This week I have spent some time at a funeral and now I get to spend time at a wedding. A bride and groom spend a lot of time planning the first day of their marriage but how come no one considers how you spend the last day of your marriage? As surely as you have a first day of your marriage you will have a last day and your last day is more important than your first day – one of you is not getting out of this alive! It’s not good enough just to start well. Anyone can do that! The goal is to finish well. To be faithful to God and to your marriage right to the end.
Today is fun, full of hope and anticipation. The last day is not as much fun. Try as you might, you can’t plan the last day of your marriage. You will find it impossible to schedule, no itinerary will be sufficient. So how do you prepare for the last day of your marriage? It all depends on how you look at the struggles that come your way. Here are three ways to prepare for the last day of your marriage.
1. Choose to Love
Today you are declaring your choice. You are saying, “I choose this person.” Tomorrow, make the same choice. Stuart MacLean of the CBC’s Vinyl Café, shares a similar idea when telling the story of how he quit smoking. He remarks that when he decided to quit, he didn’t make the decision once, for all. Instead, he decided to quit every morning for about 6 years. Each day he would wake up and forget that he had quit smoking. He would look at his bedside table for a cigarette and a lighter before he remembered that he no longer had any cigarettes. He would have to quit all over again.
Marriage is a lot like quitting smoking. It is a decision that you make every day, so do it! Choose to love every day.
2. Pray with and Pray for each other
Prayer is a powerful and formative thing. It changes the circumstances of your life and changes the way you see your struggles. Very few couples I know are good at this so keep at it. Prayer doesn’t come easily (at least that has been my experience) it takes hard work.
3. Make sure you are asking the right questions.
God is doing something at each stage of your marriage. In preacher language, your marriage is a sacrament. This means it is a means of dispensing grace. God is doing something through you and through your marriage. He is using your marriage to change who you are so it is vital to make sure that you are asking the right questions. The question is not, “why is this happening to me?” The right question to be asking is, “What are we learning right now? So when you’re twenty-something, working constantly, living like 2 ships passing in the night the question is not , “why doesn’t she make supper anymore?” Or, “Why doesn’t he pick up his laundry?” The question is, “What are we learning here? What’s God calling me to? What’s He teaching me?”
God brings you to each struggle and through each season to your marriage in order to bless you. Do you really think God is all powerful? Do you really think he wants what’s best for you? Then you need to look at every new challenge as an opportunity to receive a blessing from God. When you’re changing diapers constantly and sleep is scarce you can complain about it on Facebook or you can receive it as a gift unlooked for. A blessing in disguise.
Choose to love every day, Pray with and for each other. See every challenge as a holy appointment. An opportunity to receive a blessing from God.