Perhaps someone is wondering why we are taking so long on this topic. We should, because this is the crux of the rot in our world today. If we have great marriages, we will have great children and we are bound to have a great world. Broken homes birth broken society. Today we will look at one more reason for failure in marriage.
In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “If I get married, I want to stay very married.” One of the reasons for high rate of divorce is third party interference. For the purpose of proper understanding and correct contextual placement, third parties are people who are not bound by the spirit and letters of your marriage vow. Marriage vows are taken by two people, just the groom and bride, and after the vow, they become husband and wife. So anyone else apart from you and your spouse is a third party, including your children. Many homes have been broken due to unwholesome attention on the children at the detriment of the spouse.
Third parties can include parents, children, best friends, colleagues at work, spiritual leaders, neighbors, etc.
‘For this cause, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they twain shall become one.’ – Matthew 19:5. In marriage, you are to cleave, or become one with your wife. No one is permitted to come in between you, not even your children. A lot of people are married but still single at heart. Many husbands still run to their mothers for advice on matters that should be discussed with their wives. I call these categories ‘Mummy’s Boys’. For singles, beware of Mummy’s Boys. If he is still tied to his mum’s apron, no other apron can win his heart! Same applies to wives who must discuss every decision taken at home with their parents. You will ruin your marriage, if you continue that way.
Trust in your spouse’s judgment. If you observe any weakness in your spouse judgement ability, pray for him or her, buy books and tapes on decision making and leadership. Don’t sneer or snide at him, reminding him how the last decision led to disaster. You will be breeding hatred in him. Equip your man in the place of prayer. The problem with couples today is that, we complain and talk too much but pray less about our spouse’s weaknesses. You can win the world on your knees, let alone your spouse.
It is equally important to stress that there are times you may require professional advice or counsel. If and when such situations arise, agree together on who to approach and go together. Except in cases of abuse, whether physical or emotional, don’t go seeking counsel alone without your spouse. Be your spouse’s first counselor of resort. Read and study the word of God. There are practical guides in the Bible to guide your decisions.
The second aspect to third party interference is on allowing third party to live with you. In some culture, it is normal for the in-laws to come visiting once in a while. Both of you must agree before hand that your marriage is your garden and not your in-laws garden. Once that is settled, no matter how difficult your in-laws may be, you will be able to manage them. Apply wisdom. Show love, care and attention to your in-laws, even when you are not getting it back. Your good deeds are seeds of turnaround.
Summary of today’s point :
– Don’t allow 3rd party to ruin your home
– Hone your decision making skills
– Your garden is Yours, not your in-laws’.
God bless us all.