When I Said I Do
When two people get engaged, so much time can go into planning a wedding. You have to book a venue, a photographer, DJ, event planner, and the list can go on. Often times this planning can take months and sometimes over a year. With all that goes into planning for one day, how often do we consider exactly what is meant “when I said I do”?
Marriage is more than a fairy tale wedding, it’s work.
In the vows, we promise to love for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health until death. All of this sounds easy repeating and you may actually believe every word when you say it. However, when the worse, poorer and sickness actually show up, are you prepared to dig your heels in together and form a united front against whatever is attacking you?
The beautiful thing about marriage is having someone on the same accord to do life with. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you don’t have to face the ebbs and flows of life alone. You have a life partner that knowing signed up to be there in the good and bad times.
Yes, the wedding planning is thrilling and the thought of having a spouse and starting a family can be very exciting. However in all your planning, if you want a successful and godly marriage, you must focus on more than the day. Put more focus on your life.
When I said I do, what did I say I do to?
Being married opens up a vulnerability that is hard to hide. All that is in you before you got married, is still in you after you get married. Now you have to deal with the issues your spouse refuses to face?
During the dating or courting stages, everyone is putting their best foot forward. Even though you may know about some of the issues your partner has prior to marriage, it’s a different ball game when you have to live with those suppressed issues every day.
In a marriage, you are supposed to trust your spouse with your most intimate details. There should be nothing you feel you have to hide. Now that you are one, there is only a matter of time before anything that is hidden comes to light and when it does, are you prepared to handle the ugly truth?
Once you get married, you can no longer do as you please. I know some of you probably just cut your eyes at me. But it is true. Order must now be set within your household and God should be sitting at the very top. Both you and your spouse are subject to follow the plans God has already laid out for your marriage.
Now that may not necessarily look like your neighbor’s or friend’s marriage, so don’t even try to compare. God has specific plans for your marriage and you both must surrender to it in order to have a godly marriage.
In a previous post, Know Your Place, I laid out the order God has placed on all marriages. That involves God being over all, the husband submitting to God and the wife submitting to the husband. If you have no problem submitting to your boss or the company’s board members on your job, submitting to the one you entered into a covenant with under God, definitely shouldn’t be an issue.
We’ve all heard the phrase, there is no “I” in team. Well, the same proves true in marriage. You are now one, therefore this is how you approach everything. That is another beautiful thing about being married. You have a fighting partner that will get in the trenches with you. Whereas in your singleness, physically it was only you that had to handle it all. Now you have support for a lifetime.
You read that right. Prepare to die when you say I do. I’m not referring to a physical death but the death of your flesh. You are no longer a separate person, therefore you should not function as if you are. Yes, you are still an individual with your own personality and desires, but you no longer operate alone.
This is a major key to having a successful marriage.
So majority of the things you use to do as a single no longer exist. You now have a spouse in which you have to confer with before making decisions. No more are the days of making plans without your mate’s input. Trust me, I know some marriages operate in this way but their level of love, respect and honor may not be what you want for your marriage.
It’s not about you.
We are to put our spouse’s wants above our own. This is not a one-way street. Both the husband and wife must do whatever it takes to fill up their spouse’s love tank. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman go over five different “languages” in which each person interprets how they receive love. Too often married couples are so focused on doing for their spouse what makes them feel loved instead of doing what makes their spouse feel loved. This is part of the process of dying to your self. If the husband’s priority is his wife and the wife’s priority is her husband, it sounds like that is the recipe to a happy marriage.
Though there are several other factors that come along with marriage, these are just a few key components to having a happy and godly marriage. So if you are getting ready to say I do, understand just what you are agreeing to and prepare accordingly. For those who are already married, it’s never too late to do some maintenance work. Just know that each day is a new day in which you get to choose to say I do.
In Relentless Pursuit,
“And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.’” – Matthew 19:5-6 NLT