Another conversation I find happening in my office centers around the topic of marriage and it goes like this ... "Your marriage is headed for a train wreck.”
This happens all the time and for a myriad of reasons. My prayer is that the teenagers I spoke with last night will learn early not to settle for less than what God has for them as it relates to the issue of marriage. God has a fantastic plan in the covenant in marriage and I hope they won't short-circuit what He wants to do in them. As adults, I hope we won't either!
Here's the principle: be the person you want to marry. Or, if you're already married, be the person to whom you want to be married.
How would you summarize a marriage that will be successful? A marriage that will go the distance? I'd summarize it in this one word: Selflessness. I think our goal in marriage should be to ask this question every day ... "How can I accurately estimate and adequately supply my spouse's needs today?" (note that it's not his/her wants, it's needs). If I do that, life will be good! On the days I don't ... watch out, it's going to be difficult.
Here is how a selfless marriage is described in the book of Ephesians 5:21-28 from The Message paraphrase …
“Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.”