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Love and Marriage go together like a horse and carriage

By Major Margaret Stafford

We have four children and over the last few years we have seen our daughter get married and our son get married. We have had the privilege of praying for these young lives as they pledge themselves to one another. This year we have another wedding as my second son gets married.

Wedding rings on pillow

Marriage, says God, is a coming together of two individuals to form one whole. (Genesis 2:24) It’s meant to be a life time commitment and it’s a bit scary that the words matrimony and monotony seem to be so close to one another, but do not fear the act of marriage is anything but monotony.

I’ve watched as my children have had to navigate the world of making compensation for another person being in their bubble space. Compensation means – amongst other things “something that counterbalances or makes up for an undesirable or unwelcome state of affairs.”

I’ve watched as they have had to learn to compromise while compensating for their mate’s “weaknesses” or “differences”. And of course I have seen them contribute in so many ways to making sure the marriage makes it through the difficult patches. I have seen them honour one another and respect each other’s opinions without compromising their standards.

None of this has been easy as they have learnt what it means to leave and to cleave. To leave behind some bad habits that could come into their new union. They have had to leave their home and move in with a person who has had a different home life from their own. Things your parents allowed may not be what your partner’s parents allowed. Things that were normal, like meal times, may have to change. And we all know that change is never easy.

Marriage is a taking of one person from where they were and putting that person into a brand new place where life has to be different. In Genesis 2 Eve is taken from Adam and given to Adam and Adam rightly realises that this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. We will later be told to love and respect one another because marriage is a picture of the union between the church (that’s you and me) and Christ.

A husband must love His wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25) We know that Christ taught his disciples how to live holy lives, He lived his life as a living testimony of those teachings and He had a great relationship with His heavenly Father. He committed everything to God is prayer and He was fair and just. Any woman in a relationship where love, respect and honour is given will find it very easy to submit to that leadership.

Close up of groom

A note to the “in laws” give your children enough space to make their own mistakes. Allow them to discover their spouse in a unique way. Be ready for a word of encouragement but respect the choice made by your child.

God has put into place a way that we should do life. He has carefully allowed us to make mistakes, to learn from experience but there are some laws that have to step up to the top in all of our relationships. We have to “love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, and bodies and we have to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.”

When we get that right – to love God and then our neighbour we will understand that there is no place in God’s plan for an abusive marriage. The love God expects from a man to a woman and a woman to a man is to be as careful with them as you are with your own body. To love, honour and respect one another leads to a marriage covered in salt (grace).