I am no expert, nor do I have all of the answers, but I have been happily married for over 24 years, even though I married at age 19. A miracle? Perhaps, but I also like to think that part of our successful marriage is because of the foundation upon which it is built.
It seems that many people start out marriage for the wrong reason, just because their friends are getting married, they want to start a family, they are insecure alone, etc., and those unions are almost always doomed to fail. When considering choosing a marriage partner, can you answer "yes" to these questions?
1. Do you have mutual respect for each other? If you or the one you love tends to dominate and control the relationship, that is not mutual respect, and it will breed resentment over time.
2. Are you will to sacrifice for this person? Once you are married, I have found that you truly do "become one," and the more you are able to think in terms of you and your spouse being one unit, looking out for the interests and well-being of yourselves as one unit, the healthier the marriage. If you are determined to have things your way, you probably should not be getting married at all.
3. Is there more than physical attraction that keeps you together? If you do not find the other person interesting, enjoyable to talk to or listen to and hate every hobby he or she has, you are setting yourself up for a long and miserable existence if you plan to stay married.
4. No matter who else may come along, would you still choose your current boyfriend or girlfriend? If your all time favorite celebrity crush came around, would you abandon your current relationship? Once you have found "the one," the answer will be a resounding "no." You will not want to do anything to hurt the one you are truly planning to spend the rest of your life with, and you won't be able to imagine life with anyone else, either.
My marriage has another secret weapon, too, and that is common faith. The Bible says this:
"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:10).
I have found it to be true, that the Lord Jesus Christ has to be foundational in a marriage. If we follow his teachings, "doing unto others as we would have them do unto us," we will treat each other well, be faithful and find our joy, not in our circumstances, but in right relationship with God.
Marriage is a wonderful gift from God when it is entered into seriously and with devotion. Choose wisely and for life.I have also submitted this article, with images, to Triond, which has published it here: