Marriage is a sacred union ordained by God to last for a lifetime.
In His mind, there was no indication that it would be time-bound, but the Corruptors keep finding their way through just to destroy it. It was meant to last indefinitely in happiness till death does the parting, and for it to be so, the following must ensure:-
1) True Love:- True love is a calm and profound passion that exists without prejudice. it’s longsuffering and holds strongly onto forgiveness. It looks beyond the physical and it’s attracted by qualities. Its affection is genuine and timeless.
In falling in love, something of who you have to go: a part of you have to go and be replaced with a part of the other, or even your whole-self be completely replaced with the other and only then there is a love affair. This essentially means the person is as important to you as you are to yourself. It’s more or less a fusion than just a union.
Love is a perfect bond for a lasting marriage. It’s a selfless unconditional concern for doing to the other what you’ll do to yourself; right and good. It covers millions of wrongs and mistakes, but does not eliminate them because “Man” is imperfect, but love covers that imperfection in “Man”.
If such love is cultivated by married couples, they will have a lasting and happy marriage.
An old woman once told me that in a real marriage bonded by true love, a husband is like a wife’s little baby she nurtures with tender care. Baffled by what I mistook for a cynical irony, I asked;
“What do you mean by that?”
It was a cool evening and I did not have much to do. I honestly was not in the mood for a lecture on marriage but something told me that I was going to profit from the rustic gourd of her quaint knowledge.
“There are different reasons why people go into marriage”, she continued. “There are marriages of convenience, of sympathy, and of help. When the frothy and ephemeral foundations or reasons crumbles, they usually head for the rocks.
Continuing, she said.
“Some others go into marriage just because they want their lineage to continue. They need a male child to carry the name of the family. Some are forced or force themselves to marry because their mates have all gotten married and they need to be like others. It does not take time before the desire or fanfare wears out and the thorny issues of irreconcilable differences will surface. Minor issues will lead to altercations and squabbling and when the question of divorce creeps in, mending fences become almost impossible.
The only marriage that stands the test of time is the one founded on true love and this is the marriage I’m telling you about” She smiled and took a glance at her wiry hands.
“As I was saying, the same way the wife pets and cares for her little baby is the same way she should treat her husband to get the best human spirit out of him. If a woman wakes up in the morning, the first thing she should do is to give her husband a kiss on his forehead, which means, ‘i care about you’ which is far better than a mere good morning. She then takes care of his immediate needs.”
2) Respect:- In my opinion, respect is giving consideration and honor to each other: respecting one’s dignity and expressed views. It’s obvious that two people cannot have exactly the same view on every matter: the wife’s opinion may be different from the husband’s and what is important to one may not be applicable to the other, but respect stands as the arbiter between them.
Respect tends to eliminate demeaning comments and insulting words from one another and fills their hearts with honor for each other.
Respect brings about understanding one’s way of reasoning and communication. A partner in a union may be oblivious to the customs and norms of how the other thinks feels and sees life. Consequently, he or she may inadvertently disrespect the other without realizing or even intending to do so, and this is where understanding comes in.
3) Understanding:- This is a very important point in a marriage that must be done. In understanding the other, one needs to adjust his/her reasoning- the way each thinks, and way of life just to consider the other partner. By doing this, one is trying to incorporate the other’s way of doing things: the way he/she thinks, his/her approach to views, ideas, and to life itself, his use of words, and manners into one’s own. It’s like a learning process that must be done, I mean, just for the union to last.
Understanding is the conciliator of every relationship; it plays a very important role in marriage. With it, one is able to look away from the fault in the other’s life and still remain in love with the other. To understand each other, you must listen attentively to one another with your mind not just your ears. You must be attentive so as to understand the spirit working in your partner at any time. Once you can discern the spirit, you will know how best to approach or react to your partner’s actions or words for the most peaceful living.
4) Endurance:- I do not believe in endurance and I do not subscribe to it because it’s negatively bad when it stops holding faith. When endurance fails, which of course it will someday when its cup is filled up, its outburst is often unimaginable.
