It was a beautiful and romantic evening as every Sunday evening had become. Jumoke and I spent Sunday evenings during our courtship sharing God’s Word before going into exchanging sweetings and affection. I had premeditated the need for Jummy and I to commit our future marriage to making the Word of God final authority. I asked her to stand on the Bible with me symbolically, which she did. We both vowed to God to build our future home in line with His Word and allow the Bible to be our guide and foundation.
Families, like houses have to be built on solid foundations. Marriage like buildings will be exposed to various storms, only a solid foundation can keep the building standing. The Lord Jesus said whoever hears him and does His teachings is like a person who built his house on the rock. When the storm blew, the house survived. Our marriage has lasted over 30 years and has survived our differences, conflicts, misdemeanours and even satanic onslaughts. The beauty of our mutual commitment to the Word of God is that where the Will of God is clearly revealed, it must be obeyed and followed. That has put paid to many of our differences and has avoided many other conflicts. It is disheartening that many Christians do not make reference to the Bible once married. The question is, what regulates their behaviour and determines right and wrong conduct?
At other times some conflicts are due to personal preferences. Where it is such, there will have to be a resort to negotiations. We can always look for WIN WIN situations. It is a matter of both parties laying out their interests and finding middle grounds. Stubbornly sticking to a personal opinion does not augur well for peace and bliss. In the spirit of give and take, both parties must apply the love of Christ to the situation in a readiness to make sacrifices in order to find mutual peace and comfort. This is where we see tremendous opportunities for growth into the likeness of Christ that is non existent at the same level as found in marriage under any other circumstances. Self focus is one of the banes of the fall of man. Self absorption is the effect of such selfishness and it will be tested in marriage.
Another typical challenge of marriage has to do with personality differences. Such matters are very difficult to change because they are related to genetic configuration, natural disposition, instinct and mental programming. The approaches to handling this are two. One is one of tolerance. All temperaments have strengths and weaknesses. In all relationships, marriage especially, we learn to live with the weaknesses of others. Unfortunately, these are not subject to easy changes. It takes the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to change weaknesses to strength. Truth be told, not all of these character traits will change at the end of the day. We are going to have to learn to live with certain areas of our partner’s characters that are uncomfortable for us. No wonder the fruit of the Spirit includes things like patience, long suffering, temperance and the like.
The process of the renewal of the mind with the Word of God holds tremendous possibilities for character transformation and subsequently relationship success. The quality of an omelette is dependent on the quality of the eggs from which it is made. So it is with marriage. The quality of the character of the husband and wife determines that of the marriage. It is quite charitable and considerate of a believing spouse to do their very best to focus on areas that are of concern to their spouses and with trust in the power of the Holy Spirit, effect changes for the better. This brings us back to where we started from. The Bible is God’s Will revealed. It is loaded with the power and the ability to renew our minds and transform us into the likeness of Christ. If we will learn to stand upon the Word of God, we will succeed in every area of life.