I believe that marriage is one of the most wonderful, amazing, institutions that God has ever created. It is the joining together of 2 people to become 1.
Recently I heard someone say that a wedding anniversary is just a celebration of not killing your spouse for the last 12 months. I beg to differ. I believe that God has designed marriage to live as long as the husband and wife are on this earth. There are many ways to injure or disable a marriage. There are also some ways that you can permanently stop its progress. If you want to stop your marriage dead in its tracks and not give it a chance to be all that God wants it to be, listen close.
LIE I’m not talking about some little, white lie about if you ate the last cookie in the box. I am talking about intentionally deceiving your spouse in order to gain some sort of advantage. This is the kind of lie that lays a trail of mistrust in its wake. A secret bank account. A secret boyfriend/girlfriend. A secret addiction. All of these things can quickly send a struggling marriage over the cliff. A simple solution would be to just tell the truth. An even simpler thing to do would be to never do anything you might want to lie about if you are found out. “An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.” Proverbs 12:13
CHEAT When you make your wedding vows, you promise to do a lot of things. You promise to love and protect, through good times and in bad times. When you renege on these sacred vows, you cheat your spouse out the chance to enjoy and be secure in all of the things that you promised. A great way to avoid this deadly move would be to forever keep your wedding vows in your mind. Remember, you promised to give up yourself for your spouse. You can’t do it on your own so ask God to help you. I believe He is waiting on your call.
STEAL This is when you make it so difficult, so challenging for anyone to live with you, that you slowly but surely begin to sift the goodness from your spouse. Your bad habits and ways steal your mates joy, peace, and even love from your relationship. Instead of stealing from your husband or wife, look to find ways to give to them. Give them your time. Give them your full attention when in a conversation. Make their priorities your priorities. Let them receive moments of happiness. Give without hesitation or regret. Your reward will soon waiting for you.
TRIP Everyone has a bad day. Not every moment is going to be filled with sunshine. There will be setbacks in life and your spouse will eventually disappoint you on some level. The key here is to not go crazy every time something goes wrong. Learn how to discuss with your spouse whatever it is that is bugging you. What may be helpful is to consider how bad the action was compared to your reaction. Forgetting to pick up milk vs. forgetting your anniversary. You be the judge.
HIT When we think of hitting in a relationship, we think of physical violence. I am definitely not endorsing any physical altercations whatsoever. I am also not agreeing with any verbal attacks. More often the physical confrontations happen when the husband attacks his wife. This can be very devastating if not deadly. The verbal onslaught can also be done by the husband but a woman’s tongue can be just as damaging. Very often a wife can question her husbands manhood, call him out on his work ethic and even challenge his authority in front of his children. In all of these instances, words can be like daggers. They can pierce the soul of your spouse.
“An anxious heart weighs down a man, but a kind word cheers him up” Proverbs 12:25
Choose to be compassionate and understanding with your words. Its not that you can disagree. Just be careful because your marriage pays a price with the words you choose.
LEAVE One of the quickest ways to kill a marriage is to leave. I am not saying that you shouldn’t leave because you are afraid for your safety or the safety of your children. Very often people leave because they are just plain tired. They have been fighting and struggling for so long that they just can’t take anymore. They feel that they have done all that they can do and don’t desire to do anymore. But far too often, people leave their marriages before they actually pack their bags and walk out the door. Some have left and still stay married for another 20 years.
Before you close your heart to the possibilities of a great marriage consider this. In Mark 10:27, Jesus says, “…with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God”. Most people give up just around the corner from their promised land. Don’t let that be you.
Overall, marriage can be very challenging and it can also be very rewarding. Do whatever you can to not pull the plug on it. If God has put you two together, ultimately, He has the solutions to your problems. Each year celebrate your anniversary like a birthday party. One more year of life, together.