What I don't understand about marriage

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010

Lest the month of brides and bridegrooms escape without any attention being given in this column to its specialty, I've decided to share my thoughts about the closest of all human relationships: marriage.

Why not?

I love weddings and have officiated at many of them.

Love and marriage are part of God's plan; the first wedding having taken place soon after creation. Marriage celebrates the miracle of a man and woman becoming one (Genesis 2:24).

On July 15th, Pauline and I look forward to celebrating fifty seven years together. The only marriage event I can imagine being better than this upcoming one is to eventually have those anniversary numbers reversed to seventy-five.

The facts show that I know something about weddings and what follows. But I confess there are some things about marriage I don't understand.

I don't understand why two sweethearts choose to have a minister officiate at their church wedding but then neglect these valuable marriage building resources after their vows have been pledged, the bride has been kissed and the guests have gone home.

Making a marriage last requires a lot of positive ingredients: good friends, wise instruction, warm fellowship, solid support and a circle of praying people to stand with us when the stresses of life threaten even strong relationships.

Where are all these marriage builders found?

Try looking inside the door of your church.

I don't understand why two people who have promised to love one another become more concerned about their own happiness than that of their wife or husband.

"You changed our marriage with one statement," said a woman, surprising me.

"What did I say that caused this change?" I asked.

"You said some might be asking if they're getting everything out of their marriage they deserve, when that isn't the right question," she replied, adding that I had explained the right question to be, "Is my wife or husband getting everything out of this marriage he or she deserves."

I don't understand why this appreciative woman and her husband needed my simple explanation. Giving rather than getting is what love is all about.

I don't understand why so many married couples neglect the greatest marriage manual ever written. Name your marriage question and you'll find the answer in the Bible.

My friend, a seminary student, had decided to drop out of school. He and his new bride just couldn't seem to make their marriage work. Divorce seemed to be the only way out of their misery; then they decided to consult one of his professors to see if he could help them.

The wise professor gave them an assignment: they were to read the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians (the love chapter) every day for a month. And at the end of their "save their marriage" month, my friend and his wife had discovered what love means and how it looks in life. The professor's assignment worked, enabling them to have a great life together and help others do the same. If you decide to turn your marriage miseries over to God, asking for help and restoration, He'll understand.

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and been published in major Christian magazines.

He was a pastor for 22 years and been a guest speaker in Alaska churches.

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