Great Weddings or Great Marriages
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."1
"The glossy, coffee-table book was grandly titled, The Greatest Weddings of All Time. It featured media stars like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda."
As Mark Early of BreakPoint said, "Sadly, most relationships like those don't last very long—which is probably why the book celebrates great weddings instead of great marriages."2
Like far too many marriages, partners have little or no idea what qualities to look for in a spouse—and even more importantly—what qualities they need to have in order to find a suitable partner and to make a happy marriage.
I've taught in divorce and recovery groups for a number of years and over and over I hear the same question asked: "How can I find a good marriage partner?"
My answer is always the same, "By being a good marriage partner."
The reality is that like attracts like. If I want to find a mature partner, I need to be a mature person. If I want to have a happy marriage, I need to be a happy person. Only happy, mature people have happy, mature marriages.
And why should I expect God to give me a great partner if I'm an immature, self-centered, control freak or whatever? Trust me, he won't.
Before getting married, or to help save a poor marriage, or to make an even good marriage better, learn what it takes to make it happen. Read good books on marriage relationships.* Attend relationships and growth seminars. Join a recovery and/or growth group. Learn how to communicate effectively. Good relationships don't happen by chance. They take knowledge, understanding, commitment, and hard work on the part of each partner so that they become healthy and mature (spiritually and emotionally) and are thus able to build a healthy and lasting marriage.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grow in faith and love and every grace so that I will become a mature and whole person and thereby be able to build mature, loving and lasting relationships. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV).
2. Mark Earley, BreakPoint, June 28, 2005.
*See http://www.actscom.com/store/ for excellent book suggestions.