DATING AND MARRIAGE WISDOMFebruary 5, 2024
Marriage isn't always easy. I've been married for 28 years and I still feel like I'm trying to figure out how to be a good husband. A marriage isn't just saying "I Do". That's a wedding. That's an event. A marriage is a commitment of two people through the good and bad. As time goes on in our marriage, our relationships can shift in these different stages. Kids add a whole new stage to our marriages. As we grow and mature, our relationship can shift. Career advancement or things like health issues can change the dynamics of relationships. We need to continue to invest in our marriages through all these stages. Sometimes we see another couple and they seem to be the perfect fit, but what we don't see is all the work they do to make the relationship great. So how do we invest in our relationships?
The book of Proverbs is full of insight to help us make wise choices in many areas of our life including our marriages. It talks about how our character is critical to our relationships, we need to pay attention to our purity, it's important to seek forgiveness and cover an offense and it's wise to build each other up:
But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Proverbs 6:32
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
Character is critical (Proverbs 18:2, 31:10, 31:30, 19:2). If you are dating, there has to be more than flirting and charm. Beauty will fade. Desire can lead us to poor choices. Finding someone with character might feel like a treasure hunt, be it's so important. We look to God to shape our lives which shapes our character and that guides our choices. Character is critical.
It's important to pay attention to our purity (Proverbs 5 & 6). No one wakes up one morning and decides to have an affair. It's a series of small choices in the wrong direction. In Proverbs, we see a father warning his sons to stay far away from the path, to keep lust out of their hearts, and to not be captivated by their eyes. If they don't, it's like playing with fire. Purity isn't just about our actions; it's about our hearts, minds, and eyes.
If you're like me, there's going to be times you mess up, say things you don't mean, or respond in unproductive ways. Proverbs talk about covering the offense (Proverbs 17:9). It's not just saying sorry, it's about making it right. Don't let anger fester because it will pull the relationship apart and create distance. Be quick to say I'm sorry and to offer forgiveness. Let's assume the best in our partners and seek love and forgiveness.
Another thing we see in Proverbs is about building up our partner (Proverbs 14:1. 21:9, 21:19). It's foolish to tear each other down, to be nagging, angry or argumentative. Let's be our partner's biggest cheerleader and build them up. Some people say marriage is 50/50, but it really should be 100/100. If two people are humbly giving of themselves and putting their partner's needs first, then a relationship with thrive.
Let's keep taking these steps to restart, renew, build up, and strengthen our relationships. For more insight, check out our Weak or Wise series. For a relationship kick-start, check out the 10-Day Marriage Challenge.