If you had asked me this question a long time ago, on “why should I get married?” I’d have looked at you in some kind of way because I’ve been daydreaming about getting married. From a very tender age, women tend to daydream about marriage, I was ready or I thought I was ready, I started daydreaming about my marriage right from when I was in primary school. I had a dream, I had a standard, I didn’t know anything about marriage, but I wanted to be married because I had an expectation, a picture that I’d seen. So it was just about that I am in love with my husband and my husband was in love with me, and to me that alone was fine. So when we got married, it didn’t matter that we didn’t have a bed, it was just a mattress that we put on the floor, and I was okay, as long as you’re with me and as long as I’m seeing you, as long as we are smiling. Then the bubble burst, it started getting towards why is the food not ready at his time, I’m coming at this time of the day or the night you didn’t do this, and it came like a shock to me that, okay! So I have to cook your food even when I’m tired or not ready, the picture started getting blurry. Whereas I’ve always had that dream where my husband will come, we’ll be in the garden and will have an umbrella, I had that picture I saw it that we’ll be in a mansion and there will be a garden and we’ll have stewards, I had seen it and up till today, I’m still waiting for that dream.
And you can tell where I got those pictures from, from ‘Mills and Boones’, James Hardly Chase books, movies, so those were what formed my idea of what marriages should look like. I even have a picture of how to resolve quarrels when quarreling with my spouse, for example, I’ll offend him, then he’ll come begging and all, I won’t answer I’ll give him a cold shoulder while smiling in my heart, and he’ll keep apologizing till we makeup and all, but far from it, especially when you are married to a choleric tears give them joy, if you like be angry, if you like cry they won’t even mind you.
So the first piece of advice I’ll like to give to singles and married people is:
- Get rid of expectations in marriage
Many couples are still bitter because they didn’t get who they wanted, they may not even realize it but unconsciously all the boxes they had do not tick, sometimes we always have this expectation going into marriage that the person has to be like this or like that, and when we don’t have what we want, then the bitterness, we may not even know why we are reacting.
So it’s important we check what our expectations are and how realistic they are. At times what God wants for us is not in sync with our expectations, there are also times whereby what we want may not necessarily be what we need and we need to understand that. You don’t get the best of your husband or wife when they are under pressure to fit a mode, while its okay to have preferences, you have to be willing to put in the work to make your husband be exactly what you want them to be like by submitting, and for the man, you have to be willing to put in the work to make your wife be exactly what you want her to be like by exercising leadership. There are lots of works involved, marriage is not just a reward. Marriage is not finally!, it is ‘Ah” work has started.
- Understand the purpose of marriage
Marriage is not just a happy-go-lucky ride, it’s about work, according to Gen 2 vs 15 for the man, the first thing before marriage was a purpose, his assignment, his work. According to Gen 2 vs 18, a woman’s purpose in a man’s life is to be a ‘Helper’ not just a helper but a rightful helper that fits the man, not someone to lord over the man, but to assist the man in the assignment of calling the Lord has given to the man.
- Understand that in Marriage there are different needs of the husband and the wife.
Understand that it is a need and not a want, sometimes we struggle with the needs of our spouse but we must understand that the same way a car needs petrol is the same way a man needs sex. Another need of a man is respect, you don’t have to understand, it is a need for them, and the earlier we understand how to provide that need in the way we talk, in the way we regard them, the better our marriage. A man also needs admiration.
A major need of a woman is ‘care/affection’. Affection is not sex, affection is the way you talk to her, the way you celebrate her, the way you hold her in public, the smile you give her. Fulfilling these needs by both partners most times don’t come naturally to them, you have to learn how to fulfill your spouse’s needs, another need of a woman is communication, honesty, trust.
Lastly, create an atmosphere where it is very easy for both spouses to fulfill each other’s needs, God is interested in your marital life, sometimes we think love, marriage is a social thing, no! God is interested in your marriage Isaiah 46 vs 4.
Gleaned from Pastor Bimbo Davids sermon.