some musings on marriage

Marriage is like a garden that needs ongoing care.

The nature of human beings – both men and women – makes marriage a difficult proposition.  That is the reality, and it has always been so.  Today, there are many bitter persons who down talk the institution of marriage.  But, marriage is not the problem.  The problem we have today is that individuals enter marriage with unrealistic expectations and without a sufficiently mature commitment to marriage.  As well, many persons enter marriage without knowing their spouse very well, and without having seriously discussed each other’s values, life goals and priorities.

Yes, marriage is a challenge, but it presents many opportunities for personal growth.  It can help us to overcome our innate self-centeredness.

Yes, those entering into marriage need a certain level of maturity.  But, if we all waited until we were fully mature to marry, we would likely be marrying at an advanced age, indeed.  With commitment (to our marriage vows) and character strength (formed to some extent in the home with the aid of concerned, loving parents), we can persevere in our marriage and gain emotional maturity through the give and take sacrifices that marriage requires of us.

 

 

Marriage is like a garden that needs ongoing care.

We need to regularly weed out and prune the harmful thoughts and resentments that can overcome the healthy flowering love we have for our spouse.  It is an ongoing process.  Think of it this way.  You have built a house.  But, now, going forward, you must make the effort to maintain it so that it will last and be in good condition year after year.  Or, think of your marriage as you do your health.  Each day, you try and make healthy choices to preserve your health.  The health of your marriage requires that kind of ongoing care and effort.

In your marriage, you may need to sacrifice and give in to your spouse a lot in the short term to make the marriage stronger for the long term. Thus, bear in mind the long term success and strength of your marriage as you make these smaller sacrifices each day.  Let go of resentments.  Clinging to anger and resentment is poison for your marriage.  Early on, even before you marry, it is important to communicate honestly with each other.  This may require a conscious effort at first.  But, if you cannot communicate openly and honestly prior to marriage, you may not be able to easily do so after your marriage.   More honest and open communication helps to reduce frictions between personalities in marriage.  Do not be ashamed if you have to seek some help in the form of marriage counseling from a professional counselor or from a local church.

It is quite true that what goes on outside the bedroom is as important, or even more so, to the health and strength of the marriage as what happens in the marriage bed.  Do not let frustrations and disappointments fester and simmer for long.  Talk about these and work to resolve them.  Bear in mind that your spouse is far from perfect and let that temper your expectations for him/her.  There are at risk marriages, and marriages that have failed even though the couples were enjoying great sexual intimacy with each other.  These marriages got into trouble because the spouses did not face up to and constructively address issues outside the marriage bed.  Conversely, there are marriages that are in deep trouble or have already failed because the couple did not work to ensure that they achieved mutually fulfilling sexual intimacy and connection with each other.  Be alert, then, to warning signs to your marriage, both inside and also outside of the bedroom.  As well, there is a feedback loop so to speak between the sex life you share with your spouse and your interactions with each other outside the bedroom.  Problem resolutions and removal of frustrations in the non-sexual areas of your marriage can also positively affect the lovemaking you share with your spouse in your marriage bed.  And, the reverse is also true.

We have written this before, and we will write it again as it bears repeating:  Do not withhold sexual intimacy from your spouse so as to punish him or her, or as leverage to get your own way in contested matters.  That, truth be told, is the sin of sexual refusal, and must be rejected and avoided.  The Christian churches need to speak out against this sin against one’s spouse and one’s marriage vows.

why this matters

In these terrible times (and let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that these are not terrible times), the strength of families, for successfully nurturing and raising the next generation of responsible, mature adults, is so very critically vital for the future of our world.  Stronger, happier and lasting marriages are not merely gratifying to the spouses, but these help to ensure the stability of families as the basic social units of society.

It makes one wonder why the overreaching policies of the government too often serve to weaken marriages and families.

copyright 2018 – larrysmusings.com

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