Marriage – Part Three
The marriage certificate is not a bill of sale; it is not even a rental agreement. However, some people look at marriage like a certificate of ownership, saying in essence, “It is mine and I can do whatever I want with it.” Legally you are correct. You can do whatever you want with your relationship because it is yours.
It is much like buying a house; you can buy a house, never clean it, never spray for termites, never paint it, never take out the trash and let it build up in the kitchen until it stinks and attracts bugs. You can do that to your house because it is yours. You own it. Not much can be done about it if that is the way you choose to treat your possession. But that does not make it a good idea. It does not make it right. It is not a good way to live. It is not a healthy way to manage your possession.
You can buy a new car, never clean it, park too close to people and get dings on the side, never change the oil, and drive on bald tires. It is yours; you own it and you can do whatever you want with it. But is it a good idea? I don’t think so.
Ownership creates two kinds of people: those who have pride in ownership, even to the point of obsession, and those who immediately say, “It’s mine and I’ll do whatever I please.”
Marriage works much the same way. I suggest you become one of those obsessive people, constantly tending to the relationship in order to leave it better than when you found it. Therefore, look good for each other. Dress up for each other. Clean up before bed. Put in the effort it takes to keep the spark going.
“A good marriage is one that can survive the ninety day euphoria of romantic love.“ Edward Abbey
When you marry, you give each other your hearts. Right? At least that is what all the love songs say. When you really, really think about this, my heart belongs to only one person and that is God! I can’t “give” my heart to my wife. It sounds good in the song but practically speaking, it is not very practical. The Bible even says my heart is desperately wicked, who can know it. That is why only God can really do a work on my heart. Nonetheless, marriage IS about sharing… sharing me, my dreams, my aspirations, my life, my ambitions, and my freedoms with my wife.
Do you remember that book title by Lewis Grizzard? “She Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat.”
So allow me to be practical today… marriage is made up of two individuals who CHOOSE to love each other and together live happily. Therefore, marriage must be a choice, not an obligation! I continue to see couples who are desperately miserable in their marriages because they view their marriage as some type of contract or obligation. It is a choice – choose today to love your spouse! It will make all the difference in the world.
Don’t try today; DO today!