In many traditions, men are designed as untouchables and near demigods. I am opposed to the tradition of subjection and will not subject anyone to such.
Understanding is meant for a lasting relationship, not endurance. When endurance fails, anger and irritation take over and the union is one step away from break up. In true love, you understand, you don’t endure.
5) Managing Anger:- When anger ensues in marriage as it sometimes does, the only way to stop it, is for one of the partners to play the fool and be calm and quiet- not lashing back or trying to prove that he or she is right. When anger is treated with calmness, it dies away in no time. The one who plays the fool is not really a fool, but the wiser of the two and that is why I preach true love in marriage. I will advise the wife to play the role of a virtuous woman and be calm/quiet when the husband is exerting his authority as the head of the house as they often do. It doesn’t make her a lesser being, rather a great woman of substance.
Calmness and composure in the face of provocation is the measure of a wise person’s strength.
6) Kind Words:- It is said, “Good words soothe the heart”. A woman should learn to use kind words on her husband and she does not necessarily need to tell the husband to do the same to her because it’s reciprocated. A woman who uses kind words on her husband increases the love in her husband’s heart for and she gets everything she needs from him if he has it.
The wife should try never to use abusive words on her husband because the more she does that, the more she hates him and vice versa. Let the mind she has for her husband be godly and let her mouth speak blessings unto him.
7) Trust:- It’s placing complete confidence in one’s partner, believing that one would never intentionally do anything to sadden the other- betray him/her emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
Trust does not listen to hearsay, no matter who from. Even when caught with evidence, keep the faith, with the intention that it was done inadvertently. Keeping in mind the imperfect nature of man and with love, forgiveness is pertinent.
Make your heart believe whatsoever that will not hurt you so as to be happy and live long. Keeping things that’ll impinge on your health and relationship is not good for the heart. It kills one and the relationship gradually.
Having in your mind that “man,” is imperfect will help you not to separate from your partner because the next person has his/her own imperfection and may rile you too.
8) Forgiveness: Considering man’s imperfect nature, mistakes are bound to happen, and where true love exists, forgiveness is needed to keep the love going. Remember this, you can only receive forgiveness from God if only you forgive those who offend you.
9) Sexuality:- Sexuality has often been the center of every marriage. A wise man once said, “A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife. A wife is not the master of her own body, but her husband is. In the same way, a husband is not the master of his body, but his wife is. DO NOT DENY YOURSELVES TO EACH OTHER, unless you first agree to do so for a while, for a good reason like fasting and praying; but then resume normal marital relations. In this way, you will be kept from giving in to temptation because of lack of self-control.” But some women pray and fast very often and by so doing, deny their husband their body, which very often sends the man to the next available woman. It’s said, there is time for everything.
I’m an advocate of true love, which brings about self-control. If true love abides between a couple, none of them will desire to cheat on the other. But the truth is if you can’t discharge your duty very well, get help by reconstructing your mindset, or from authority. Sometimes too, the woman’s behavior kills or weakens the man’s desire, so we should check ourselves and make the marriage work. We can do this and we need to do it for love’s sake.
10) Adultery:- Adultery has been man’s undoing from time and the desire for it is becoming greater than the desire for sinless sex. This evil is wrecking marriages today with ease: beclouding one’s sense of reasoning and judgment, and also destroying one’s physical and spiritual life,
A wise man one’s said, “Be faithful to your own wife and give your love to her alone. Be happy with your wife and find your joy with her. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love. Why should you give your love to another woman? The skirt of a wicked woman is a trap. The foolish man gets caught in it because he has no self-control. This also applies to women too.
11) False prophecy:- Married couples should beware of fake pastors and prophets. They have destroyed many homes in our time. When they fail to solve a problem presented to them, they will create another. They may put the blame on the husband or wife and by so doing, cause problems in the marriage. I have seen it happen, so be very careful.
There is no perfect man or woman out there. We all have our good parts and faults, so use the good parts of one to right or manage his/her faults.