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Marie Stopa
Marie Stopa • 2 years ago

MARRIAGE can be likened to a journey, an odyssey that presents many surprises—some exquisite, others painful. Unforeseen “terrain” can present unexpected obstacles, some of which may seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, many people make this journey successfully and happily, with only minor mishaps. Indeed, success in marriage is not measured so much by the highs and lows of the journey as it is by how couples deal with those ups and downs. The Bible is like a map for the journey through marriage What do you think can make the journey through marriage more successful and enjoyable? Many couples feel the need for a ‘marital road map’ to direct them along the way. The most dependable and authoritative “map” for marriage is provided by the Originator of marriage—Jehovah God. His inspired Word, the Holy Bible, though, is not a magic charm. Rather, it contains practical direction that married couples need to follow to enjoy a successful marriage.—Psalm 119:105; Ephesians 5:21-33; 2 Timothy 3:16. Let us identify some of the Scriptural signposts—key Bible principles—that can help guide you along a successful and happy marital journey. Treat marriage as sacred. “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matthew 19:6) The Creator instituted the marriage arrangement when he introduced the first man, Adam, to his wife, Eve. (Genesis 2:21-24) Christ Jesus, who had been an eyewitness to this event during his prehuman existence, confirmed that Adam and Eve’s marital union was intended to be the start of a lasting relationship. He said: “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.”—Matthew 19:4-6. In saying “what God has yoked together,” Jesus was not suggesting that marriages are made in heaven. Rather, he was confirming that the marriage relationship was instituted by God himself and was therefore to be treated as sacred.* Of course, husbands and wives would not want to be “yoked together” in a cold, loveless coexistence. Rather, they want to enjoy a contented marriage in which both can thrive. They can be happily “yoked together” if they apply the Creator’s practical advice found in the Bible. Because all of us are imperfect, misunderstandings and differences are inevitable. Often, however, a successful marriage depends less on compatibility than on how couples deal with incompatibility. Therefore, one of the most essential skills in marriage is the ability to resolve disagreements in a loving way, for love “binds everything together in perfect harmony.”—Colossians 3:14, English Standard Version. Speak respectfully. “There exists the one speaking thoughtlessly as with the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise ones is a healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) Researchers have found that most conversations end the way they start. Hence, if a conversation starts respectfully, it is more likely to end that way. Conversely, you know how hurtful it can be when a loved one speaks thoughtlessly to you. Therefore, make a prayerful effort yourself to speak with dignity, respect, and affection. (Ephesians 4:31) “Even though we see each other’s weaknesses,” explains a Japanese wife named Haruko,# married for 44 years,“we try to respect each other in word and attitude. That has helped us build a successful marriage.”