When I was a teenager one of my favorite songs, I had many by the way, was Can you stand the rain originally by New Edition, and the remake by Boyz II Men (on their 1997 album with the black background). I was a teenager in the nineties, the best time to be a teenager in my opinion! I played that song, I sang along, but I never fully understood what it was truly about. It was about relationships and how sometimes things are going to be great and other times things will be really hard. I feel like one of the biggest shockers for me was that every day would not be perfect! That’s why I’m so passionate about being more transparent about marriage and what it means to have a strong relationship. At the same time, I acknowledge that I myself don’t know everything about marriage and relationships. I am clearly not a professional, I’m just a woman who wants young single women, engaged couples, newlyweds, and seasoned married couples to stay together and create strong relationships that stand the test of time.
Just a short twenty or thirty years ago divorce carried a certain amount of shame and distain with it, even the word alone would cause concern and fear. Divorce was serious because it meant that homes and families would be broken up, children would be separated from their fathers and Mothers would be left to carry the weight of the whole family on her shoulders. There was a time when Marriage was a sacred thing and men and women entered into unions that were meant to last forever and not be separated by anyone. Why can’t we go back to those days? Why don’t we talk about the rain that comes in life, and how it only last for a moment? One of my favorite scriptures says, “weeping may endure for night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5b
One of the verses in the song says; “I need somebody who will stand by me, when it’s tough she won’t run, she will always be right there for me. Storms will come. This we know for sure, but tell me can you stand the rain?” That’s what I thought marriage was, thanks to my examples of marriage and a healthy dose of nineties R&B, I thought marriage was about finding the one person who would stand by you no matter what storms came your way. However, I notice a trend these days, especially with celebrities; two people get married and appear all over town happy and gorgeous together, basically perfect. Then if their really in love they get divorced after the five year mark, if not they’re divorced a few months later! Okay that may be factually incorrect but you catch my drift. I probably should have told you all this earlier, but I’m one of those people who thinks that the world was way better when I was growing up! Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I really believe that our society has lost that desire to stay committed through thick and thin, through good times and bad. I always refer to this generation as the microwave generation, because everyone wants instant gratification, immediate results or it’s over, their done! I often wonder what triggers these break ups, like does one person leave the toilet seat up and the other fall in and get up and immediately ask for a divorce? This is to be expected in the world, but the problem comes in when we see this disease infiltrate the church/Christians.
We may never admit this, but we do watch what the world is doing and that plays a role in how we as Christians see ourselves. For good or bad, that’s a harsh truth, we want to fit in with the world, but we still want to be accepted by God. That is one of many factors, unfortunately, that leave a filthy mark on our society. We seem to be in love with the wedding day and not the marriage. I’m not sure if it’s actually true, but I’ve heard that the average wedding today cost about $30,000.00!!! I won’t bore you right now with my wedding day story but here’s two things to keep in mind, it was more drama than any t.v. show, and it was definitely not $30,000.00! When my Husband and I got engaged I was very focused on all the wedding stuff and the perfect dress, that I was totally not thinking about the marriage. I had dress fittings, makeup consultations, hair appointments, shoe shopping excursions, etc.. I was over the top about my undergarment that I would be wearing and don’t get me started on how crazy I was over having a big engagement ring!!! The thing that I learned very quickly was being concerned about those things was pointless and…well dumb. I was missing the point, a wedding only last for a few hors of one day! The marriage last forever and your wedding dress won’t help you push your baby out, buy your first house, or clean the toilet in your children’s bathroom! Friends after the ceremony is over the dress goes in box, bag or closet! I do remember people trying to tell me what I’m telling you, but I was floating on cloud nine because I was getting married!
Now that I’ve diagnosed the problem let me talk a little bit about the cure. I believe that we have to start with the obvious, change what’s influencing us. Change our perspectives and what we see as exemplary. We need to hide the word of God in our hearts, so that we can confess it over our marriages and our families when times get tough. One thing I’ve learned is that the devil hates marriage. How do I know this, well look what he attacked first, Adam and Eve, the married couple. Paul wrote quite a lot to the husbands and wives and one thing He instructed was to give no place to the devil (Eph 4:27). We have to love our husbands and stand for our relationships in prayer and intercession. We can’t allow our lives and relationship to look like the world, celebrities, what we read in magazines or even romance novels. Marriage is a reflection of the love that Jesus has with his bride, which is the church (Eph 5:22-32) Jesus never gives up on his bride, he’s always there to love her and take her back. He makes sure she is without spot or wrinkle, he washes her clean, leads her and rescues her. He loved his bride so much that he took her place and died for her. Those are our examples of how we should be loving our spouse. We have to remember that in any relationship we’ll have to make allowances for one another, and we’ll have to forgive and forget many times. That’s the secret ingredient, we have to love like Jesus loves. There are no perfect people. No one gets it right all the time, and we don’t need perfection. We need to find the perfect person for us, the one person that God designed with you in mind.
My Hubby and I have had to face a few storms in life and I’m sure they don’t compare to what else we may see, but I know that I would much rather face trials and troubles with him by my side than without him. My mother use to tell me and my sister when we would argue that, “teeth and tongue fall out sometimes but their still together.” That simply means that yes, you may not always see eye to eye on everything, but you stay together. You don’t end the relationship because you disagree or you hit a rough patch, you may have to get wet, but you weather the storm. Trust me, it’s worth it! Let us never think that a successful marriage is one that does not include adversity or trails. Test and trials come to make us stronger, but we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus and we truly can stand on the words that what God has joined together no man, or woman, can separate!
Let’s get a real conversation going in the comments! Let me know what you think is a major secret ingredient to a happy marriage? Do you think we waste too much time on the wedding and too little time on the marriage? I want to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell me what you think?