Dos & Don’ts about Marriage
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
Crises of Traditional Marriage
Nowadays, people consider the following lifestyles very trendy: cohabitation, trial marriage, homosexuality, bisexuality, and extramarital affairs. They think that the “loyalty” and “commitment” in marriage are obsolete. According to United Nations statistics, the divorce rate in many countries has risen rapidly in recent years. The United States and Canada rank first since half of their first-time marriages end in divorce. Next are the United Kingdom and South Korea.
As China’s economy gradually develops, its divorce rate also catches up in mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Flash marriage, flash divorce, and extramarital affairs are very common. Even students talk a lot about their parents being divorced.
In Beijing and Shanghai, many “mistress training classes” have been opened with full houses, though the tuition fee can be as high as ¥30,000 RMB (China’s currency called renminbi) per class. Their horrible slogan is: “There is no family that cannot be broken down”! Greedy girls learn to use all tricks to lure rich men, destroying their marriages and families for money, status, and luxury. The shameless lecturers speak with exaggeration under their heavy makeup and fancy outfits. No moral standards!
On the other hand, “anti-mistress training” businesses blossom to help housewives to expel mistresses from their marriages. However, in order to strengthen marriage, we have to establish a correct understanding of marriage.
- Marriage is holy, established by God. When God created man, He wanted to give a partner to Adam and thus created Eve by extracting a rib from him. Adam was so excited to exclaim, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:23 NIV)
- Marriage is lifetime and the union of one man and one woman. God didn’t give a male spouse to Adam but told the couple to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…” (Genesis 1:28 NIV)
Don’ts about Marriage
- Don’t ignore the person’s destructive character and addictive hobbies. Watch out for mental health too. Pay attention to the person’s difference in primary family, background, culture, religion, and age. You shouldn’t just get attracted by the person’s career, wealth, and appearance.
- Don’t overestimate your power of love. Never hope that your love can change your spouse’s bad character. Only Christ’s salvation can change a person completely.
- Don’t get married due to pressure from family and friends and selfish gain such as obtaining citizenship. The result is pain for the family and children. In order to have a blessed marriage, a Christian must remember: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)
Dos about Marriage
- Respect marriage and watch out for the “third party” because “marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4 NIV) Extramarital affairs are the cancer of marriage and the poison of love. Though jobs used to be the highest risk of meeting the other man or woman, now social media has become the incubator of extramarital affairs! Therefore, you must not keep an intimate friend of the other gender and “… guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
- Love is hard to pass the testing of time and space. Long term departure leaves a huge entrance for the “third party” to enter.
- Marriage needs to be cherished and nourished.
- Forgive each other.
- As a wife, you need to respect your husband especially in front of your children and friends. As a husband, you ought to love and take care of your wife. Love each other as if you first fell in love. God never hid His love from us but has been proclaiming His loving kindness to us through prophets and His Only Son. Why don’t you tell your spouse more often “thank you” and “good job”?
- Continue to grow with your spouse by spending more time cultivating common interests.
- Keep reading to gain knowledge and stay looking good and neat as if you were still dating.
- Remember the priority of marriage: God first, then spouse, children, yourself, and in laws.
- Discern what the correct way of communication is.
- Remember that quarreling is not a way to improve communication. Harmful words are irreversible and can accumulate.
- Good communication makes your minds think alike. Talk to your spouse heart to heart and “…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” (James 1:19 NIV) Make any criticism positive and try not to take a comment personally. There’s no need to retrieve “old files” when you have disagreements. Let laughter fill your family.
For Christian couples, the purpose of your life is to glorify God. Even when one of you does anything wrong, quickly repent and resolve to make a change. Here’s what an admirable marriage means: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)