Love is the one business in which it pays to be an absolute spendthrift: give it away; throw it away; splash it over; empty your pockets; shake the basket; and tomorrow you’ll have more than ever.
Romance. Ohhhh, sweet romance. I am sooo in-love with love. However, today, after being fully anointed with spiritual wisdom and understanding of the genuine essence of love, I’m letting my God do the guiding. Use to be, I was engrossed with the romance novel type of love and_ Okayyyy, I’ll put the brakes on. I confess; I still am. But the wiser me reads for the thrill of the read. LOL.
Once upon a time…a verrrrry long time ago, one could buy True Love Romance comic books in the 7-11 stores. Does anyone remember those days? Well, there use to be comic book stands almost immediately upon entering the store.
After school, I’d go in and spend ‘all’ my money! See, I’d saved all my lunch money for about a week just to buy 3 / 4 comic books. Every once in a while, I’d actually buy other genre too. There was Scooby Doo; I loved Scooby. And I’d occasionally buy Archie, Betty and Veronica, and Richie Rich. But, I’d venture to say that I possessed about 4 -500 romance comics before I graduated high school! I was captivated and very close to being obsessed with these stories of love.
But, how many of you know the potential dangers of being ensnared by the illusion of make believe (years later, I would became a published romance author). Dreams of a knight in shining armor can (if not careful) become a figment of our imagination that will eventually become a false reality. Below is an example of some of what I was absorbed in.
These stories coupled with see the love for my mom in my dad’s eyes sealed the dream of having that perfect husband. My parents were married ‘until death did them part”. Little did I know that my parents were not the only resource to prepare me for marriage? At that time, I never remotely close to considering what my parents in the Bible taught about marriage? Which parents am I referring to? Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and then there was Jacob and his wives…Leah and Rachel, have a lot to teach us about marriage, don’t they! WOW! How would we handle that situation today? Marriage is a union of two imperfect people coming together in a fallen and sinful world, both with good and bad traits, habits, sins, selfish desires…….both like sheep…gone astray and wanting to be happy. Paul says it's a formula for trouble.
Reality Check. As I stated, God wasn’t in my plans at the time in my life. In the 1st chapter of Corinthians verse 21 Paul says: "….But those who marry will face many troubles in this life." I didn’t know I would need Jesus in my marriage; I was tip toeing through the tulips and reading the pages of comic books. Little did I know that the Bible had a lot to say about marriage? Let’s visit 1 Cor. 7 together. Oh, let me make one point clear before we proceed. I am not an authority on marriage! I am studying and learning with you. I believe that the man my heavenly Father is preparing for me will love GOD more than me; so with that in mind, our marriage will not fail because he will be honoring the GOD in me, always seeking to please the one who brought us together. Hallelujah and Amen!
Marriage principles are in essence things that you should and things that you should not do or say in a marriage. If the couple follows these principles then the changes that marriage will be successful are increased.
In 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11, Jesus did not address every possible marriage detail. He did, however, ask His disciples to follow God’s original creation design and never to sever the oneness of their marriage bond (Matt. 19:3-9). A Christian couple is to bear witness to the world by keeping marriage indissoluble. They represent the truth of covenant love and should live and grow in a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. Having dealt with the ideal of marriage, Paul, realizing the reality of stresses and human failure, mentions the permissibility of divorce (but and if she depart [v.11]). This permitted divorce has a strict regulation-no adultery, meaning there can most likely be no remarriage in this case except to the one from whom she was previously divorced (let he remain unmarried, or be reconciled to he husband [v.11]). It is not clear why Paul addresses this from the woman’s perspective, but the principle applies to both genders.
Nonetheless, how we approach marriage, more importantly, how we fulfill it, is extremely important to our own welfare and homes. It will either yield great joy and fulfillment or heartache and disappointment.
1. Be fair, you are not always correct
Be fair with your self and partner and have always in your mind that you are not always correct. You may be sometimes wrong in your decisions and thoughts. It is a fact that when two people disagree, the truth is somewhere in the middle. And when two people separate then certainly the blame is in both. If from time to time we forget the middle ground, and we do not compromise then this will create severe problems to our marriage. The marriage principle in this case is to compromise and accept the fact that you are making mistakes and sometimes exaggerating more than needed.
2. Do not promise anything you cannot do
If the marriage was based on our many words, but words were never made into projects, it is perfectly logical to be full of frustration and anger. The words and promises are made too easily when we love and when things go well. But when you get into a difficult situation things change. This is the time to stop the unreal promises and start making actions.
3. Everybody makes mistakes
Accept the simple principle, that all people make mistakes. The mistake is part of human nature and we should be able to forgive and look to the future. If we rehash the mistakes, and if in any disagreement we mention one hundred other reasons we should in the past being angry with our partner, then this will kill our soul and will fill it with the anger and bad memories.
4. Respect to be respected
Perhaps while we promised respect, eternal love and devotion, we do not follow this oath? Maybe we did not understand that the marriage is a commitment to life and we must respect and honor the person with whom we connected our lives. Showing lack of respect to our partner, whether occasional or on a permanent basis, is perhaps the biggest mistake that we do. When respect is not mutual in a marriage then it is more likely that marriage will end up in a disaster.
5. Show your interest to your partner
Marriage is like a flower that wants watering every day or else I will be destroyed. So we must not rest on the fact that now that we are married we should not show any interest in our partner but let things as they come. It takes a lot of trouble and struggle to maintain quality and a genuine relationship. We need every day to show our interest in our partner not only in words but also in deeds.
6. Be consistent
We need to be consistent between words and acts so that the other person can trust us. Even taking care to be together and supportive in every difficult moment of our partner and not only look on how we can have a good time.
7. Be open for discussion with your partner
All issues and disputes must be settled and resolved through dialogue and not by absolute positions that are dogmatically imposed from one person to the other person. As a good principle, do not avoid discussions and never try to impose your opinion on your partner. Everybody has his or her own opinion and this should be respected. In case of a disagreement the best way to find a solution is through discussion.
8. Do not take advantage of your superiority
Do not exploit your possible superiorities in a particular area over your partner. For example if you are in a better financial position or have a better job than your partner do not try to take advantage of that and make your partner feel inferior. Instead, as a principle try to support and help your partner to improve with out criticism.
9. Make mutual decisions with your partner
Decide together for the birth and education of a child. Not one has illusions that everything will be rosy and everyone knows that within life there is routine, boredom, and disconnection. You need to have patience and faith in the strength of the relationship and always try to find ways to tackle a difficult situation together through dialogue and mutual decisions.
10. Do not neglect your partner
In the context of marriage you have to give your partner the attention he/she deserves. You should not always deal with your work or children and neglect your partner. The principle is that you should have a balance in your life, so as to manage your time efficiently and have enough time to devote to your partner and family.
11. Do not get nervous at the same time.
12. Do not shout to each other unless the house is on fire.
13. If someone must win a ‘fight’ then let the other win.
14. If you must judge and criticize your partner then do it with love.
15. Do not repeat mistakes you made in the past.
16. Neglect the word around you than neglecting your partner.
17. Never go to bed without being in terms with your partner.
18. Try at least once a day to compliment your partner.
19. If you make a mistake, be ready to admit it and apologize.
20. It takes two to make a brawl, and usually the one that is wrong talks more.
Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts (BSTFPA)