Celebrating of Marriage

Genesis 2:21-25 (NLT)
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[a] and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh of my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

Ephesians 5:21 (NLT)
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:31-33 (NLT)
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[a] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

On November 27th my husband and I celebrated 24 years of marriage. In today’s society this would be considered quite an accomplishment, however, it pales in comparison to the 62 years that my parents were married. Just when I thought that 62 years of marriage was amazing, I heard that the Queen of England and Prince Philip were celebrating their 75th Wedding Anniversary.

As those of you who are married know, marriage is hard work.  It can be extremely challenging at times, but I must say that at the end of the day it is well worth the time and effort.  When you both allow God to be the head of your home and the first person in your marriage it becomes a beautifully well-choreographed dance between a man and a woman.

Marriage requires “we thinking”  instead of “me thinking”. It is making a commitment to God and others to share your life with one person until God says to one of you it’s time to come home.

In marriage, sacrifices are made for the benefit of one another, as well as for the entire family. There will be times when we must compromise and yield to our spouse’s ideas or views on a subject, and trust that God is guiding his thoughts and decisions. You may not always agree, but those are the times when you must trust God for guidance and wisdom to see you through.

Forgiveness is another major element of having a healthy marriage.  Being willing to love one another through the hard stuff is key. To say I forgive you and mean it from the bottom of your heart is what it takes to get past the small as well as the large offenses that may occur from time to time in your marriage.

I have often wondered if the couples that have been married the longest, are the couples that have just been willing to forgive and overlook the most offenses. Another thought is that maybe the reward of a long marriage comes to the couples that are willing to focus on loving, respecting and honoring one another in the first place. When the focus is on loving, respecting and honoring one another forgiveness is not needed as frequently.

A successful marriage requires a certain amount of dying to self. It also requires being totally transparent with one another as well as having common goals and pulling in the same direction as a team.

Make no mistake about it, during the course of a marriage there will be tears shed and some difficult days, but there will also be days of joy, fun, and laughter. There will be date nights and long walks holding hands and sharing dreams.

Our spouses are not only our best friends but they are truly are gifts from God.   We should cherish the sweet times and learn the lessons that the hard times are there to teach us. When we learn the lesson we are then able to share it with our children and just maybe, they won’t have to experience the pain that the hard times bring.  We can also pass on a legacy of love and commitment to our children,  just from what they observe from the way we honor our spouse’s.

Commit your marriage to God and never ever allow the word divorce to darken your door. Always communicate your honest feelings.  Choose your words wisely and speak to your spouse in a loving manner. When you communicate this way, it brings strength to the marriage instead of destruction.

Pray with your spouse and for your spouse daily. Put their needs before anyone else’s.  Doing these things help to make your spouse feel secure within the marriage. Remember, you are their safe place to fall at the end of each day.

There is nothing more beautiful,  than two people who have weathered the storms of life and they continue to share a deep love and respect for one another.

My prayer for each of you is that you will experience unconditional love from your mates and that you will reciprocate that love back to them.  Never take for granted the gift you have been given, to love and to be loved by someone uniquely created for you.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  (NLT)
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

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