Doing Marriage Right

Here’s a point to recognize first and foremost as we begin our study of doing marriage right: Marriage is the solution—not the problem.

When God declared Adam’s aloneness as “not good,” He immediately solved the problem by creating Eve. Marriage is God’s solution to a problem, not the cause of it. That’s an important point to grasp. Your marriage is intended to be the solution to a problem—not the cause of creating even bigger ones!

When God sees that something is not good and then creates a solution, as He did when He gave Eve to Adam, then how can the thing created as the solution so often seem like the problem? The answer is, the problem lies not in the solution, but in the people involved. We are the problem in our marriage—not the marriage itself. We are the ones who have deviated from God’s plan—not, as some claim, that the plan is inadequate and irrelevant in today’s world.

I once heard the story of a mild-mannered man who became tired of his wife always bossing him around, so he went to a psychiatrist who gave him a book on being assertive. On the train ride home that day, he read the first chapter and decided to try out the actions suggested.

Walking in the door of his home, the man announced to his wife, “From now on, I am the man of this house, and my word is law. When I get home from work, I want my dinner on the table. Now I want you to go upstairs and lay out some clothes for me because I am going out with the boys tonight. After that, draw me a bath. And when I get out of the bath, guess who’s going to help me get dressed!” Looking her husband full in the face, the woman calmly responded, “The undertaker.” We’re all guilty of trying to force our mate into the desired image rather than accepting him or her as the other half of ourselves. It’s far too easy to see our spouse as the problem rather than to acknowledge that maybe we, too, need to change. It’s often tempting to think that marriage is the cause of all our problems when in reality God gave it to us as a solution to our problems.

The plan of God is good and does not create problems. If we are experiencing problems in our marriage, the truth is, we are not doing marriage right and are not following God’s plan. If we’re going to get anywhere in our understanding of marriage, then we must first recognize that no Christian marriage need ever fail. As a matter of fact, marriage can be a fantastic, joyous experience, even though entered into by two fallible people. As Proverbs 5:18 exhorts, “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” And Proverbs 18:22 adds, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.” That’s the truth of Scripture, and that can be the reality of your married life once you understand that marriage is the solution—not the problem.

Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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