One of the biggest assumptions couples make about marriage is that becoming one happens at the time of the wedding ceremony. Looking at it from the eyes of the law and even in God’s eyes, you can say this concept is true; but in reality, you are two very different people trying to get the hang of the concept of being one. This is why many times, the early years can be a bit of a shock because there is so much to learn, unlearn and relearn. This applies in areas like intimacy, communication, temperament, habits; everything!
In the very early years of my marriage, I had to face up to a hard truth: We weren’t enjoying ourselves and if we continued the way we were going, there was no guarantee our union would make it. With my engineering background, I figured that our foundation was shaky, and we needed reinforcement if we would be together forever. So, we humbled ourselves and went back to the Bible to discover the ABCs of marriage. We learnt that marriage isn’t meant primarily to make you happy, but holy. It prunes you and scrapes away uncleanliness. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a blast in your marriage. The good news is that holiness makes you whole.
This means that the climate of a good marriage actually challenges you to become a better version of yourself. As a result, there will be a lot of growing up to do, because there are things your spouse would not tolerate from you and vice versa The struggle between pleasing yourself or your spouse won’t always make you happy, but valuable lessons that make for an awesome marriage.
You will have to learn to be more tolerant, generous, responsible, considerate, and selfless. These qualities don’t come naturally. The process of being a better person is not always a pleasant one, so it will not all be fun and games. Don’t be laidback about the structural integrity of anything you want to last; a bad foundation is a bad foundation. Check your foundation and ensure you are building on a strong one.
Here are some of the integral components of a good marital foundation.
A good spiritual foundation
Keep God at the core of your marriage. A threefold cord is not easily broken. Many times, there are good things you would do for your spouse, not because he or she deserves it, but because of God.
A common vision about money
What standard of living do you hope to attain? What’s your earning capacity? What are your visions for the future? Do you have unified goals? How do you plan to grow wealth? What plans do you have to secure the future? Do you have investments? You need to be able to sit with your spouse and be open, honest, and united about your finances. Two can’t walk together except they agree. Financial secrecy and divided visions will result in a weak marriage.
Intimacy is a crucial part of marriage. If you’re married, your bodies belong to each other. As a man, your wife’s body is yours, and vice versa. Nobody should deprive the other of intimacy. For your spouse’s sake, take care of your body so your mate will always find pleasure in you. If your intimate moments have become routine or infrequent, have an honest conversation about how to fix it. Ensure you pray about it. God is the author of intimacy and He wants you to enjoy intimacy, not endure it.
Your spouse ought to be your friend. This seems like such an obvious point, but many people miss building real friendship in marriage. Friendship actually works like the cement that holds your entire foundation and building intact. Commit to strengthening your friendship with your spouse.
Think about this:
Based on what you have learnt, how would you improve the current climate of your marriage? What could you do to please your spouse more, not just yourself?
- Jot down whatever came to mind that you could work on in your marriage.
- Make a deliberate plan to address the issues. Decide to deal with them one after the other. Do not procrastinate.
Remember, reinforce your marital foundation.