No one is set out to fail when entering any marriage relationship. We hope for happiness from our relationship, not misery, frustration and disappointment but close to half of all marriages and 40% even in believers end in divorce . Before marriage, each one is an individual having own likes, dislikes, interest, pleasure, spending habit, culture and everything that makes one happy. In the western world and increasing even now among the African America/European community, autonomy and self-actualisation is the theme. Each one in the relationship wants to actualise themselves.
Before we got married, we live life as individual and pursue our interest as individuals, when we come together we either become new entity which we can refer to as “a compound” or each separate entity which is “a mixture”. According to dictionary definition ( science) , A chemical compound is an entity consisting of two or more atoms, commonly two from different chemical elements, which associate via chemical bonds. But a mixture is a combination of different things in which the component elements are individually distinct.
The goal of a Christian marriage is to become more like a compound rather than a mixture. For a compound to be formed , it needs to have undergone chemical reaction or process. It is a process that takes time to form, It does not occur overnight. It takes time . This period could be very challenging to newly married. At this period in the life of couples especially newly wed, couples have a challenging time and if not managed well it could results in permanent scar or wound that never heals except by the grace of God. Mixture marriage relationship is tough. Everyone in the relationship wants to manifest their separate component , hence the unending conflict. Each one manifest their will , likes , dislikes concept of orderliness and disorder , spending habit ,etc.
To become a compound, each and every one has to give up their individual component to become a the new family , God intended us to be. We need the “ self” in us to be processed through the Cross of Christ. This should not be dismissed as a spiritual exercise or theory! This is the reason marriage is closest comparison to Christ and His church. It entails a process of growth in Christ not in SELF, MATERIAL possession, POSITION or FAME. Therefore, a couple can appear to have everything going for them and yet not be happy which is akin to an African proverb that when a bird attempt to rest on a long rope, neither the rope nor the bird would be at ease. Chemical reactions do need help or catalyst to support the process The catalyst to this reaction in marriage is the Spirit of God .
The bible says if we do not have his spirit we do not belong to him. (Romans 8 :9 ). So the journey to having a Christian home begins with living in Christ, that gives the enablement to form what Christ want to form in our new home . The more of Christ we become , the less individuality we manifest . If the other spouse is also doing the same thing, then the chemical process that transform us to a compound become much easier. Remember that we have this “treasure in earthen vessel” , therefore mistakes due to human imperfection do happens from time to time , hence we need to operate in forgiveness to operate as Christ centred family. Your spouse will get it wrong, would be selfish and self-centred in decision making, we need to communicate, forgive and move forward.
A mixture relationship is almost impossible and will find it difficult to find purpose in Christ as it is either not after Christ or not growing in Christ. It is more likely if not certainly to result in unpleasant ending. The adjustment that is needed at the early marriage for Christian is achieved in embedding ourselves in Christ and His Love. If we embed ourselves in each other’s love which is at best friendly or erotic love , we would hurt each other so much that we would think we have made a mistake in going into the relationship. We are human. Our capacity to love is limited. But when we are embedded in His Love , the frustration of our spouse could be channelled in the right way. This presume that we understand the Love of Christ. (I JOHN 4:6)
In early years of marriage, our conception of blissful life is usually understood in the flesh or human emotion. All that we have imagined when we were dating disappears. When we get married the last thing in our mind is to be more spiritual. But to have the right chemical reaction , we do need the right ingredients. The ingredient is the spirit of God enabling us to turn our mixture into a compound whereby we can flow and enjoy each other. There is God in every believer. ( Psalm 8:5 ) When we nurse the God in us by his spirit and his word, the flesh would gradually be take the back seat in our relationship and then we can flow together.
It is important that each and everyone should give up the ''I'' and be prepare to be “ us”. When one want his/her own identity to become the family identify, then that is self and would choke the other in the relationship.An individual's way of spending money, raising the children, where to go on vacation among other family decisions should be done with special consideration for other members of the family.
The bible says let each one seek the interest of other. (I Corinthians 10:24.) To do this each one in the relationship has to be in Christ. This is one reason that marriage relationship is a spiritual barometer. It helps us to know how much of the flesh is crucified. To have the mind of God manifested in our home our first point of call is to be ready to give up our exalted mind about ourselves. The bible says the two would become one flesh. Each one in the relationship should give up self and pursue Christ.
Tips Be ready to give up yourself. As for the help of the help of Holy Spirit. Submerge self in Christ that give the grace. Focus on the love of Christ for you than the love from your spouse.