Wisdom For Marriage
Cherish the bond of unity which you have before God, not trying to explain its mystery, but ever seeking to plumb its depths. At the core of this unity is love. Love has no bounds. It is as deep as the human heart and as eternal as the Divine itself. Let love be your passion, and it will become your peace; let love be your pursuit, and it will become your pleasure; let love freely grow, and its harvest will be bountiful. The seed of love will become the flower of the sublime. In love, you will assume the very likeness of the Prince of love, even Jesus. So follow love.
Be, therefore, patient with each other. Many quarrels result from misunderstanding and selfishness. Take time to listen to your mate and you will soon hear their heart which speaks deeper than words.
Be kind to each other. Avoid faultfinding. Criticism is an ogre, and sarcasm a brute. They wound deeply; they scar for life; few recover from their blows. Pleasant speech rejuvenates, and the soothing touch restores. Meekness is a costly jewel, a crowning adornment of perfection. Quietness is a precious covering, a fine garment of praise. Remember that anger is a cruel destroyer; it leaves misery in its wake. View grudges as lethal; bury them quickly. Never justify yourself in order to win advantage. Self-justification makes everyone a loser. Justice will eventually reach its home down the roads of compassion and forgiveness. Abandon your expectations; accept one another freely. Always seek to do what is right.
Be gentle with each other. Be sensitive to each other’s needs. Affection is the tie of intimacy; it is the balm for healing. Covet it. It will revive you in the times of life’s disappointments and tears.
Be considerate of each other, giving due respect. Put each other’s interests before your own. Be willing to offer the appropriate compliment–it will refresh the weary and lighten the load. Encouragement transforms a wasteland into a paradise; and little thoughtful surprises are like a morning dawn.
Be honest with each other at all times. Truth should always reign, for the Lord is always near. When trust dies, everything dies. Jealousy is monstrous. Never be suspicious of the other’s intentions or actions. Believe each other’s words and seek not for hidden meanings. Often the search is endless, and what is found is usually your own corrupt imaginings.
Be humble toward each other. Don’t be overly concerned about your personal image. Be real. In the intimacy of marriage you can’t fool your partner anyway. Reality is always a natural unfolding. Give your partner space to grow, and rejoice in their unfolding. In their freedom you both will fly. Don’t ridicule or reject their dreams, but dream with them. Self-sacrifice is gain, and self-denial holds great reward.
Give to each other and you will never be in want. Support each other and you will never fall. Laugh with each other and you will never be poor. Pray with each other and you will never weaken. Above all, travel with each other, daily seeking Christ together–the Source and Fountain of love–for in Him are all your springs. Live in Him and He will live in you; and He Himself will perfect you in your love by giving to you His love.
Dr. Brian Allison (B.A., M.A., M.Div, D.Min.) is the therapeutic counselor at Maranatha Counseling Services, Toronto, and former Professor of Apologetics and Counseling, and lecturer in Theology, at Toronto Baptist Seminary.