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Marriage: Invest or Give Up?

Rodney M. Silva
January 24, 2017
Marriage: do you invest in it or give up?

The Postmodern Family Scenario

Many are those who consider the family institution discredited and bankrupted. From an early age, our young people are induced by the media to think that marriage does not have to last a lifetime.


We live in a society where the pursuit of instant solutions does not encourage anyone to invest time and effort into something that "seems" complicated and difficult. For this reason, marriage has become something disposable. Due to the innumerable differences within marriage, most spouses do not bother to work on the relationship with the intention to preserve it. For many, it is easier to give up than to invest in their marital relationship. They completely disregard the emotional and spiritual losses resulting from this behavior and attitude.


When our children disappoint us and do not obey us, do we discard them? Do we look for other children? So why do many discard their spouses? Why is there so much radicalism and neuroses in our relations?


If marriage is to be successful, it is necessary to give up many things, except our spouse. One must understand that people are not disposable. Do not get carried away by the deception that getting rid of a problem immediately, rather than facing it, is the best choice. Without investment, the home will not be a safe place for the couple and their children, as their growth and development will be totally compromised. Everyone needs love, respect, and care. Seek to find in the Lord the way to restore your relationship and make it the best in the world!


But how can this be possible? We should not judge marriage from a selfish angle, thinking only of self-realization. This is an unfortunate parameter. Do not wait for the situation to change, change the situation. The risks of a marital relationship are immense because sooner or later marriage will present tensions and problems. On the other hand, taking such risks can have extremely positive results. You are also running the risk of being the happiest person in the world!


Marriage and the moon
The moon that has always nurtured the romanticism of courting pairs has countless lessons for couples. Marriage is cyclical, just like the moon. There are times when it is full and bright, and there are others where it may be "new and waxing." There may be black and dark moments, with waning periods marked by financial, emotional, or spiritual crises. At what stage is your marriage relationship? In the full, growing, waning, new phase or in a total eclipse?


Measuring and knowing the stage in which we are in our marriage will allow actions to be taken to strengthen, restore, or preserve this divine institution. We can only manage something that we can measure or know. It is up to you, your spouse, to examine and know what stage your marriage relationship is in.


Big problems unite couples, small problems separate them
"Why did you split up?" This question is always asked of the divorced, and the answers are the most varied.


Let's see: "We were incompatible; there was no dialogue in our relationship"; "He was very jealous"; "He spent too much"; "My mother-in-law was terrible!" ...


How big are all these problems? Notice that "bickering" works like gunpowder. When accumulated daily they create dynamite. The explosion will be inevitable. On the other hand, great problems unite couples. Among the most varied types of difficulties capable of uniting couples, are some of the most tragic happenings: an incurable disease, the death of a family member, a robbery, or aggression suffered. All these external elements affect the spouses but promote their union.


Incredible, couples are so creative that when they do not have problems, they create them. Therefore, use your creativity not to create conflicts, misunderstandings, and difficulties, but be pragmatic, use your intelligence to find solutions to all the hurdles that threaten your marital happiness. The war is over because someone surrendered!


Marital life in the spiritual aspect
Believe it: the origin of our marital problems has its starting point in ourselves. We are the motivating element of selfishness that promotes conflict. Its most common manifestation is the attempt to prove who is right and who is wrong. Many couples, even those who love each other, fight and separate based on the conviction that one of them is right. Isn't that strange? The "I am right" has been more responsible for most separations than the genuine mistakes in marital relationships.


Meditate: “If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife,” Proverbs 30: 32-33.


Such a scenario is the fruit not only of immaturity but mainly a lack of spirituality. All problems in human relations have their origin in the spiritual sphere. The more spiritual we are, the more skill and wisdom will be seen in resolving conflicts.


In the delicate moments of conjugal life, we must act like doctors, not like judges, not as prosecutors but as defense attorneys. Instead of looking for the "culprit" for problems in marriage, we should seek the Lord.


Adam and Eve met with the Lord every day. "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden," Genesis 3:8. The way in which we begin our day will determine how it will end. If we begin every day in the presence of the Lord, how will we finish it? The way we live determines our existence.


Couples need to be spiritual to be happy. Only those who are spiritual can humble themselves and ask for forgiveness. The proud will never do it. At certain times, one of the spouses must take the direction of normality and common sense. Someone needs to seek the presence of the Lord to deal with the problems and solve them. And how can we have a spiritual life? Through the Holy Spirit! It is He who fills us with the presence of the Lord.


Unfortunately, many couples live in the presence of the enemy. "Satan is the God of the world; his influence is to pervert the senses, control the human mind for evil, and drive his victims to violence and crime. He sows discord and darkens the intellect. The work of Christ is to break his power over the children of men. Yet how many in every department of life, in the home, in business transactions, and in the church, turn Jesus from their doors but let the hateful monster in," {2SP 317.1}


"Everywhere its slimy track is seen. It creates discontent and dissension in families; it excites envy and hatred in the poor against the rich; it prompts the grinding oppression of the rich toward the poor. And this evil exists not in the world alone, but in the church," {Patriarchs and Prophets, 497}.


The presence of the Lord can restore any marriage, can transform the worst sinner, can reverse any adverse situation in a relationship. If the devil, who is not omnipotent, can cause such evil to mankind, then imagine the good that God can do in your married life! Only the Lord can change any unpleasant situation through His presence!


So, never forget, "The closer we are to God, the safer we are, for Satan hates and fears the presence of God," {SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 937}.


We must seek to grow continually in the spirit
"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you," Ephesians 4: 25-32.


We need to saturate our soul with the presence of the Lord through His Word. Thus our mind, will, and emotions will positively influence our relationship and behavior. In His presence, we can easily perceive our mistakes and sins and repent of them all. Without it, we are weak and powerless. With a healthy heart and conscience, we will have a self-sustaining marriage. Daily difficulties will be overcome.


Unity in Diversity!
What are the great challenges of couples? To establish unity in a universe full of diversity. This means overcoming their differences and transforming the same into complementary elements.


"The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ," {The Adventist Home, 179}.


The life that results from living in the presence of the Lord is the life of God Himself. It is a life that does not know discord or intolerance, a life that overcomes all the obstacles and challenges of the marital relationship. An existence that recognizes the need for love and forgiveness at all times, and which remains open to dialogue, will promote a lifelong union.


The most effective means of uniting couples in the face of countless differences are: the study of the Word of God, prayer, praise, family worship services, evangelism, and a personal devotional life. Our heart will only be well if it is full of the Word and presence of God.


"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." Colossians 3: 16.


Marriage: do you invest in it or give up? It is true that most people are more successful academically and professionally than in marriage. This is due to the simple fact that there is much more energy, strength, and commitment in these areas than in marriage. It's time to invest more in your family! No success in the world will make up for the failure of a home. Allow the Lord to build your marriage relationship and make it the best of your life!


Your brother in the blessed hope of the everlasting gospel,
Rodney M. Silva