Marriage Foundation

Marriage is one of the most important relationships that you will ever engage in, but it is also one of the hardest relationships to maintain. The key to a long-lasting and healthy marriage is to have a strong foundation. It is important to incorporate God into your marriage so that your marriage is able to grow and endure challenges. It is also important because God is the only one that truly knows how to make a marriage survive and grow. Only God knows the true meaning of marriage, and that meaning is free of selfish needs.

What is the foundation of your marriage? I have observed many marriages that are based upon lust, convenience, desperation, love, and loneliness. The problem with using one of the aforementioned as a basis for marriage is that each will lead to shaky ground and will not endure the test of time. When God is incorporated into marriage then we have a source for problem solving, learning how to love, how to over come challenges, and how to heal with the support of our spouse. Quite often in my professional teaching role I have asked couples why did they decide to get married, but I inform them that they cannot give the answer that they are in love. More often than not the couples have great difficult identifying why they want to get married. I think that if we do not know why we are getting married than we are starting on shaky foundation. If we marry because we simply do not want to be alone or think that no one else will want to marry us, we are starting on shaky ground.

So what is the foundation of your marriage? In what ways can you use the marital relationship to do God’s will?

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Marriage With Benefits…….

I really dislike the term “friends with benefits” I am very surprised that women have lowered their standards so low that they are willing to accept this title, which by the way simply means booty call. This means that a woman is not worthy of a commitment, she is only worthy of casual sex and only thought of when sexual needs arise. Women continue to be under the illusion that this is a good scenario and that somehow they are in control of the situation and gaining all that they want from this so-called “friends with benefits” but what about “Marriage with benefits? In our society we seem to forget that there are a lot of benefits to marriage. Besides the obvious reason of having companionship and some one to build a family with, marriage is very essential to individual adult development.

Many of us experience the development that occurs during adolescents and then again during the college years. Think back to your personality when you were a sophomore in college compared to now as a fully grown adult  with responsibilities. I know for instance that I have changed my views on many issues, my personality has changed related to my spiritual connection with God, I also changed when I became Mrs. Dixon. I had always knew that I changed but it wasn’t until I began to observe those around me who were married and those who were not married that I realized how much my marriage had contributed to my adult development. Marriage is a unique bond that brings about positive change, provided that you marry the right person. Just as when one has children and change for the better, marriage should also bring about a positive change. So, exactly how does marriage change us? Here are just some of the ways in which marriage can change us.

If you are married and have not changed for the better, then you may not be in the best relationship. Marriage with benefits allows us to mature, this type of maturity cannot occur in casual sexual encounters. The mentality of “friends with benefits” may actually stunt adult development because that type of relationship is rooted deep in selfishness and sin.

Some common benefits of marriage:

1. In marriage we learn how to argue in a mature manner, we learn how to consider the opinions of others.
2. We learn how to humble ourselves (when needed) for the greater good.
3. For those of us who are rebellious, we learn how to accept criticism and correction that is made out of love.
4. We learn relationship boundaries, how to keep others out of our marriage and how to stay out of other people’s marriages.
5. We learn how to work as a team to solve problems.
6. We learn how to respect the opinions of someone else.
7. We learn how to accept someone telling us when we are wrong, and listen to sound reasoning.
8. We learn how to solve financial problems.
9. We learn our shortcomings, rooted in childhood, our shortcomings are exposed and we can correct them in a safe environment.
10. We learn how to consider someone’s else’s feelings before our own.

11. We learn how to regulate our emotions, and how to identify emotional issues.

12. We learn how to connect and build a healthy relationship, outside of pure sex.

13. We learn the importance of being cooperative.

Uniquely You

Before you were Mr. such and such half of a great couple, or before you were Mrs. such and such the other half of a great couple, you were uniquely you. When you were uniquely you, you were able to navigate through life independently making your own decisions (some good, some bad) but they were yours. Before you were married, you had friends, activities, hobbies, career aspirations etc. Before you were married you cared about how you dressed and the condition of your body. Well, marriage doesn’t change or shouldn’t change any of that. Yes, you may not be able to remain friends with some people because their values may not prove to be respectful of a newly married individual. This is understandable that some things will change because you have a new relationship to nurture and grow. It is important to remember that the better you are at taking care of yourself the better spouse and parent you will become.

