time honor God by putting Him first rather than our own feelings. Yes, love is a decision that we can choose to make every day.
Progression Toward Virtue and Beauty
Where are you in this progression? There is always a tendency to see our issues as small and insignificant and our partner’s issues as big and bad. But even if our partner’s issues really are bad and quite often terribly difficult, if we understand and accept God’s grace, we can choose to forgive and overlook most of the things that annoy and irritate us. We can put into practice the virtues that build good character and maturity, which is what God wants most for us. Our happiness is nice, but God desires our maturity much more.
The sooner each of the two in the marriage can learn to appreciate their partner and their differences, instead of just tolerating their spouse and their differences, the sooner they will move toward a mature marriage relationship where honoring one another will strengthen their friendship, love and respect. They will then be able to move toward a fulfilling, more loving marriage. If people learn these things early in marriage and put in some effort, along with an intentionality to move more in this same direction, the path to marital happiness can be much shorter. It doesn’t need to take ten or twenty years, or two or three different marriages to begin to have a healthy appreciation of one’s partner. So, yes, I suggest that you start as soon as possible.
God Established Commitment In Marriage
I spent many hours in the early years of my marriage giving my attention to the material from many good marriage books, mostly written by Christians. I credit the good information that I found in those books, along with a strong commitment to my marriage as the biggest two reasons why my marriage didn’t come apart in the difficult times. But there is a third reason. It is the spiritual aspect. I continually and regularly asked God for his help, guidance, and blessing for my marriage and family. I will never know, until I get to heaven, how much God did to keep our marriage functioning, but I believe it was a significant part of the whole. I believe that the information I found in the books that I read helped a lot. They always provided hope and ideas to shorten the path toward a beautiful marriage. Not a perfect marriage, but a marriage with beauty shining through the cracks and weaknesses. There are no perfect marriages, since there are no perfect people. We are still in the process of learning to appreciate, respect and treasure each other. Marriage is a little like learning to dance with a partner. You will step on some toes and make some wrong moves, but if you are patient and don’t give up, you will learn to be more graceful dancers together. As you continue practicing this dance of marriage you will have many opportunities to learn how to be less selfish and more grateful for this partner, learning to see their strengths more than their weaknesses. God established marriage for a lifetime. We can see in Matthew 19:8 what Jesus said. “He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. God established marriage to be for a lifetime and provides instruction in the bible how it can not just last, but be beautiful.
The words you are reading here are for anyone who is in, or is interested in being in, a committed partnership and would like to have a beautiful marriage. This is for those who believe that the hard work is worth the benefits for yourself, your spouse, your family and others who will be touched by the impact of your work to build something beautiful in and from your marriage. And I do realize that it really is hard work sometimes. At the time of this writing I have been married for 22 years. Other times it is easy. But then it gets hard again. And then easier. It goes back and forth. But it is worth the difficulty. I believe that the greatest purpose of marriage is beyond the benefits that we may receive. Marriage and beauty in marriage is not just for my partner and I and our family. If it is done correctly, it is to reflect the beauty of the God who established marriage in the beginning, bringing honor and glory and praise to Him. A few words from the Bible will help explain what I mean. God said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5). Paul added, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32). Paul is saying that the two partners becoming one is a profound mystery, but the mystery relates to Christ and the church. What does this mean? Well, the church that he is talking about is the church universal, which is all those who believe in Jesus and follow him as obedient children. The bible says that these obedient followers are the bride of Christ.
Marriage Done God’s Way
Christian marriage done God’s way will be beautiful and the beauty will honor God and will be one of the ways that those in the world will see God’s amazing grace that he is continually extending to all to come to Him by accepting His Son Jesus Christ. As we extend grace to each other in marriage, people who don’t understand this kind of loving, forgiving grace will often ask about the marriage and about how it can be so beautiful. The chirstian marriage should represent the faithful followers of Christ who are willing to suffer for Him, not those who are living for themselves. In marriage, we are not to be living for our own happiness, but for the glory of God. So the difficulties in marriage should be endured as a kind of worship of God. It is a way of honoring God. It is not all about me. In fact, it is very little about me and my feelings and my happiness, even though that is what our society has attempted to make life about. Paul continued in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 33 with, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” These are commands. They have nothing to do with how we feel about our partner. The reason that I mention that these are commands, the husband to love his wife and the wife to respect her husband, is because it is something that we can do if God commanded us to do it. God would not tell us to do something that we cannot do. It is true that it is often not easy, but it is possible, and it brings marriages toward the beauty that is part of his original design.
My wife and I probably have many of the same hopes and dreams and problems as many other couples. Some of the things that have helped us the most is the material from the good books that I have read, some good radio programs, especially Family Life Today, and praying together several times a week. I have heard it said, “Couples that Pray Together, Stay Together,” and though it is probably not always true, I think that it is generally true.
Finally, I want to say that marriage is a good avenue to help move people toward maturity. The subtitle of the book, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas, asks, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” Although Gary that question, it is really the proposition for his book. If he is right and God’s primary purpose for marriage is to make us holy, rather than happy, then I think that God has given us a strong motivation to put in the effort to learn what is necessary to have a beautiful marriage. A marriage that reflects the beauty of a patient and loving God. So, if maturity is an important goal for your life, the difficulty and suffering of staying in a relationship that is painful is offset, at least in part, by the benefit of getting the character virtues of things like kindness, gentleness, patience and self-control.
MOVING AWAY FROM SELFISHNESS
This concept of marriage, being more for our holiness than for our happiness, if followed, will lead people away from a selfish lifestyle and attitude in marriage. Living for holiness rather than my happiness will reduce the relationship bounce from relationship to relationship because you and I will not be looking for someone that makes us feel happy. Those who get this attitude will always be looking for someone better that they believe will make them more happy. The lie that these people are believing is that, “My happiness is the most important aspect of this marriage. I should be happy and above all, I should seek my happiness.” People who marry with this belief will find that marriage does not satisfy for long. The best thing they can do for themselves, their partner, and their children, if they have children, is to drop this belief, and the self-centered attitude that comes with it, as soon as possible. I hope my writing will help some people to see the foolishness of this kind of thinking. I hope they will prefer instead to take the path that leads to the beautiful marriage that I have described. Whether you are single and dating, contemplating marriage, or in a committed relationship, the ideas you find here will help you to develop attitudes and skills that will lead you toward a more beautiful marriage.
Maturity, commitment, forgiveness,
and a good attitude
are all important qualities
for a good
in which we submit to his ways
makes the biggest difference!
If you would like to learn more about having a personal relationship with God,
you can click the link above where it says,
“A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.”
Copyright – Beautiful Marriage Blog – 2020