On July 9, my wife and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. How awesome is that?
I realize it is rare to find couples that last this long in a marital relationship. On the positive side, it makes us feel like an accomplished and successful couple.
God has blessed us, not only with four amazing children who are all serving the Lord, but also with a peaceful and united marriage relationship. God has blessed us with the ability to live a successful marriage relationship.
Interestingly enough, after 26 years, we still hold hands, I still open her doors, we tell each other “I love you” at least once or twice a day, and she still makes my lunch. We hate being separated from each other, even when we have to go our separate ways to run errands, school meetings, ministry obligations, etc. Best friends are hard to separate, even for just a few hours.
So what is the secret ingredient to a successful marital relationship? This question is asked every day by thousands of couples. I’d like to give a very simple answer to this question. To have a successful, powerful, kingdom-style marriage relationship, it must be nearly equivalent to our relationship with God.
Our relationship with God and our relationship with our spouses mirror each other. If my relationship with my wife is not good, then neither is my relationship with God and vise-versa. Our relationship with God is first acknowledged, and then nurtured through prayer, reading, fellowship and giving.
Our marriage relationship is practically the same. It is first acknowledged at the wedding day, and then nurtured (forever) with communication, reading good marriage materials, fellowship with other couples, and giving to each other constantly, as well as to others.
A Kingdom Marriage relationship communicates and strategizes ways of growth and strength, enjoys the company of others, drawing from other’s successes, and gives to each other as well as to others not expecting anything in return.
Marriage is about receiving (not taking) and giving (and not expecting to be given to). Honestly, this has been the secret to our successful marriage.
Do we have a perfect marriage? Of course not. We do not have habitual arguments. We disagree, but will not allow ourselves to carry the disagreement into an argument. Having said that, let me clarify that, unfortunately, we have had a few arguments in our married life. We can count our arguments in one hand (or maybe one and a half), if there is such a thing. But it has not become a habit.
Arguments create pain and more pain, generating a calloused and indifferent heart in the long run. But a tender heart will find a way to accommodate others’ needs, making them a priority.
I pray for God’s continual blessing on your marriage as well as in our relationship with God.
Have a great relational day!
The Rev. Alex Colón is pastor of Lighthouse Assembly of God in Gallipolis, Ohio. Online at www.lagohio.org.