Years ago, very early in my marriage, I received from my cousin, a plaque with a poem, Marriage Takes Three. I put it on the wall and it has been on the wall in every house we purchased. At first look at the title, your response may be that you do not need three for a marriage. You are absolutely right, you do not need a third party unless it is God.
On the tailwind of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I thought it quite appropriate to salute and encourage marriages. Since we do not generally have a focused time of the year that the masses nationally participate and celebrate marriages, I will use this platform. And, since I was married for thirty-three years, although not certified, I am qualified to speak on the subject. If married to an African American male, that pastored an African American congregation for thirty years does not make me an expert, it makes me an aficionado and very knowledgeable about marriage relationships. O, the many, many, many stories I have. Hmm…I could write a book. Or should I say write another book?
If you are single, you may think this is not for you, but maybe it is. Life is about relationships. Relationships are the interactions, the connections, the bonds between two or more people or things. We have interactions, connections, and bonds with many people daily. Marriage is an institution, a relationship that mirrors the relationship that Christ has with the church. So, if you want to learn about that relationship, this is for you. You may yearn to be married so use it for your future. Share this information with married friends and relatives. There is a possibility to learn something from anything.
My family has a history of marriages until death. I was married until death separated us. My Momma and Daddy were married over fifty years until death. My paternal grandmother and grandfather were married until death. My maternal grandmother and grandfather were married until death. My husband’s mother and father were married until death. We tend to mimic what we see. What a legacy to the institution of marriage left for my children, the next generation. A legacy of commitment, a legacy of sticking with it, a legacy of going all the way. We have passed on the baton, but they have the responsibility to choose to walk it out.
In saluting and encouraging the married, I offer this free advice.
Prioritize your relationship with God, the Father. Always make Him your first priority by spending quality and quantity time with Him daily. As you become closer and more intimate with God, He teaches you how to be closer and more intimate in other relationships. He desires you to grow in Him so others can see and feel His love through you.
The Bible instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it; to love their wives as their own bodies. If he loves his wife, he loves himself. Wives are instructed to submit to her own husband and respect him. Now, this is impossible to do in your own power. But remember, when we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are empowered with a supernatural force. The quality and quantity time with the Father equips and empowers you to do great and mighty feats. Your changed spiritual walk will influence your spouse and other relationships to become better. Then the love, respect and submission comes supernaturally.
To those that have hung in there I salute you, I applaud you, and I implore you to stay the course and finish the race. To those that did not finish, I do not condemn you, neither does God. He loves you and encircles you in His compassion. Take the opportunity to sow into and make the most of your other relationships.
Sow generations of blessings, sow the do not give up spirit, sow the spirit of in it to win it, and sow the spirit to keep playing until you win.
Harriet Noel Jones