There is a song by Wale that I heard entitled "Matrimony" that resonated with me. The beginning of the song starts with a monologue from Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld likens getting married to a ride on a roller coaster, the first hill of the roller coaster is the engagement and the wedding is at the top by then you're just screaming. Wale thens says, "Even if you make plans you never think you're really ready for marriage?" Seinfield replies, "No it's like any growth. You can't prepare for growth. You're gonna have a new life be a new person. Wale then says that "he is in his late 20s, and had never been to a wedding." That really struck me but it was not surprising that we have a generation of young adults that have never witnessed two people joined in matrimony.
In this generation, marriage isn’t very popular, it's become a negative term in this culture and society. We no longer look at marriage with anticipation and joy, but with fear or we don't look for it at all. People are scared that if they get married then there is the possibility of getting divorced, there will be no happiness or that it will not be fulfilling. I should feel that way considering my parents were married for over 20 years and divorced when I was eighteen. Surviving my parents divorce and being married 14 years this month; 24 years in a relationship I must say that I have seen my fair share of good, bad and real ugly in marriages and relationships. Matrimony has its good times as well as its bad. And it is not easy to stay married during difficult times especially in our society. I know without a doubt the only way we have survived the ebbs and flows of this journey called marriage is because we have a third person in this marriage with us, God.
"And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12
No, marriage does not guarantee a lifelong relationship, but neither does any relationship. Marriage was designed to be a lifelong relationship, a commitment and a covenant. The only reason it is not is because we have made it that way. We too often look for any easy way out. If we feel unhappy, we just leave. If we feel unfulfilled, then leave. If your spouse makes you mad, you just leave. We live in a fast-food society. We want things easy and we want it now. No way we want to do anything that requires effort. We go into marriage thinking that we will have the perfect little marriage and the perfect little family in the cookie-cutter house and we will never argue and get angry. Wrong! We need to know what we are actually agreeing to. We are agreeing to stay with our spouse when things are the worst they have ever been, even when they make you angry, call you names and say hurtful things that damage your feelings. Marriage is not a continuous date. You now get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know first-hand the dangers of weak commitment in marriage. After Monte and I were newly married, we would throw the big "D" and "S" word out as we dealt with choices and decisions that threatened the covenant of my marriage. We have been very transparent about the stumbling blocks we have encountered. We decided early on if we wanted to be married, divorce and separation was not an option and we are forced to work things out.
And working it out has not been an easy road. After the beautiful wedding, I have had two major surgeries to battle issues with my fertility since we have been together, losing two grandfathers, a father and an aunt in the span of four years and in between all of this there were job losses which brought on money problems, confusion, miscommunication and interference from unwanted life situations. But through it all I have had to remember that I love him and I vowed to sustain through all of the good and bad times. And I had to learn to lean on the third cord who is God. I really don't know how in the world people do it without God though. He has become the center of our home, and in those days that we could really could hurt each other Christ who is the umpire brings a peace and makes us see each other through His eyes.
Hence, the key to surviving is seeing marriage and each other through God's eyes, hearing each other with God's ears, lifting each other with God's hands, encouraging each other with God's Words, and loving each other with God's heart. Marriage is about choosing each day, each minute, to honor God with our words and actions, and in turn, we honor our spouses. Marriage was created by God for our good, for the good of our society, and for His plan to be fulfilled. It’s about companionship, pleasure, responsibility, commitment, romance, raising the next generation—the whole package. It’s the most difficult and yet the most fulfilling relationship we experience during our time on earth. And that’s why it’s worth fighting for.
So, this month as we celebrate 14 years of marriage I pray for troubled marriages or just marriages in general. I pray that God will bring restoration and healing. I pray that marriages are strengthened. I pray that fulfillment and joy flows abundantly. I speak life and death to the issues now affecting the restoration of marriages, and I declare a release of the awesome power of God to restore strengthen and heal marriages to #StayTogether.
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