Three Qualities of a Marriage Built to Last
I remember being where you are—watching married couples interact and imagining myself in that situation. One day. One day that may be me. As I was courting the girl I loved, who is now my wife, I consumed any and all material I could find about marriage. Young singles often take the “marriage buffet line:” picking and choosing the good and the bad from among the thousands of relationships on display before their eyes.
As a young single, I would attend weddings and overhear the bride telling their story to her friends, as they gathered around to hear what attracted them to one another. “He’s cute, funny, and smart,” was the most common among women. “She’s pretty, funny, and smart,” was common among men. That’s great, and I don’t intend to sound judgmental, but really? That’s what you’re building your future on? If we’re being realistic, cats are cute, funny, and smart!
Sarah and I invited marriage mentors into our lives and subjected them to a cascade of questions! In a world where #relationshipgoals is a constant, trending topic, young minds are saturated by qualities to emulate for their marriage, for when it’s their turn.
But what are realistic, yet high standards for a rock-solid marriage?
I could create an itemized list thousands of would-be qualities that make a marriage great, but I’ve narrowed down three rock-solid qualities of a marriage built to last, that Christian couples everywhere should make their #relationshipgoals. Spoiler alert: This list does not include cute, funny, or smart:
1. Joyful, intimate friendship. I hate that “he/she is my best friend,” has become so cliché. It is a precious thing when it’s true. It is actually rarer than we realize. Strive for intimate friendship, as you look forward towards marriage. My wife truly is my go-to, my partner in crime, and my confidant. Even though we know one another extremely well, she still fascinates me. I can honestly say that there is no one else I want by my side. Yes, we disagree at times. There is not always perfect harmony, because we are two flawed, opinionated people. But at the end of the day, she is a safe place and a warm home for me.
2. Honest, loving communication. Many marriages have the “honest” part down. Remember: it’s “trendy” to speak your mind. Well, the Lord isn’t interested in you regurgitating your flawed, carnal mind to your spouse, where your words can inflict deep, heinous scars. The biblical way is to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15) Observe and emulate couples who know the deep and hidden places of their spouse, yet choose to honor the workmanship that the Maker has wrought in them. These couple couldn’t care two cents about being right, but they have all the passion in the world to use communication to edify one another and contribute to the glorious masterpiece that God is creating in them.
3. Dynamic, cherished partnership with the Lord. I knew a phenomenal older couple who made their morning coffee, turned on worship music, and fervently adored their Savior together. Their voices rang in worship, and tears flooded their eyes, and they were intimate friends of the Living God! Then, after spending the morning together in worship, they partnered hand in hand with God in ministry to countless broken, enslaved people. They moved in sync with God and each other. The world has seen too few of these treasured power couples, but just imagine what the world would think if married couples of this caliber were on every street!
God’s best is better than the shallow examples of the world. Let’s elevate our expectations in marriage. Let’s “come up higher” and emulate marriage God’s way.