Some people spend more time planning a wedding than preparing for a marriage. They spend more time thinking about what they will wear for a one-hour ceremony than what they will do to build a strong marriage that should last the rest of their life on earth. They spend more time building a house than a home.
A happy and strong marriage is no accident
Sometimes we hear the phrase, “They have a marriage made in Heaven,” implying that some marriages are destined to be good, while some marriages are destined to be bad. Such thinking suggests that marriage has a life all its own, and the only way to find out if you can have a good one or a bad one is to try it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Marriage is a lot like a mirror. It reflects. It gives back a reflection of you. If you do not like the way you look, don’t blame the mirror! In order for a marriage to be strong and fulfilling, it takes the effort of both the partners involved.
A strong and happy marriage is the result of an obedience to God and His Word, and a laying aside of the world’s distorted “take it or leave it” concept of marriage.
I can say, without hesitation, that marriage God’s way—next to salvation itself—is the most fulfilling and wonderful thing I know. As Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”
An alarming trend
Sadly, flourishing marriages are not the norm today. The statistics are alarming:
- The divorce rate rose 700% in the last century—and continues to rise.
- There is now one divorce for every 1.8 marriages.
- Over one million children a year are involved in divorce cases.
This breakdown of the family has had a devastating effect upon our nation as a whole. And when we tamper with God’s plan, we do so at our own peril.
“The breakdown of the family contributes significantly to the major problems confronting our society today. Research data make unmistakably clear a strong relationship between broken families and the drug epidemic, the increase of violent crime, and the unprecedented epidemic of suicide among children and adolescents,” says Dr. Armand Nicholi, professor at the Harvard Medical School and a staff physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
If we want to have the marriage that God wants us to have—a marriage that can withstand the inevitable storms of life, we must get back to the principles God has laid out in His Word.