During our engagement period and the early years of our marriage, my wife and I received a plethora of advice about marriage. The advice ranged from "this is how you treat your spouse to this is how you communicate with your spouse to this is how you survive a marriage – oh I mean this is how you have a long pleasurable marriage". (lol)
Some of the advice was beneficial and some of it was horrible. Some of the good advice was from a reputable source but it did not fit our personalities or personal views on marriage.
On the occasions in which we followed this advice, it created more friction and aggravation than peace, unity and joy. We were trying to be people we were not. Personally speaking, I was trying to be a strong dominant leader with an overwhelming personality. That is not me. I had to learn how to be the husband, father and leader God created me to be not a carbon copy of someone else. I had to take the various bits of advice and apply them where they fit and dismiss them where they did not fit.
Did that require an extra-large dosage of truth serum as I asked myself " What am I (not my spouse) doing to contribute to the tension in my marriage? What changes do I need to make to alleviate the tension? Is the advice given by so and so applicable? If applicable, how can I best apply the advice without losing my personality?" Yes, it did. However, honest and sincere introspection has been vital to my personal and marital growth.
As a couple, Priscilla and I had to learn how to be married to each other. We both entered marriage with our personal views of the perfect marriage. Those views were positively and negatively affected by our parents, society, past relationships and traditions. At times, those views created a horrendous strain on our home. Once again, we had to learn how to be married to each other, not our view of the ideal marriage.
We had to figure out who was going to cook, wash dishes, clean the house, wash the clothes, cut the grass, repair things and manage the money in our house. While our parents , society and marriage made recommendations, we had to figure out what was best for us.
In a similar situation, Jesus had to decide what was best for the man who had been sitting at the side of the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. The man wanted to be healed but he did not have anyone to put him in the water. Jesus sees the man, questions him and then heals him. He then tells the man to pick up his pallet and walk. The man obediently does so. (John 5:1-15)
According to the Jewish religious leaders, that was not the TRADITIONALLY RIGHT thing to do. Jesus should have waited until Sunday to heal the man and command him to pick up his pallet and walk. Work was prohibited on the Sabbath. This explains why the religious leaders were irate with Jesus. They were more concerned about maintaining their traditions than celebrating the healing of a man who had been cripple for 38 years. (John 5:1-15)
We encourage you to follow the example of Jesus. Don't allow traditions, the advice of others or your preconceived conception of marriage to stop you from enjoying your marriage. You are not married to either one of them. You are married to your spouse.
Does that mean that we should not take the advice of others? No, it does not. The bible encourages us to seek wise council. However, it is imperative that we take the advice and examine it carefully. All Good Advice Is Not Good Advice For Us.
Learn how to love you spouse. Learn to how enjoy your spouse. Learn how to lead your spouse. Learn how to submit yourself to your spouse. Learn how to resolve conflicts with your spouse. Learn how to have fun with your spouse. And watch Your Marriage Succeed!!!!!!