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Bijee (a.k.a “B”) is an outgoing and determined young woman trying to be the best her that she can be. Her greatest blessing is her friends and family, which consists of her husband and two children. She doesn’t take lightly to being a good wife, mother, daughter, and friend. The ultimate goal is to be a role model to her children and a good woman to her longtime best friend and husband. She strives to show her daughter what a good woman looks like and to model what her son should be looking for when the time comes. This attitude and approach is outlined and guided by Titus 2 and Proverbs 31. You can find her at The Reflections of a Good Woman where she blogs about Faith, Family, Friendship and balancing life.
I got an email today from a friend.
She was telling me of a close personal friend and their marriage coming to an end. It was a grieving type of notice, one that made your soul ache. As we continued on to talk, there were others that I was unaware of that had happened in recent times too.
Marriages – what were supposed to be “forever’s” coming to an end.
The whole conversation made me sad, but it also made me reflect on how so many people don’t understand the level of responsibility and commitment in taking on a spouse; men and women alike. Marriage being a biblical principal, there is only one way for me to approach this topic and my reflection of it. And that’s with reference to GOD and his intent for us in marriage.
Marriage is the highest esteemed interpersonal relationship that we may have. It is the example of Christ’s love here on earth. Ephesians 5:25 states: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her (NASB). In other words, be a visual of who I am to you in loving and caring for your spouse. Even though you will fall short in your flesh, let your thoughts, actions and intentions be used to glorify me, the most high.
As the devil is busy trying to destroy what GOD builds, what better playground than in the sanctity of marriage?
When many stand before GOD, the preacher/minister, and their family and friends and recite the words below, I am inclined to think that the bliss of all the beauty in that one day doesn’t allow one to internalize what all you are signing up for, the commitment you are making and the length of time you are committing yourself for.
We are born into a family, the only family that we will know for a great majority of our life. But then we will go on to establish our own. As the bible states, we are to leave and cleave to the mate that GOD has sent us.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined (cleave) to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 ESV).
This can be a problem for some; especially the daddy’s girl and momma’s boy types out there. it can be a hard concept to grasp that your parents are now next in line to the person you take to be your husband or wife, and that they will fall back again in rank if/when you decide to have children of your own.
Genesis 2:24 has three facets to it:
The relationship between a parent and a child is a transitional one and there will be a point where the child has to “leave”. Then there is the husband-wife relationship. And this is the everlasting one.
There can be problems when the relationships are intermingled, reversed, or not functioning as the bible states that they should. When a grown child has married and the parent-child relationship continues to be primary, the marriage is threatened.
This is the pursuing hard after someone else and being joined to someone. Cleaving designates closeness where there should be no closer relationship than between two spouses.
3. Becoming one flesh
Marriage takes two people and forms a new single entity. Within that union there should be emotional, physical, and financial sharing and oneness, along with every other aspect, that results in the formation of that “one flesh.”
But like with leaving, when there is greater sharing and emotional support gained from the parent-child relationship, the oneness within the marriage is threatened, resulting in an imbalance biblically.
As with the changes that come with your parents, there will be changes in the dynamics of your friendships after marriage.
Friends may feel like you have changed, left them, act different, or all of the above. Sometimes people that are still single, or even those in an unhappy marriage, may not understand the necessary changes in your life as you “become one”.
Additionally, some of the activities that you did as a single with friends will no longer be on the agenda when your relationship status changes. This causes the types of things that you do to spend time with your friends to change.
It is not uncommon that some people lose friends after marriage, because they can’t get with the new program and direction of your life. Not all people are meant to be in your life beyond their designated season; how you handle it can make or break your marriage.
Life around us would lead us to believe that everyone except for us is living the best life ever.
Television, Social Media and all things in between are showing the most unflawed versions of the things around us. Focusing on those depictions can lead one to think that their life is not as good as it should be, or that God has forgotten about them and is choosing to not bless them in the same manner.
In these instances is when it is most appropriate to remember that you should believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
No one, or at least most people, are not hanging out their dirty laundry on the social media statuses, pictures and so on that you are following and television is not set up to give you reality, it gives you what it wants you to believe what reality is.
When life gets to us and leads us to believe we are not living our best life and in our best marriage we must be reminded of Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Changing Financial Status
One thing is for certain and two things are for sure, there will be change in your marriage, and at some point it will almost certainly involve finances.
Whether it is that someone loses a job or someone gets a new job that now changes the shift in the earning scale, change will happen.
We have heard the saying that “money is the root of all evil”; and in marriage money can have roots as well, and when a change presents itself is when you get to see just how deep they are and shallow your faith may be.
In times of job loss, there can be feelings of hopelessness, and if it happens to the male spouse it can really cause one to doubt himself and his ability to uphold his place in his family. But the bible says that, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 ESV).
In times such as financial hardship is where communication and working together are more than essential. Relying on each other and praying to God to provide for the needs of you and your family according to his will. In this understand that God’s desires for you are not like your own. Trust that his plans are greater than your own.
In addition, when a woman potentially makes more money than her spouse she may feel that she has a greater role than as stated by biblical order. Even when the woman is the sole or greater bread winner the man is still the head of the household. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:13 ESV)
Don’t let money be the area that the devil is allowed to play. Remember you said for “richer or poorer”.
In our times of greatest stress and struggle is where the devil can have his way or God can be glorified exponentially; times such as individual stress, illness or the death of a loved one.
Times such as these are where the devil can allow us to feel that “no one understands us”, “we are alone”, “and these problems are my own”.
These types of thoughts can be reflected in our actions by beginning to alienate ourselves, not sharing our thoughts or feelings for fear of being a burden or misunderstood and even doing things that are against what you know to be right.
Additionally as a spouse to someone going through any of these things, this is when that “better or worse” kicks in; that “good or bad” is tested; and that “death do us part” can come more sooner than expected.
[Tweet “…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. (Psalms 50:15)”]
This is not an all-inclusive list, I am sure there are some things that you can attest to personally that have tested you in marriage, but these are some of the main things that many if not all marriages will have to endure.
My husband and I told each other before we even got engaged that if we were to ever get married, divorce was not an option, and I believe that we both meant it. The true demonstration of love is working through the tough stuff and allowing GOD to come out victorious. THAT is what agape love is all about my friends.
I say that to say that you should be mindful and aware of the things that will try to bring you apart and continually work that much harder at building your union and continually feeding and nurturing it so that it may grow and be strengthened for God’s glory.
Moment of Reflection:
What are some things that are not on this list that can have an effect on your marriage?
Do you think that people looking at these types of things proactively could minimize the option of divorce in their marriages?