Does Culture Affect Marriage?
On a flight earlier this year, I had the unexpected privilege of sitting next to a couple who were en route to a romantic getaway in celebration of their 28th wedding anniversary. I congratulated them, and later in the conversation I asked her for the secret of their marriage. How had they been faithful to each other for 28 years, still wanting to celebrate when other marriages are falling by the way much sooner? This was the secret she shared with me:
Give and take. You gotta give more than you take. You gotta stick with it. Just like the weather, some days are sunny, some cloudy, and some thunderstorms and wild weather, but you gotta be faithful.
It surprised me, then, when with her next breath, she was telling me that their 21 and 17 year old children “don’t stand a chance” to enjoy a marriage like theirs, because of culture and society’s influences on the younger generation of today.
Faithfulness is Mental
Faithfulness is just as much mental as it is physical, perhaps more. “Give and take,” she said. “Communicate, do for each other, work together, work it out. That takes work.” And our younger generation today is afraid of work. Many young people today go into marriage already thinking failure: “If this doesn’t work out, I’ll find someone else.” Or, “We’ll see how long this lasts.” Our culture has set low expectations that it will last.
To have a successful marriage, you must be in it till death do you part, mentally.
How do you do that?
- Renew your mind. Know what God says about marriage and husband/wife roles. Think God’s thoughts about love and marriage. (See also Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, I Timothy 3, Titus 2, I Peter 3.)
- Remain faithful mentally. Make a decision and stick to it. (See also What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp.)
- Reject the Enemy’s lies that divorce is a better option than a bad/uncomfortable marriage. Fight the thoughts of fleeing, of greener pastures, of wallowing in selfishness and self pity. Fight the temptations to compare your marriage with others. (See also Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.)
- Remember your vows. Love, honor, cherish, respect. Remember those words you spoke when you married? Review them regularly, to yourself and/or with your spouse. Are you keeping your promises? (See also Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needsby Emerson Eggerichs.)
- Romance your spouse. Nothing helps your mental faithfulness more than physical romance. Make your relationship a priority. What can you do today to rekindle the romance? (See also Every Woman’s Marriage: Igniting the Joy and Passion You Both Desireby Shannon and Greg Ethridge and The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance: Nurturing Your Marriage Through the Homeschool Yearsby Heidi St. John.)
Renew. Remain. Reject. Remember. Romance. All of these are action words. 28 years, 35 years, 60 years of marriage to the same person, doesn’t just happen. You must be pro-active.
Be the couple that exceeds our culture’s expectations. Stay faithful till death do you part, for God, and for each other. With His help, it CAN be done!
My grandparents celebrated 63rd wedding anniversary last month. I am so thankful for them and for their example of a godly marriage.
Shared with Titus 2 Tuesdays