Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of performing several wedding ceremonies. Some of the couples, I have known while most of them I have not known. Each one has been special in some way or another. Primarily I have been a part of weddings at Garrison Gardens, which is owned by my good friends, Chuck & Karen Guilbert. I really appreciate them allowing me to be a part of the weddings that need an officiant.
In each wedding, so much time and effort goes into the planning of that special day. Buying the dress, planning for the reception, getting the caterer, the flowers, the photographer, and the list can go on and on and on… When my daughter got married, we were told that we did not have enough time to buy a dress by one of the dress shops. I was appalled that they would not take my money just because we were not buying the dress 9 months to a year before the actual date. The days leading up to the wedding usually are filled with stress and chaos, but also fun and joy. The anticipation of the big event is enough to drive the sanest person a little crazy along the way. Also, no matter how much you plan there are things that can happen that you cannot control…like at my son’s wedding when it rained what seemed like buckets of water for several hours leading up to the big event. We had to move inside because of how much rain fell that day. Even though we were not able to have the event outside as planned, my son and daughter-in-law are still married. You see, the event is nice and pretty. It can be exciting and fun. It should be reverent and meaningful. But it is an event.
I was talking to a couple leading up to their big event not too long ago. She was saying how she wanted the ceremony to go right since there had been previous marriages in their backgrounds. She actually stated that the track record of the previous ceremonies was not good. (She was referring to the previous divorces.) I told her that the ceremony would go very well. It is not the wedding ceremony that makes the marriage but rather the effort in the relationship. Here are four areas of your relationship that will help insure the marriage will last.
- Being Trustworthy. Marriages have to be built on trust. When the trust is broken, the relationship is very difficult to mend. Are you honest in all areas of your life? Do you have any secret compartments? Are you willing to allow your spouse into the deepest regions of your soul? These questions help you understand the importance of being trustworthy. Remember Trust is earned. Your spouse is not going to just trust you. You have to maintain the trust you have earned and continue to work on earning more.
- Being Friends. Friendship is very important to the marriage relationship. As friends, you continue to desire to spend time together and have fun together. Do you think about what you can do together? Do you have your spouse’s interests in mind when you make plans? Do you only want to go the the places that you like and do only what you want to do? These questions will help you grow your friendship.
- Being Lovers. I think that most couples when they get married think that this area of their marriage will never wane. I have read and heard about this challenge that has been given to couples for years. Put a marble in a jar every time you have sex the first year of your marriage. Then take a marble out every time after your first anniversary. It normally takes 2 to 3 years to empty the jar. When I tell couples that in pre-marital counseling, they are shocked. This area of your marriage has to be worked on and not taken for granted. Do you plan time to be sexual? Do you take your sexual relationship for granted? Are you always too tired? Do you consider your spouse’s needs? Are you always just wanting to be spontaneous? Take time to plan time for your sexual lives. Make a date.
- Being Teammates. The Bible says that “two shall become one.” This does not mean that either spouse loses his/her identity, but rather the relationship is built on the unity of the two. Both partners should be better because of the marriage than apart from each other. Is that true for you? Do you feel like you are at odds with one another? Are you going in the same direction? Do you feel your mate is your enemy or your teammate? Realize that your spouse is not your enemy, but rather Satan is the enemy of marriage as well as God and you. He wants to separate you so that he can win a battle. He’s already lost the war; he’s just trying to get as many casualties as possible.
The wedding is a very special event in your relationship. Yes, a great deal of planning, spending, fretting, and working go into the big day. It is the work that goes into all the days that follow it that are even more important. That work is always rewarding.
Bradley D. Watson, BCBT Directed Path Ministries
After spending more than 25 years on church staffs, God has allowed me to take the experiences and knowledge that I gained to develop a Biblical Counseling ministry. The basis of this ministry is to allow God’s Word to shine on the main issues in peoples’ lives in order to bring His resolutions to problems.