Every engaged couple desires to make their marriage last forever. I learned early on that this requires intentional planning and hard work. I can’t simply wish I’ll have a happy marriage.
Romantic feelings wont be enough for a couple to survive a lifetime union. Facing challenges the right way are part of any successful marriage.
I had the opportunity to officiate the wedding of two friends, Marco and Jam. We previously met for five pre-marital counseling sessions. We discussed one foundational topic at a time. This included knowing each other’s background, spiritual journey, financial principles, purity, goals, and future plans.
After all the preparations and planning, the wedding day finally arrived. It was so clear that God brought them together to be husband and wife. I’m so happy for them.
During the ceremony, I shared my “C-5 Counsel” to build a strong, life-long relationship (all starting with the letter “C”).
1. Covenant: “It’s a commitment between 3 parties (Husband, Wife, God)”
This covenant before God cannot be broken in any circumstance. It’s a promise I make to my spouse and to God. Separation is not an option henceforth.
This means that I must accept my spouse completely: the good side and the bad. My wife has her imperfections, and so do I (still a lot actually!). When we make mistakes, I tell myself “We are works-in-progress!”
2. Courtship: “In marriage, the courtship has only just begun.”
The wedding day is NOT the peak of the relationship between the 2 people. The love should grow more through the years. I must be able to tell my wife: “I love you even more today, than on our Wedding Day.”
When I was pursuing Lei to be my wife, I was very creative and intentional. I constantly thought of ways to surprise her, give gifts, write notes, and express my love for her. It took a lot of time and sacrifice. I continue to court my wife today.
3. Communication: “Always high in quality and quantity”
My wife and I are able to share each other’s dreams, hopes, anxieties, and feelings. All these must be without the fear of judgment or destructive criticism. This requires me to be a good listener. Sometimes, I mistakenly “listen to respond”, instead of “listen to understand.”
Quality communication will occur if there is quantity. I must spend a lot of time with my spouse so that I can get to know her better. This requires me to forego some good activities so I can be with her.
4. Conflict: “When handled correctly, conflicts benefit the relationship.”
Conflict is inevitable between two people with different personalities, backgrounds and upbringing. When my wife and I handle it well, we learn from each other, grow in our perspectives, and respect each other more.
Conflict is never handled by physical force, raising my voice, giving a “cold shoulder”, or simply forgetting about the issue. This is a commitment based on trust. I must believe that my spouse means well even if her actions seem otherwise.
5. Christ: My vertical Relationship affects horizontal relationship.”
Developing a solid relationship with Jesus (vertical) should be my primary concern. When my connection with God is strong, it will eventually affect my relationship with my spouse and others (horizontal). Christ should be the center of my marriage.
Some say “Work on your marriage.” I like to upgrade that statement by saying: “Work on your relationship with God, and you’ll know how to work on your marriage.”
I’m reminded of my marriage covenant in Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Marriage is a blessing and the design of God. If I take these advise seriously, it would be a fun and blessed adventure through the years.
Posted on: November 13, 2014
Photo: supplied by Marco & Jam de Jesus
Which of the “C-5 Counsel” do hope to apply in your life more? Share your inputs below. Do you know anyone getting married soon? Please share this post to them.