The Beginning of Marriage

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Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3

“I want to be a better partner.” You say this, thinking back over a multitude of incidents that make up the history of your family. Some of them were funny when they happened; others are funny only as we look back on them. Still others were gravely serious. Some were puzzling.

There are months on end when husband and wife get along beautifully; and then, out of the clear blue sky, there are frequent disagreements. Then, just as mysteriously, things clear up.

This is the ebb and flow, the fascination, the never-ending variety, the multitude of moods that make up family living. How can we do our part better?

Seldom, if ever, do the circumstances of living together transform the two people of a marriage into an ever-loving, ever-agreeable, happy pair–fairy tales, popular love songs, and a gamble of fate notwithstanding.

A happy marriage involves a much greater challenge than simply finding a partner with whom you live happily ever after. It is more than some strange chemistry that draws and holds you together forever. Soon after the wedding day, you realize that marriage is a test of your character.

A happy marriage does not depend on perfectly matched partners. It is a lifetime process dependent on many choices made by two free individuals who deliberately choose the same harness and who continuously sacrifice personal freedom and self-interest for a mutually agreeable way of life.

Everyone has at least a few good points–ability, talent, a unique kind of charm, interesting mannerisms, or pleasing ways. Put two people together, and before long irritations, conflicts, or differences of opinion arise in spite of the assets. But why is this so? How would you counsel a person who asks you why we have these kinds of conflicts? (read more in the book, Marriage God’s Way)