REALITY CHECK – A LOOK AT MARRIAGE MYTHS
Marriage is a beautiful thing that God created for men and women to enjoy. There is lots of ignorance surrounding our understanding of marriage, hence my decision to do a few posts on the topic.
I recently had a chat with a good friend who has been married a bit longer than I have, and she gave me this list of marriage myths. Before we jump into them, though, let’s look at one foundational verse on marriage from the Bible.
Ephesians 5:31 “As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.'” (NLT)
The two are united into one – what a mystery!
Myth no.1 – The Honeymoon lasts forever
That lovey-dovey feeling that you have on the wedding day and shortly after does last, yes, but only for a while. Once you discover your spouse’s real self, the conflicts begin. Remember, you come from different families, backgrounds and have varying levels of education. It will, therefore, take time for you to bond and become one.
So what will keep you together when the love isn’t flowing as it used to?
Ephesians 5:25 “For husbands, this means you love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave his life for her…” (NLT)
Men, keep loving your wives just as Christ has commanded you to.
Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting to those who belong to the Lord.” (NLT)
Ladies, please don’t try to control your spouse. Submit to him out of love. Just a little tip – your husband is more likely to give in to your desires when you let him take charge.
Myth No. 2 – You can change your spouse
The only person who can change your mate is the creator, God. There are things you will discover about each other only after you are married and living together. Don’t try and fix someone who doesn’t see the need to be fixed. Talk to God, and let him do the fixing. Note that in the process of changing your spouse, God will change you as well!
Myth No. 3 – The woman’s life ends once she gets married
Truthfully speaking, the woman gives up a lot to make a marriage work. She’s the one who has the babies, makes career changes so that she has time with the children, organizes the home, and does so much more. Now here’s the thing – the woman’s life does not have to stop. A supportive husband should encourage his wife to follow her dreams, build her career and spend time with her close friends. Women should not lose themselves in marriage; rather the marriage should inspire them to grow.
Myth No. 4 – “Me Time” is no longer necessary
This myth is an interesting one. Before you got married, you took time alone to pray, recharge and reflect. Why, then, do you feel like you don’t need ‘me time’ when you are married. Do you imagine that every waking moment should be spent with your spouse?
Give each other some space! Understand each other’s desire for personal time and space occasionally. Giving your spouse the opportunity to spend time alone works to the advantage of the relationship.
Myth No. 5 – Marriages never change
People change as they age. It, therefore, follows that marriage relationships should also change with time. Priorities change when the children come, as spouses change jobs, and when issues with the extended family come up. Don’t keep looking back to how your marriage was at the beginning, instead embrace the changes in your relationship positively. Your marriage will go through various stages of growth, as well as different seasons. Take each season as an opportunity for your relationship to grow.
Myth No. 6 – It’s very easy to call it quits
Is it that easy to walk out of a relationship that you have invested in? Ask any individual who is going through a separation or divorce, and he or she will tell you it’s a painful process. Rather than call it quits, fight for your marriage. Seek God’s wisdom on how to make you a better husband or wife. Keep the communication lines open. Most importantly, don’t keep a scorecard of your spouse’s wrongs. Let peace, love, and forgiveness rule your marriage. When all else fails, go for counseling. It’s easier to stay and fight than to walk away and regret not having tried all you could to preserve your union.
Myth No. 7 – There is equality in marriage.
I have bad news for you – there is no equality in marriage. Someone has to lead, and that someone is the man. This hierarchy is according to God’s plan, as marriage is a mirror of Christ’s relationship with the church. Should women feel inferior in a marriage? No, they shouldn’t! Although the man is the head of the home, he must honor his wife. She is his partner in life’s journey, and without her, the home cannot hold together. Husbands must respect their wives. If they don’t, God will not answer their prayers.
1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (NIV)
Let’s conclude this list of marriage myths with a verse that holds true for many successful marriages.
Proverbs 18:22 “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.” (NLT)
If you’re not married, now you are armed with the right information about marriage. If you are already married, kick out the myths that are in the process of destroying your relationship.
All the best in the week ahead!
Missed last week’s reflection? Here it is – Why isn’t my marriage working?
Are you interested in a different topic? Check this out – Are we condemned to bad leadership?