A business woman had been invited to speak to a class of hospitality management students some years ago. Parents were invited to “come” listen as well and so my wife and I went to hear what our daughter was hearing.
The lady talked about how she had come to this country, married and become involved in starting a business of her own, of her dreams to succeed and the focused, disciplined, hard work and tough decisions it all required.
She shared that some time after her marriage she had come to the realization she and her husband did not share the same ambitions. Success, a certain kind of success was all important to her and for her husband, well I guess, it wasn’t.
Her decision? Divorce. She cared for her husband and the relationship but it was not as important to her as the fulfillment of her visions. No hard feelings. It just wasn’t going to work. It was a business decision. So that’s what she did. What struck me was she thought that was ok and was declaring to young minds searching for guidance, that it was justifiable, an acceptable course of action and that they would be not be erring to make the same kind of decision to achieve their ambitions.
Since then we, my wife and I, have witnessed as marriages come under stresses, many of which were self imposed, and have either failed or gone through destructive times from which recovery was difficult. Difficulties are common to all marriages. Do they lead to unifying and strengthening or do they lead to division and weakening is the choice.
People bring to marriages their imperfections as well as their good points. Some of these are jealousies, enviousness, low self worth or exaggerated self worth, a sense that they were not loved or were less loved, lies of the adversary, believed and brought with them. These can result in them taking on attitudes, goals and actions for themselves and their spouses that result in them turning on each other instead of coming together to determine what’s really going on and how best to deal with it.
For that to happen, a guest speaker whose advice is based on trial and error, to be called in, is probably not the way to go. Since marriage is for life what would be good would be a councilor who has perfect knowledge of what it takes to deal with every difficulty, every stress and who would be available any time, night or day, any day, anywhere.
The cost for such a councilor though would be submission to His authority and obedience to His instruction. And ideally it would be to pay that price with a grateful and happy heart.
His instruction initially, what He asks of us, may not be what we want it to be but if it is our will and our willingness to trust in the rightness of His instructions and we do them and wait on Him, the results of His instructions will be for good.
The success achieved is compounded because it is instruction for and a witness to our children of how to run a marriage successfully. They can apply the same method to their own one day.
Being steeped in the Word of God, trusting in it enough to patiently live it, unity, mutual love, respect and devotion, willingness to serve as well as be served, to give at loss or no expectation of return, gladly, these should be our standard way of doing the business of marriage.
Goals are important and should be chosen after inquiry into the will of our Father, however, whether or not we achieve them or not is not as important as the means by which we work towards them. Our conduct on the road is the focus of our Father. His pleasure with us is really the goal.
“You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Matthew 22:37 CJB.
“Trust in Adonai with all your heart…
…He will level your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 CJB.
“…let each man love his wife as he does himself and see that the wife respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 CJB.
“…serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 CJB.
Father, may we accept the truth and authority of Your instructions and be obedient to them. Strengthen us against the stresses of the world around us and form in us a heart that finds peace and pleasure in Your ways, trust in the doing.
Bless our marriages please Father, that they may be a powerful witness to the rightness and goodness of Your very Self. May they attract the world’s gaze to You, draw all to You and bring You glory and honor.
May You be pleased with us.
Grant us favor Abba.
In Yeshua’s name we pray, Amen.
May God’s love be in us all.