These past two months, I've been on marriage advice overload. Between a women's conference last month and a marriage retreat last weekend, I have notes to last me until next year's retreat.
As far as marriage went, I had been reading books since I was in High School about how to be a Godly wife. This was something I wanted with all my heart and to do right. Well, we're imperfect, so really, "right" doesn't exist. There is no formula to make a marriage perfect. There is one thing that will help: Jesus. I always understood that in order for a marriage to work, Christ had to be the foundation for stability.
As I write, I am overwhelmed by information to share but in order to keep the attention span of whoever is reading, I'll narrow it down to five points for a strong marriage that was outlined by one of the speakers at the marriage retreat:
1. Your marriage must maintain a strong sense of God's presence.
2. Accept those character traits that you will not change about your spouse (Romans 15:7)
3. Learn to survive those incompatible moments ~ remember you're two different people (Colossians 3:12-15)
4. Avoid getting involved in infidelity (both emotional and physical)
5. Develop a friendship
Unlike what the media feeds us, marriage is not about making you happy! Shocking, right? You can only make a marriage work when you are unselfish (Philippians 2:3-4). Selfishness destroys marriages. I've always said that in order for a relationship to work, there must be love, trust, and respect. If one of those three is missing, it's a disbalanced and disfunctional relationship.
When my husband shows me unselfish, unconditional love, I see Jesus Christ through him. I see how Jesus wants to love me through Lucas. I've told my husband this many times because he truly is an amazing husband. This is why Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride. This analogy is to show the depth of what this unity is for the Lord. Marriage was created as a special union. Not to make one another happy (even though that's a bonus), but to accomplish together the perfect will of God. As a result, it brings joy.
Marriage is a beautiful thing and I am truly blessed to have been married three years to my best friend. I highly recommend it. When Christ is the center of both individuals' life, it makes it that much better!