How to Succeed In Marriage
Two words: character counts.
This is a vital principle in choosing a mate. It is just as important, if not more, in the marriage.
We have to be a certain kind of person in order to make the marriage a joyful one. That character must be such that when trouble comes in a marriage—as it inevitably will—our natural response will be one of patience and forbearance, one that refuses to retaliate but is willing to listen. Otherwise, our carnal, selfish nature contaminates what would have been a blissful union.
There is no short-cut to character building. It takes time. Speaking for myself, my character was formed while going through much heartbreak before I met my darling wife Lucy. After tasting pain, I certainly don’t want to inflict it on others, let alone my wife. It also births a spirit of empathy and longsuffering.
Sadly, many people get married so young, their character didn’t even have a chance to form. Even more tragic, many people get married without knowing the Christ who wishes to imprint His gracious and holy character in their hearts.
Call it old-fashioned Bible morality, but it works. At times when I was tempted to be hurtful or selfish towards Lucy, I know that, one day, I will stand before God and explain my actions to Him. Marriage is a high task, a noble calling, and a grave stewardship. If God will ask you “What did you do with the spouse I had given you?”, what will you say?
I don’t know about you, I am more terrified of God’s searing displeasure than anything else. It checks the beast in me that would otherwise pounce to inflict pain on Lucy. Thus, I dare say an indispensable ingredient of that character is a healthy fear of God that keeps one from sinning against Him.
I am not sure what God’s reward will be for an excellent husband or wife. Will it be the words “Well done!”? A crown? Some wag would say, “A T-shirt that says ‘I Survived Marriage!’” But I do hope that God will honor me for being affectionate, faithful and understanding to my wife while on earth.
Now that’s character! Oh, Lord, may it be so!
Photo credit from Brooke Cagle, Unsplash