I am not married,neither have I ever been married.The longest and serious relationship I have been in lasted 1 year.So no,I am no guru in marriages but I have been around enough marriages;I have had discussions with married people;I have read about marriages and I have heard teachings on marriage,to know one or two things.
One of the preachings I heard that changed my view of marriage,was by Pastor Tonny Gobanga under a series titled Beyond I Do! He said that selfishness is the number 1 enemy of marriages and relationships at that.He went ahead to demistify the whole walking down the aisle business.You see,in the Old Testament,the altar was a place of sacrifice;a place of death.Something had to die for the greater good of the people.Now,we walk down the aisle and stand at the altar to say our vows.Question is,what do we sacrifice there for the greater good of our partner? Self ought yo be the thing we sacrifice at the altar when we say our vows and betroth ourselves to each other.There is a reason God commands us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.He understands that we love ourselves extra and if we can think of others as highly as we think of ourselves;if we do unto others as we would love it to be done unto you,then peace would reign.
All the stories I have heard among married people,in light of the preaching above,I realize stems out from selfishness.It all has its roots in the parties involved thinking their needs are more important than those of their spouses.In some cases,one person is trying their best to put the needs of the spouse in consideration but the spouse thinks they are entitled.And as human as we all are,people suffer from burn out;because they give and give without receiving and very soon,they become empty and at that point,the only way out seems to be out of the marriage! If marriage was meant to be ran by one person,I doubt it would then involve two people.Proverbs says that two are better because if one gets weak or something,the other can help them along.So,when we are in a boat and I am the only one rowing the boat,my energy will get spent and I will stop and being I was the only active one,capsizing will be the next step and I truly will not have any strength left in me to try and save both of us.
What am I saying?That marriages would work better;would last longer;would be happier,if only we kicked selfishness out of it!It is a daily act of dying to self.It takes a conscience decision to choose to put the needs of your spouse first;give and it shall come back to you.Good measure shaken together and running over!For as you give you shall also receive and with the measure you use,it shall be measured back to you.Something to that effect.:-)
When we both sit back waiting for the other person to take the lead,sadly,we will never dance.Like in Tango,someone leads and the other follows,therefore,one of us has to take the lead in the fight against selfishness but it would be much better,if we both understood the beauty if putting each other first.Then,before an argument,we would seek to hear each other first before drumming our opinions and thinking we are always right.We would then weigh everything we do,in light of our spouse and see how my doing X will affect my husband and if it will be negative,then because I love him as much as I love me;because I would want to do unto him what I would want done unto me,then I will not go ahead and do it simply because I want to do it.
“…and the two shall become one.” So when you hurt your spouse,it ought to be it’s like you’re hurting yourself.You are one.It is no longer about “I” but “We”. And this in all things.The moment we start deciding where the “we” applies and where it doesn’t,we lose the plot.
Marriage,I have come to understand and learn is no child’s play.It is hardwork though with beautiful rewards.It is a reflection of the two people involved;you either make it awesome or terrible.No two marriages are the same because no two couples are the same.The two of you decide what and how your marriage will be,by the way you treat each other!
Take a step back and let down all your guards and defenses and think objectively.Think of all the fights and arguments and see if they were not fuelled by selfishness.Think of how the situation would have turned out differently if you backed down and listened to your spouse first,and tried to put yourself in their shoes first,and uderstand their point of view,how different would things have been then?
So,the husband has come home late.He is definitely expecting you to be mad and angry and is prepared for a lecture,but instead you receive him.’Hi hun.how was your day?’ maybe a peck on the cheek.By now,he is already confused. Then after he has sat down and relaxed a bit, ‘ is everything okay? I was a bit worried when you didn’t get home at your usual time and I could not reach you on phone?Is all well? I am happy to see you safe and have you home.’
Umm,even just writing that scenario and placing myself in it has calmed me. 🙂 .It may take a while but if you stat the course,he will be coming home in time or if he is going to be late he will inform you because now he knows that when he doesn’t,it may give you high blood pressure worrying and because the way you dealt with it was so loving,as human nature would have it,he would want to return the favour.
Wreckless words pierce like a sword.It is for you to decide the kind of life you really want in that marriage.By putting your spouse first,you are taking care of both your needs as what you give comes back to you,in the same measure.
It takes two to tango.That means you must be dancing to the same music and for tango to be tango you must be in sync. I think I shall do a study of tango as a dance and see what lessons we can draw from it for our relationships.
Have a good one!