by Gray Graham
Part 2 of our: The Key To A Happy, Loving Marriage series
There was a time that the only rule of marriage seemed to be that the couple had to come from similar backgrounds and they agreed to what beliefs they would live by in their lives. Even today among many couples this is a very serious process that ends the final leg of marriage.
But this really isn't something that many couples value any longer. Many people marry others that do not share the same beliefs in life. They do not have the same religious beliefs, financial goals, parenting methods, and in many cases the same concept of marriage. So you may ask yourself how does this happen?
The answer to that question is that many people today are in relationships not because of mutual attraction but of mutual conveniences. These relationships are born out of a need to please some aspect of themselves. So you may have an older man that wants to feel younger so he gets involved with a younger woman. You may have a woman that has never felt attractive in her life that all of a sudden has a handsome man that wants to be with her. You may have an intellectual that has never had any close friends that meets someone that understands their intelligence.
Once people find someone that gives them what they have been missing, it is incredibly hard for them to let that person go. So many times people end up in long relationships out of a perceived need instead of love. In these cases people decide to overlook differences so that they can remain with the person.
Now I know there are people that are going to say well I have been married for 80 years and me and my husband have nothing in common and we get along just fine. This may be the case but when you look closer at their lives you may find that their particular relationship does not work for you. They may never spend any time together. So what they value most is time apart and you may value time together. The key is always to find someone that works with you and not against you.
If you like going to church it would not be wise to marry an atheist that hates religion. If you like spending money on the latest technology you should not marry a miser that tries to save every penny they can. If you are a strict disciplinarian when it comes to child rearing then you should not marry someone that believes in letting children do whatever they wish.
In a society where we are taught not to hold onto our deepest held beliefs and to change in order to get along with others, marriage is the one thing we need to hold steadfast to our core faith and beliefs. A marriage is unlike any other relationship in your life so it needs to have different rules than any other relationship in your life. It is not an area of your life that offers great compromise.
After many years of counseling many couples on relationships and marriage is it my belief that the most common reason people divorce is because they should have never been together in the first place. They tried to make something work that was destined to fail. Part of the allure of marriage is that it is us against the world so even when everyone around you is telling you that you are making a mistake, part of you wants to prove them wrong. Marriage should be built on the love of another and not pride in oneself.
One of the good things about the world today is that more and more people are saying no to marriage. It is now harder to find anyone that actually wants to get married like in years past. This is great because it removes a lot of people from your life when your goal is to be married. While this may lead to a lot of lonely nights it may also lead to a path of finding a person to spend your life.
Just remember to be honest with yourself and who you are and pray the other person does the same. I know much easier said than done but with faith all things are possible.