We live in a world of changing norms. In all of the flurry of what is and isn't beneficial to the family, some important truths about marriage have been pushed aside, and sometimes even buried. Here are 5 truths that deserve attention and renewed consideration.
1. Marriage is about making and keeping sacred vows
Whether in a church, synagogue, court house, or on a beach, these marital promises are what bind you together in a loving, lasting relationship. These vows need to be written down and remembered. They need to be reviewed and cherished. They need to mean something; not just said on a wedding day and forgotten. Weld them into your hearts and let them be your guide through life.
Be proud of that piece of paper—your marriage certificate. Let it remind you and your family that your marriage matters to you. It witnesses that you made important vows and promises to each other to ensure a lasting marriage.
Consider framing and hanging that certificate on the wall next to your wedding photo. It will remind you of the sacredness and importance of your marriage.
2. Marriage is about becoming "one"
That doesn't mean you stop being your own individual selves. In loving marriage relationships spouses are respected by each other and encouraged to nurture and develop their own talents. The "oneness" meant here is to be one in purpose.
Every couple needs to define their purpose—the mission of their marriage. What does it mean to you and what are your goals? Joining your talents and different attributes can bring about a stronger oneness in your purpose.
Writer Barbara Cage expressed it well when she said, "Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together."
3. Marriage is about creating a family
It's not just about having sex, though that is certainly an important part of it. There's much more to it than that. Mankind needs to be propagated through the secure bonds of matrimony. Society is depending on couples marrying and having children. Not just having them, but rearing them to be capable, contributing adults. Without children being born, cared for, and taught, there is no way to keep a society going.
No one can tell a couple how many children they should have. That's a private matter and is no one else's business. However, when couples include God in planning their family it will always turn out right. He knows our desires and capabilities better than anyone.
Of course, not every couple can have children. Many in this situation adopt or become foster parents, giving other precious children the opportunity to grow and develop into capable adults who in turn contribute to their community.
Societies need strong couples who teach their children the importance of having values and living them.
4. Marriage is about being faithful to your spouse
It's about being willing to devote your lives to each other. It's about guarding that relationship as you would your very life. Couples who realize this do all in their power to protect themselves from ever wandering into forbidden paths of infidelity, even in thought.
Wise husbands and wives will openly discuss boundaries regarding their fidelity to each other. Decide what you will never do that would jeopardize your marriage. Decide what you will do to show devotion to each other every day.
Talk about trust, and the importance of not putting yourselves in any position where temptation may destroy that trust. Live every day as a trusted, devoted spouse. It's far easier and more rewarding than the alternative.
5. Marriage is about showing the next generation that marriage can be joyful and fulfilling.
The emerging pool of potential husbands and wives need to see evidences of this truth. They are yearning for it. They are tired of divorce and heartache. They want to see that marriage can work and how to make it work. Married couples can give them that example and reassurance.
They can show them that even though every marriage will experience difficulties, it can survive and even flourish through the hard times. They need to know it's not a bed of roses, but neither is it a thorny path when partners are determined, loving, and forgiving.
Look at your own marriage and see what you can do to make it even better. Fawn Weaver, the bestselling author of "Happy Wives Club",said, "The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little 'extra' every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live."