Finding My Way Through New Beginnings Day 4: Marriage
“He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’” (Matthew 19:4-6, ESV)
You’ve enjoyed the thrill of getting engaged, immersed yourself in the excitement of planning the wedding of your dreams, soaked in every moment of that special day, and relaxed in the bliss of newlywed life on your honeymoon. Now what? Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.” Dating, becoming engaged, and celebrating a wedding is the easy part. Figuring out how to happily and successfully work together with your spouse through the ups and downs of life is a much bigger challenge.
Just like dating, the most important relationship in your marriage isn’t the relationship with your spouse; it’s your relationship with God. If you want to be a godly husband or a godly wife, you must first establish a strong relationship with your heavenly Father. This relationship also requires work on your part: read your Bible, have a good prayer life, be involved in your church. Do these things on your own and do them with your spouse in order to truly find success and contentment within your marriage. When my husband and I were first married, an older friend whom I greatly respect offered me this simple advice: pray together each night. There’s something so vulnerable about praying out loud together at the end of your day that is so beneficial in a marriage. You are verbally expressing your thankfulness, your concerns, your encouragements, and your desires both to God and to your spouse, and you will both be encouraged and drawn closer together because of it. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
One of my favorite couples in the Bible is Priscilla and Aquila, whom we read about in Acts 18. I truly believe that a husband and wife should be a team, working together through life. Priscilla and Aquila were the ultimate dream team: they worked in their tent business together, they studied the Scriptures together, they travelled together, they shared the gospel together, and together they opened their home to others. Now, I’m not saying that you and your spouse need to do everything together like Priscilla and Aquila. I’m fairly certain my husband might lose his mind if he had to be around me 24/7. We have our own interests, our own ventures, and our own jobs; and we both respectfully admit that we could not do the other’s job. We do, however, discuss everything together. The big things, the little things, and everything in between. This open communication is essential in a marriage and will keep you working together through every phase in life. We also find things that we enjoy doing together. We like to ski; we love traveling; we watch the same shows. We both enjoy having people in our home, and we work together as a team to make it happen. Likewise, we work in our local church together. Any outreach that we do is done with both of us on board, working side by side. Find your individual strengths and interests and build on those with each other. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
Marriage is hard, and it may take a while for you to really understand what makes each other tick. There will be times when you argue, get impatient, lose your temper and drive each other crazy. But remember your ultimate goal: to maintain a healthy relationship with God, resulting in a successful relationship with your spouse as you work on your