One of the most unattractive characteristics of an individual is when they have completely lost their identify because they have become engrossed in their new relationship. This is detrimental because it will cause a severing of past relationships that may have taken a life time to build. It will also cause you to not make yourself a priority. When you are a priority then you have a full complete life with your spouse, friends, and activities. Do not fall victim to losing all the qualities that attracted your mate to you. For instance, if you were a critical thinker and independent, do not become so dependent that you cannot not make simple decisions for yourself (this is very unattractive). If you were full of life and energy, do not become a couch potato who has gained weight and lacks energy to the point where you cannot even complete basic household chores. If you were creative and cheerful, nurture that spark so that your mate continues to adore and love your vitality. In other words continue to be uniquely you, all the things that attracted your mate and others to you; remain full of life, cheer, joy, creativity, and intellect.

Marrying A Whole Person

Do you consider yourself a whole person that is ready for marriage? Your future spouse deserves to marry a whole person. You may wonder what does a whole person look like. Well, a whole person is one who has taken the time to develop fully as an adult, a person who has taken his or her personal inventory and has made the decision to heal from past hurts and leave all past baggage behind. A whole person has created healthy boundaries with their families (specifically their parents) so that they are prepared to enter an adult relationship without interference from friends and family. A whole person has experienced living self-sufficiently and understands the importance of financial responsibility, and having time alone to mature and experience life as an adult.

You may not be a “WHOLE PERSON” IF:

  1. You consult your parents first when you have personal problems
  2. You allow your parents to financially support you
  3. You allow your parents to manipulate you
  4. You do not express your thoughts and feelings toward others
  5. You put your family before your partner
  6. You live at home because you are afraid to explore the world as an adult
  7. You continue to reside in selfishness, thinking only of self
  8. You do not know how to problem solve
  9. You cannot think critically
  10. You haven’t not experienced and handled life’s challenges successfully

I’m engaged, but changed my mind!

Before marriage some doubts may be normal, because you are making a decision that will affect the rest of your life. However, how do you differentiate between normal and true doubts. How long should you allow doubts to persist before you take the feelings seriously?

Well, it depends on what the doubts are concerning, if you are having doubts about whether you want to be married or the character of your soon to be spouse, then you might want to take the time to explore those issues. If you are doubting the choice of cake or the brides maids dresses then you don’t have much to worry about. If you are wondering why you mate choose you, because you feel blessed to have your spouse to be, but wonder if you are good enough, this may also be normal, but in small doses. Don’t spend too much time wondering or it will become an issue.

If you are having doubts about being a good spouse, or how you will perform sexually on your wedding night, then just know these are normal doubts. This is a happy time that will bring about some nervous energy, after all, hopefully this will be your one and only marriage, and you will undoubtedly wonder if you are making the right decision.

Some doubts are normal!

Wife Material

What does it take to become an awesome wife? Are you wife material? How would you know if you were wife material? There was a time when women were value laden, feminine, and walked with respect and confidence. Sometimes this is not so in today’s society. There was a time when a wife was the lady that you married, lived with, had sex with, and built a life together. There was a time when being a wife was reserved for respectable women. In today’s world of free sex, children out of wedlock, shacking up etc. marriage does not always create a place of sanctity. So, who is wife material?

A woman is wife material if:

1. She refuses to shack up

2. She refuses to have sex or children out of wedlock

3. She desires to have a family and keep a home

4. She is mature and intelligent/educated

5. She understands the role of a wife

6. She has standards

7. She has values that are aligned with God

8. She respects marriage

9. She exudes class (appropriate dress, proper speech, respects her body, is not flirtatious etc)

10. She is not desperate

11. She is nurturing and caring

12. She understands a husbands role

Finally, if she has fallen short of any of the above, she learns from her mistakes. For example, she may have had one baby out of wedlock, but does not continue that behavior, she repents and turns her behavior around. Remember, no one is perfect, even I have made many of the mistakes above, but with the help of God I have turned things around, I am now proud to be wife material.

Arranged Marriage

There was a time when marriages were arranged (still happens in some places) for various reasons. But finding a mate is difficult and an important task. If a marriage was going to be arranged, who should be in charge of creating the arrangement? Should parents, friends, or a professional match maker be responsible for finding our mate? Well, ideally, we should have a spiritual connection with God, and he would be in charge of sending us a loving, kind, and God-fearing mate. 

What happens when we choose our mate without God’s help or blessing? How many times have we chosen the wrong mate, because we were so impatient and or desperate that we could not wait for God. Maybe we were lonely and envious because those around us seem to find mates but we could not. If you choose your mate without consulting God what system are you using to choose? Do you have a plan in place to make sure that you are choosing a quality mate, or do you say yes to whoever comes by with an offer?