My parents had a great marriage, I call it great because I saw peace, love and laughter. Their marriage was very stable and I often think about it now and wonder how they did it, they were not even believers until after I had gotten married; my dad passed, and my mom got saved after I got married. How did they pull off this marriage that I call great when they did not have the saving knowledge of Christ? They were diligent in their Church, they read the bible and prayed but as far as I know, as long as they were married, they were not followers of Christ in the true sense of it, they were only trying to live good without a relationship with The One who is Goodness personified.
So how come their marriage was so great that their children all wondered? I believe that they worked very hard at following some principles that believers ought to follow, I believe they did their best to make the right choices. Here are some things I am convinced made their marriage a great one.
Lessons I Learnt From My Parents’ Marriage
1. They Made Up Their Minds To Stay Married
This may be owing largely to the time they grew up in. All through my growing-up days, I never heard divorce mentioned in my home, not even in normal every day discussions. They lived in a time when divorce was hardly mentioned or thought about, when marriage was considered a life-long commitment and alternatives were almost non-existent.
A time when husbands and wives worked hard at making their marriages work and did not leave their marriage to chance. A time when couples had an understanding of the importance of their marriage, their vows and their families.
But Daniel was determined… Daniel 1:8 NLT
2. They Treated Each Other With Respect
The respect I saw my mom accord my dad is still a marvel to me. She treated him like he was royalty, like he was king. I cannot recall a time when she spoke to him in harsh tones or with harsh words. Same thing with my dad, he was always gentle with my mom and never raised his voice or finger on her, and he would not tolerate it if me, my siblings or any other person disrespected his wife. My sisters and I always joked about as we wondered and asked ourselves if my parents ever had misunderstandings and/or arguments.
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 NASB
My parents had respect for each other, be it privately or publicly.
3. They Settled Their Differences Immediately
I do not think that my parents never had misunderstandings, arguments or ‘hot’ conversations, what I do believe happened was, they always did it in the quiet of their rooms and had it resolved before they came out to us.
They did a great job of settling their differences fast enough to make it impossible for us to feel, or notice any tension in their relationship and in our home.
Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, Ephesians 4:26 NKJV
4. They Treasured Each Other’s Company
My mom was a school teacher until she retired few years ago, my dad before he fell ill and passed away was a government worker. My mom usually got home from work about two to three hours earlier than my dad, she would give us all our meals but wait for my dad to get back home before she ate, they always ate their meals together. I know the kind of jobs they had gave them this opportunity, but it was great for them to maximize the opportunity.
They always spent time together, if it was not work, my dad always took my mom every where he went. Whenever they were not together, you could tell by how the one would sit outside waiting for the other that they were longing to be with each other. They loved each other and showed it.
I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me. Songs Of Solomon 7:10 NKJV
5. They Pursued Great Communication In Their Relationship
My parents always had something to talk about. They talked about everything, sometimes we did not understand why they talked about some of the things they did, but now I know it is because they just enjoyed talking with each other.
They shared a lot of stories and laughter with each other, they communicated with each other in ways that made them feel comfortable with each other and helped mutual understanding between them.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11 NKJV
The respect they had for each other made communication very easy for them. They communicated in ways that made it easy for them to understand even when they didn’t quite agree with each other’s opinion.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; James 1:19 NKJV
I also noticed that one of them usually bent over for the other in their relationship, I think this enhanced their communication too.
6. They Saw Marriage As Sacred
They saw their marriage as sacred even though they were not saved. They took seriously the vows they made on their wedding day and they recognized that they made their vows before God. They knew marriage was holy unto God and treated their marriage as so.
This helped them to stay away from people or things that could cause division and cracks in their marriage. This helped them to stay loyal to each other and keep their marriage bed undefiled.
They knew their marriage was a covenant and did all they could not to break their covenant with each other and with God. They knew God had joined them together.
Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Mark 10:9 NKJV
Great morals can help but it is not enough.
The reason we see some unsaved couples enjoy marriage that can be classified as working and great is because they have made some or even more of the good decisions my parents made in their marriage.
The truth however remains, that a marriage not founded on Christ and His salvation work, no matter how high the couple’s moral standard is has no eternal relevance. And we do know that every thing God created is made to count in eternity and any marriage that will count in eternity is one that founded in Christ, one that runs based on the saving knowledge of Christ, the leading of God’s Spirit, and the directions from His word.
Anything done without faith in Christ (believing and confessing Him as Lord and Saviour, seeking and following Him in every area of life) will not matter in eternity. Even our marriages must be run in true faith in God for it to really be pleasing to God and matter in His kingdom.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)… Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
Having said this, I have learnt some great things from my parents’ marriage even before I read of them in God’s word. These principles my parents worked in their marriage has also helped in mine. We see our marriage as a covenant between each other and God.
- My husband runs a very wonderful schedule but I try to make us sit together at meals.
- We have made up our minds that we are married for life, separation and/or divorce are not options.
- We are determined to make our marriage work.
- We like being with each other.
- We are working hard at settling our differences immediately.
- We are working hard at treating each other with respect and communicating better.
- The greatest thing is, we are saved and we are working hard at pleasing God, not just making our marriage great. We have eternal life in us and are sharing that life with our children.
Our marriage has a mission to spread the love of Christ and point the world to Him.
Did any of my parents’ marriage decisions resonate with you?
Are there any of your parents’ you would love to share?
Is there anything you would love to do differently from your parents?
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2017