Marriage is a union of a man and woman who came together because they saw something positive, something promising, and something beautiful in each other. There would be a tingle called love or a spark to make two people agree to marry each other except where people marry for the wrong reasons. When my husband and I met, I had the tingle and I’m sure he had a feeling before pursuing me and expressing his love and desire to marry me. Even though there were people who felt there was one reason or the other that we should not be together, he was convinced, I am his bone of bone and flesh of flesh and I was convinced too. There are so many reasons some people may not want a couple to come together in marriage, tribal sentiments, family background, character, religion, and so on. Yet two people who decide to marry each other did so because they love each other, and I am sure no one would deliberately marry their enemy.
This is a truth that couples need to hold onto especially when trouble starts to emerge in their relationship. Marriage will bring out behaviours and characters that are alien to you because you and your spouse are two individuals raised in a different environment and culture. That does not mean you are not one as God and marriage have now made you.
To experience a successful marriage, understanding, wisdom and knowledge are vital. No wonder the bible commands men to live with their wives with understanding and not to be harsh with them. God knew men and women are wired differently and so there would be differences in the way we talk or process information. Therefore developing communication skills, being aware and having that understanding that my husband is not going to think the way I do or my wife will say a thousand words in a minute and expect me to get that will go a long way to help couples live in harmony.
However, the dearth of marital knowledge and lack of any training has jeopardised many marriages and couples begin to have arguments and fights. This leads to erosion of the love they have for each other and the two that were doting over each other when they first met, now begin to resent each other.
As a child, I remember my father had people who are not his fan as such and may say things that are not very pleasant about him or try to get me to dislike him but I found it very difficult to follow or do what they may be suggesting, why? I was fully convinced my father is for me and not against me, I was convinced of his love for me as a father, even though I may not have all that I wanted but I was fully convinced he was in my life for a reason, and that number one reason is that without him – I would never have been born into my family. That was enough reason for me to know and trust that my father or my mother is for me. So even if we disagree, I will never fight them like an enemy.
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If only husbands and wives can have this type of conviction about their spouse.
The moment you choose to marry someone, you have made a commitment and a vow and as such you should know and have it as a principle that your spouse is not your enemy.
The real enemy of a marriage is the adversary, the devil roaring around and seeking whom to devour as stated in John 10:10. The devils use many tools and use people to attack our marriages.
The real enemy operates through your friends who wants your marriage broken, they are not happy that you are happy. They smile at you but inside their hearts are full of venom.
The real enemy operates through your siblings who want to continue to have access to your bank account.
The real enemy operates through your parents who do not want you to leave and cleave to your spouse.
The real enemy operates through your children who are selfish and wants to manipulate you for their own gain.
The real enemy operates through people who want to protect their interest and continue to enjoy the benefits you give them; this could be at work or any area of your life.
Outside of a couple and God, everybody else has their own interest to protect and may do so at the expense of your relationship with your spouse if you allow them.
Sometimes people in our lives are oblivion to the fact that they are helping, fuelling and destroying our marriages by their actions, which they may see as helpful deliberately or not.
It is up to you as a spouse to fight for your marriage, fight to keep your spouse close to you, there should be no one else in your life that is closer than your God and your spouse. You are one and the most intimate. Why do you then allow others to know you intimately more than your spouse? Why?
Do not fight your spouse like an enemy.
It is sad to see spouses recruiting outsiders to help them fight their spouse, in-laws, friends, some who are very spiritual may even recruit prayer partners to help them fight their spouse. I have seen many marriages destroyed by friends, parents, in-laws, spiritual advisers and so on. It is an irony because the visual picture of this in my mind is a person who wants to become better, then in the process of refining and removing all the impurities asked other people to help him yank of his arm and legs because they are causing him discomfort.
You are destroying yourself if you allow people to destroy your partner and marriage.
You need to realise that you and your spouse have now become one flesh, whatever happens to your spouse happens to you. You do not hate your own body but nurture and care for it. The problem which I sense is that some people do not have the conviction that their spouse is one with them. Some people think their spouse is an alien and an outsider and believe their family, sibling and friends are closer than their spouse. In fact, in their life, their spouse comes last in terms of priority and importance, what a wrong idea!
The moment you become married your spouse is elevated to the most important part of your life. Put your spouse where they belong in your heart and you will never allow anyone or anything to defile them because if they do, they have done that to you.
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Marriage is a good thing and the devil does not like anything good. The moment you and your spouse come together in unity, he is troubled because he knows two are better than one, one will chase a thousand and two ten thousand. The main purpose the devil fights your marriage is to cause division, divide and conquer. It is very hard for the enemy or people to come in between any couple that is united and in agreement with each other. Even when they disagree or have an argument, they understand the power of two and unity.
I will encourage you to remove the hands of outsiders in your marriage and place your spouse in the right place where they belong.
I am also aware there are people who the gods of this world may have blindfolded and some who may be under bewitchment. Prayers and Godly intervention are key to overcoming these trials and troubles. I have heard stories where the spouse loved each other but the enemy came in and bound the strong man, such that they no longer recognise nor remember who their spouse was and just could not stand being with them. But God is bigger than any adversary that may be troubling your life and marriage. Good marriages will be attacked by the enemy, but you and I must be prepared to face the battle not by power nor by might but by the spirit of God.
That is why Good marriages are founded on Godly principle and kept by obeying and keeping God’s laws and commandment. They are kept by being prayerful and watchful, keeping watch with the word of God. Guard your hearts the bible says for out of it comes the issue of life. This is a commandment that every couple should and must take seriously.
It only takes a single matchstick to burn down a whole forest. One word, one comment made by friends, family about your spouse can become a mighty oak that blinds a spouse who left their heart unguarded.
I pray that the King of kings and the Lord of lords will destroy every stronghold that is destroying homes by causing divisions amongst couples.
Your spouse is not your enemy, fight for your marriage, hold onto each other, resolve any differences together and see your marriage blossom.
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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 counsellors 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