How to Make a Happening Marriage
If there was one key to making any marriage a happening marriage, would you want to know what it is? Live your life in such a way that no other human relationship compares in importance to what you have with your spouse. The person you crawl into bed with every night—make that person number one.
Matthew 19:4-6 isn’t teaching that you should move to California to get away from your parents—or your kids. It is teaching that your parents, your kids, the buddies you had before you got married, the friends you’ve known since college—all of those people put together—don’t add up to the importance of the one person you married. If you fail in that relationship, you are a relational failure, regardless of any other success. God can forgive and heal, but next to your relationship with Him, your marriage is your first priority.
And the goal is oneness.
Jesus shed some light on oneness by saying a man should “hold fast to his wife.”This joining is a strong bonding together, like Krazy-Glu’ing two people. It’s an emotional oneness in which a husband and wife share each other’s feelings, joys, and pains. And His reference to one flesh includes sexual intimacy, the culmination of emotional oneness. A healthy marriage aims for unity in every way.
Then notice what Jesus says in verse 6, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” God puts a man and a woman together—and He doesn’t want anyone to separate them. Sadly, though we start our marriages as one, we often slip into different kinds of separation.
Separate ways. It’s so easy to embrace separate schedules, cars, and events—often for good reasons. But dividing doesn’t always conquer. Watch out! Too much time apart, even doing good things, is an enemy of marital oneness. Ask yourself regularly: How many things can we do together in the next week?
Separate interests. Divergent hobbies and pastimes can lead to separation. Find at least one thing you both really enjoy and pursue it with each other. Expressing the desire to learn, explore, and spend time together will make your spouse feel like number one.
Separate vacations. It’s not wrong for a guy to go on a fishing trip or for a wife to get away with some of her friends. But it shouldn’t be the substitute to vacationing and spending extended time together. Relaxing and sharing experiences as a couple promotes the marital oneness God designed.
Separate bank accounts. Too many couples have separate bank accounts. It’s not wrong for a husband and wife to grant each other an allowance, but an effective family budget needs a single operating account. Coordinating your finances and transparent spending will help oneness grow.
Separate beds and separate bedtimes. This is not just about sexual intimacy. Something powerful happens when a couple ends their days, as much as they are able, by going to bed at the same time. Bonding is reinforced when they lay their heads on the pillows together. They can talk about the day, have a time of prayer, and open up to one another.
Every example that can separate marriage is also a place where you can treat each other as number one. Start making a “together” list of activities, practices, interests you will pursue with each other this year. Renew your promise to guard your oneness. By next Valentine’s Day, if you make it your consistent priority, your marriage can be a happening one.
Share this plan with your spouse—then commit to carrying it out. It may be the most romantic Valentine’s gift you’ve ever given!
How have leaving father and mother, holding fast to each other, and becoming one flesh worked out in your marriage? Where is there improvement to pursue?
What “together” activities are you most anticipating doing with your spouse? Why?
Lord, You have designed us for this unique relationship called marriage and I thank You for bringing my spouse to me. Help me to be a marriage partner who spends less time thinking about ways my mate can improve and more time considering how I can improve. Be the glue that holds us together. Remind us that oneness involves countless little decisions each day, mixed in with significant choices to pursue it. Help us to grow together as Your children—one flesh created by You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.