Anything of a lasting nature is built on a firm and solid foundation and marriage is no different. Just as a house built on a poor foundation will be blown in a storm, so a marriage is unlikely to survive the tempest of life unless it’s firmly established on a bedrock of moral principles. Ten (10) foundation stones upon which to build a happy and successful marriage are:
Love in a marriage is more than just feelings and emotion; it is a choice and a decision you make and renew everyday with regards to your spouse. Whenever you rise up in the morning or lye down at night or go through the affairs of the day, you chosen continually to love that man or that woman you married. Understanding that love is a choice will keep you out of trouble when temptation comes. Knowing you have made a decision to love your husband or your wife will carry you through those times when he or she made you angry or when you see that handsome or attractive coworker in the office. So, a renewed daily sacrificial love is a requirement for a happy marriage.
Nothing damages a marriage more than broken trust. It is hard to grow and prosper in an atmosphere of bitterness, resentment and suspicion. Trust enables a husband and wife to enjoy a relationship characterized by openness and transparency, with no secrets kept off limit to each other. Both partners must take great care to ensure that they do not say or do anything to give each other any reason to doubt or distrust them. Trist is an essential element of commitment.
Commitment is a frightening word to many people in our society today. They’re afraid of being tied down to any kind of long term arrangement. This is one major reason why marriage don’t last. Commitment is a life lord of marriage. Marriage is a ‘blood covenant’ and it lasts a lifetime.
Any healthy relationship or marriage must be built on mutual respect. Respect is well expressed in the way we esteem the other partner, considering him or her worthy high regard. Wives should respect their husbands and husbands should respect their wives. Many men grow up to regard women as little more than sex objects to be possessed and used at will; and never learning any difference, they carry the same ignorant view point into marriage. Whoever desires respect must show respect to others and live in a manner worthy of respect.
It would be almost impossible to over emphasize the importance of knowledge as a firm foundation for marriage. Many marriages fail because of lack of knowledge. Couples enter married life with no clue as to what marriage is all about. They carry unrealistic and unreasonable expectation of themselves, their spouses and their relationship as whole. With all the resources that are currently available and because so much is at stake, there is no excuse today for marital ignorance or illiteracy.
Healthy marriages are not only built on mutual respect but also on mutual submission. We often hear that wives are supposed to commit to their husbands that we forget that submission goes both ways. Submission is the willingness to give up our right to our self, to freely surrender our insistence on having our own way all the time. Submission also means putting the needs, rights and welfare of another person ahead of our own. A marriage built on this kind of submission will grow healthy, strong and fulfilling.
Faithfulness is closely related to commitment and also has a lot to do with trust. Most time when we speak of faithfulness, we most often have sexual relation in mind. Faithful partners will be true, reserving sexual expressions exclusively for each other. Marital fidelity means that your spouse health, happiness, security, and welfare take a higher place in your life than anything else. Marital faithfulness involves more than just sexual fidelity. Being faithful to your wife entails defending her and affirming her beauty, intelligence and integrity all the time particularly before other people.
This is another essential foundation stone for building a successful and happy marriage. It brings about two totally different people with different experiences, backgrounds, temperaments, and cultures. These differences make partners make major adjustments in their lives and attitudes if their marriage is to succeed. The critical key in dealing with conflict and adjusting to differences is patience.
Truth is fundamental in marriage. A marriage not based on truth is heading for trouble. Truthfulness between every husband and wife is an indispensable part of a successful marriage. Honesty, tempered and seasoned with love fosters an environment of trust.
- Financial stability
This is one of the most overlooked foundational stones of marriage. Many young couples planning to marry sometimes give little thoughts to the importance of having a well established financial base. Love is certainly important even critical but let’s be practical; love won’t pay the bills or put food on the table. Adjusting to married life is difficult and challenging on its own. Financial difficulty is one of the main causes of marital failure.