In the blog posted last week, I noted that it is important for us to have deep personal convictions based on the knowledge of God’s will in everything we pursue in all spheres of our lives. These deep personal convictions, which I also referred to as irresistible strong moral reasons, become the driving force for all we do. Without such a compelling motivation, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to endure the long haul.
Wanting something is not good enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way. - Les Brown (www.brainyquotes.com).
In this post, I will focus on compelling motivation to stay committed in marriage. In applying the quote above by Les Brown; wanting a good and thriving marriage is not going to be enough to create one. You must earnestly desire and seek after it. Therefore your motivation for a great marriage must be compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that you will undoubtedly encounter, and in order to stay committed to your vows, to each other and to the purpose of the marriage.
Understanding Marriage is Sacred
Marriage is a sacred institution. It is a covenant relationship which deserves utmost respect and attention. Covenant, as defined by the scripture, is a solemn and binding relationship which is meant to last a life time. Understanding marriage as a covenant relationship based on the covenant God has made with us preserves the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the home.
It brings strength and purpose to both the husband and wife when they bring their lives and marriage under the control of the inspiring assurance that they are both living in a covenant relationship with God. A deep understanding of marriage with this insight will compel us to be true to our vows. We can stay committed to each other when we remain committed to God.
“Until Death Do Us Part”
This is God’s design for marriage from its inception. It is a relationship forged by commitment to a life-long relationship. Aligning our minds to this creation design is critical to staying committed in marriage.
When a man and a woman enter into marriage with a determination to make their marriage a lasting one, they are more likely to make it happen, come what may. If however, the couple starts their life together with the thought that it is optional and there is a way out if it does not work, they are more likely to end up in a divorce court. They will have no strong motivation to remain committed when faced with problems.
We have to note that the benefits God designed for marriage “can not be sought—let alone achieved—outside the context of covenantal fidelity and permanence.” It is only in the permanence and exclusivity of our relationship can we reap the benefits God intended for marriage (Halee Gray Scott, Author, Why Christian Marriage Matters).
“A lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in and live by the solemn promise they made.” – Darlene Schacht
Dr. Fred Lowery wrote about Purpose-Driven Marriage in his book, “Covenant Marriage.” Here are some thoughts shared: “It means that the couple have a basic understanding of the kind of marriage they are trying to build and what it will take to make it happen. It means that they are both willing to work together towards that common goal” (paraphrased).
What is the purpose of your marriage? Do you have common hopes and dreams for the future?
Marriages and relationships die for the lack of purpose. If there is no valid, defined, and acknowledged purpose for our marriage, chances are we will have trouble keeping it alive and staying committed to it.
Without a shared dream, a marriage relationship will become stale and eventually die. “Dreams stimulate hope. Hope stimulates planning. Planning moves you forward. Resulting in positive progress for the marriage” – Neil Warren (Author, The Triumphant Marriage).
A Gift Worth Fighting For
Your marriage is a gift from God to you to enjoy and be happy in. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy what God wants you to be blessed and enriched with. God has empowered us with the knowledge, strength and grace to stand against the devil’s plan to destroy our marriage, steal our peace and kill our joy. Praise be to God that Jesus came to destroy all the works of the enemy. So when Jesus occupies the central place in your home and both of you submit your will to Him, you are able to recognize the enemy’s tactics and scheming, and ward off his incursion into your marriage.
Don’t give up on your marriage or your spouse, fight for the precious gift which God has blessed you with. “Be committed to keeping what God has given you” (Gbenga and Ronke, Marriage Fellowship.org).
Forgiveness plays a big part in retaining a hold on your marriage during crisis. I have heard couples say quite often that they separated because of irreconcilable differences. Whenever there is a willingness to forgive, the couple is better able to overcome the problem.
“A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers” – Ruth Bell Graham
It Takes Hard Work
A great marriage doesn't just happen. Nothing good or great in marriage “just happens.” It has to be cultivated. It takes serious effort, time and determination to make great things including a good marriage to happen. Thriving marriages are not made out of luck, neither are they accomplished by accident. It simply does not fall on your laps like an overripe plum nor can you stumble on it by chance.
When you go through the season of “for worse” you need to know that you are not responsible for your spouse’s problems, wrong decisions and its consequences, and bad behavior. It is not your fault that your spouse is going through a crisis, even if he/she tries to make it about you. The path of least resistance is to blame others for our troubles, but each one must learn to take responsibility for their decisions and actions.
It takes a lot of courage and patience to stay in a troubled marriage but God’s grace is abundantly available to see us through the crisis and trials no matter how severe it may be.
Cultivating a strong and virile marriage is hard work but it is well worth it.
“The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” – Fawn Weaver
Refresh Your Vows and Remind Yourself of the WHY
What are you doing to keep your marriage fresh and vitalized?
“Your commitment to making your marriage work needs to be refreshed continually. Decide to hold on to each other, for always” (Gary and Joy Lundberg, Familyshare.com). Reminding ourselves as often as possible of the purpose of our marriage will keep us committed to keeping it vital and fresh. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to awaken our relationship and live a more meaningful life together as a couple.
Recognize the good in your spouse and be consistent in telling your spouse about the good you see in him or her.
“You can’t help loving a person that makes you feel good about yourself
whenever you are with that person”
Dear Friends, it is God’s will and design for us to have a great, thriving and lasting marriage. But it requires our willingness to stay committed. The only way to do this, is by having strong, irresistible and compelling reasons to desire and work towards permanence. The purpose of today’s blog is to remind you of why you can stay committed in your marriage and to rekindle your desire to do so.
“Today is another day to start creating a lasting marriage. Don’t wait until tomorrow, start today”
Please note that if you are in an abusive relationship whether physical or emotional, you need to seek professional help and spiritual support.