In Tinapa, Calabar, I heard one of the few wedding sermons that kept 100% of my attention the entire time.
When Pastor Agu Irukwu of Jesus House mounted the pulpit, my baby sisters and I were distracted by the scenery outside and were hushly discussing how the whole family needed to come back to Calabar for our next family vacation. Within a minute, I was shushing the conversation as the subject of the sermon peaked my interest.
Although I'm yet to be married, the ingredients of a successful marriage is one that always get my attention. Honestly, anything about the sacred matrimony gets my attention. Because I want to know how to do it right, when I get in it. Because I saw my parents do it right, I know its doable.
Pastor Irukwu spoke with a certain authority that could only come from a man who had tried, tested and proven the words he spoke. This was supported by his vividly described stories of his own marriage. I was intrigued, I was inspired and before I knew it, I took out my blackberry and started to take notes. My mom looked at me and smiled. We all know what that smile meant. hehehe
Needless to say, I walked away with his words in my head. And you and I know that whatever has an impact on my psyche ends up on here.
Even if you're not married but are in a long-term relationship, or even planning/hoping to be in one, I'm sure there's something here for you as well.
Hope you like :-)
To make a marriage work....
1. Love each other- Not love as in feelings or emotions. Love is more than that. Love in marriage is a decision that leads to commitment. It requires patience. Once you have decided that this is the person you want to grow old with, "decisively" love them.
2. Both husband and wife must understand that you are different individuals. God designed each individual differently. Your partner should be your helper. Being a helper is a complimentary role. Those who have successful marriages are good managers because they learn to "manage" each other well.
3. Learn to communicate with each other. Women need to talk. Men need to listen. Men have to learn what women really mean when they say certain things. Women speak in codes. Once a husband learns to speak his wife's language, he will better understand her.
For e.g., when she says "You don't love me anymore", she doesn't literally mean that. Thus, there's no need to list to her all the things you have done and bought for her as her husband as proof of your love for her. What she really means is "at this moment, I don't feel as loved as I used to." The solution is to show her affection and assure you are hers for keeps.
In the same way, when a man enters his cave, it doesn't mean he doesn't want to hang out with his wife. It just means he needs to process something. As his wife, do not go inside. Stay at the door and let him know that you're waiting there, appreciate that he needs his "cave-time" but that you're there if he needs to talk.
(Did I hear someone scream "Gospel"?!?....Never mind, that was my mind :-))
4. Respect and Appreciate each other. Never take your partner for granted. Say thank you for the simple things. Thank your wife for cooking. Thank your husband for paying the children's school feees. Thank your wife for ironing your clothes. Thank your husband for picking up a small gift for you on his way back from a business trip. Say very often- "I appreciate you". Don't underestimate how that simple sentence can change things.
5. The sole purpose for marriage is a "one-ness". When God adds 1 + 1, it equals 1, not 2. Before you make any major life decision, ask yourself "Is what I'm about to do one step towards oneness or one step away from it?". If its the latter, don't do it.
6. Draw boundaries in your marriage- spoken and unspoken. Words are like eggs; once you drop/break them, you can never put it back together. Avoid verbal abuse. Remain accountable for your words/actions in your marriage.
7. Ensure that you have a healthy sexual life. Marriage means that you own each other's body. Husbands must be benevolent- kind and considerate. Both partners must put the other person's needs first.
And that's it...What do you think?
I googled and found Pastor Irukwu's blog. Here it is.