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The Meaning of Marriage: The Excellent Way

Recently, my family and I attended a wedding and on the way to her school the following Monday, my daughter commented about the new family and that they have a big family now. I asked her why she made that comment, and we discussed the importance of marriage was not only about having children, but the real value in marriage is companionship. When people get married, they often look forward to having children, and that is a blessing and fruit of marriage; I wish for everyone, but marriage itself is not only for childbearing. Marriage has more to do with having a life partner journey through life’s up and down like a roller coaster. It is so sad when I see marriages ruined and destroyed due to a lack of understanding of the meaning of marriage. 

Marriage has more to do with having a life partner journey through life’s up and down like a roller coaster.

For example, when people divorce due to childlessness, some couples forget to strengthen their friendships and focus on pouring their attention and love on children, thereby neglecting each other. When the children flee the nest, which they will all do, the couple now realises they are no longer friends and have grown apart as they missed the opportunity to deepen their love for each other.

What then is the meaning of marriage, you may ask?

Marriage is a personal relationship that is all-encompassing, all-embracing, a total face to face, person to person experience that transcends all other relationships. It involves two people developing strong feelings for each other; throughout the marriage, the emotions may be both positive and negative, but sure, in the beginning, it is usually upbeat. We have many other personal relationships as humans, but marriage is the primary relationship because it is distinct, sexual, comprehensive, and a permanent relationship. We have relationships with our employers, relationships with friends, relationship as a customer or belonging to religious or social groups. These relationships can be ended at any time by either party, unlike a marriage. All other personal relationships provide us with the much need for affiliation and gratification; research has shown that only in marriage can we have the most satisfaction in life. 

All other personal relationships provide us with the much need for affiliation and gratification; research has shown that only in marriage can we have the most satisfaction in life.

Life consists of several roles within different institutional settings, and every man wants to be relevant in these settings. We have roles to play on religious grounds, e.g. in church, political roles in our communities, economic roles in our corporate jobs and marital roles in our marriage, parental roles in the family and many other parts we play. Out of all these roles, two major ones take a chunk of our time and life, economic or career and marriage/family life. On average, a man spends 40 hours at work and work for forty to fifty years. Asking someone what they do can be the most gratifying question to ask if they are in a good role and earning good income. People are proud to show off their career achievements. The other part that takes our time and energy is our marriage, our family life. A homemaker or husband, for example, would invest all their time and lifetime into the marriage. 

A homemaker or husband, for example, would invest all their time and lifetime into the marriage.

Still, when asked if they are proud housewives or husbands, society may make them feel it is not that important, compared with the unquestionably economic role.  The question is which part is more important, and this is what differentiates the attitude people have toward the meaning of marriage. Yes, early in life, people see economic prominence as more critical and invest more time and energy and too often to the detriment of their marital role. However, research had shown that towards the tail end of life, couples revealed what brings the greatest satisfaction in life: the family relationship ranked highest in a study. The greatest regrets people have on their deathbed are not spending more time making money or working, but I wish I had spent more time with family.

The greatest regrets people have on their deathbed are not spending more time making money or working, but I wish I had spent more time with family.

Even when we evaluate a man or woman primarily by career, it hurts when one hears,” he/she is the most successful employee or politician, but what kind of husband/wife or father/mother is he/she?

Would you consider where your marriage and family life rank on your priority list and what value you attach to it?  From the table below, if the expected source of greatest life satisfaction is family relations, why are people not investing much time and energy in the source of our pleasure? No wonder many people are so disappointed and unhappy with their family life. If research implies 60% of men and 87% of women want satisfaction from family relations, can we check how much time and resources go into our family relationship building? Many people invest very little time and effort into building their marriage and family and are expecting 60% of satisfaction. 

Many people invest very little time and effort into building their marriage and family and are expecting 60% of satisfaction.

Yes, economic activities are essential, but we must carve out time and resources if we want to reap the benefit of marriage.   I urge you today to check and measure the input of resources and time you give to your marriage in contrast to your career. Remember, people’s most significant source of satisfaction is a healthy and beautiful marriage and family life. 

What will it profit is at the end if; you are the best worker or philanthropist but the worst father or mother? 

Table 1 

Expected Source of Greatest Satisfaction in Life Reported by College Men and Women

Expected source of greatest satisfaction MenWomen
Family Relations60%87%
Career31%6%
Leisure time / recreation activities42
Religious belief and activities34
Participation as citizen in community affairs1*
Participation in activities directed toward national or international betterment 11
Number of cases 629407
Source Marriage -Robert O Blood JR.

I am a certified SYMBIS ASSESSMENT facilitator, and I would love to help you start your marriage right if you are getting married soon. If you are already married, I can also help you enrich your marriage by helping you and your partner understand how your personalities mesh. Saving Your Marriage Before IT Starts (SYMBIS) is a research-based questionnaire that couples take individually. We will generate a comprehensive report which I will help you unpack as your facilitator.

Research has shown that the couple who took the assessment reduced the divorce rate by 31%, saving one-third of couples whose marriage could have ended in divorce. Still, because they took the assessment, they were well prepared and avoided pitfalls while maximising the full potential of their relationships. 

Would you mind clicking the link below to learn more about SYMBIS and how you can take the assessment and start enjoying your marriage? Take Symbis Assessment

Over 1,000,000 couples and 100,000 pastors and counsellors cannot be wrong: SYMBIS is the most widely used pre-marital assessment in existence. SYMBIS+ is excellent for already married couples.

What SYMBIS does is nothing short of revolutionary – Gary Chapman author of The Five Love Languages 

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Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.


My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here

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