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Thursday, 05 January 2017 12:13

6 Principles for a Happy and Lasting Marriage

Written by  Dr. Travis Coleman
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Last month during our Children’s Choir Christmas program the first grade through the sixth grade choirs presented, “Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” It was a Christmas musical that used all the events surrounding the birth of our Savior to convince skeptics in Bethlehem of Jesus’ arrival. It was cute and our children did a wonderful job with the drama and music. When I stood to close out the service, I drew attention to the children that played Mary and Joseph. I told them that Mrs. Coleman and I were Mary and Joseph in our Christmas program as teenagers and look, we got married. I kidded them that the same thing could happen to them in real life too. The little boy who played Joseph was emphatically shaking his head “no.” We all laughed. By the way, we were King and Queen at the Sweetheart Banquet as well.

 

Those events seem a lifetime ago. We’ve now been married for 47 years. My wife, Arlinda, is the love of my life. Our relationship started out as friends in our youth group at church and at school. We didn’t date until college but we believe God prepared us as friends, each committed to the Lord and growing in our faith. Paul said in Galatians 4:4, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son...” Time in this verse is “Kronos”, meaning chronology. Jesus came at a point in time (2,000 years ago). God brought Arlinda and me together at a point in time. We started dating and 16 months later we married. Now, a college degree, two seminary degrees, three children and their three marriages, six grandchildren and three churches later, we are happy and fulfilled in our marriage.

 

We were blessed with some excellent pre-marital counseling as we prepared for marriage. Like all couples we have learned through trials and errors, from testimonies of others, from reading good books on marriage, and most importantly, reading God’s Word about how to maintain a healthy marriage and relationship.

 

Some principles that have guided us are...

 

1. Marriage was created by God.In Genesis 2:18 God saw Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So God Created Eve and gave her to Adam as a companion and helpmate. Marriage was God’s idea and he performed the first wedding ceremony in the Garden of Eden.

 

2. Marriage is about a personal commitment.In Genesis 2:24 God said, “...a man shall leave his father and mother and is united to his wife...” A man and woman make a conscious decision to leave family and form a new family unit.

 

3. Marriage is to be permanent.In Genesis 2:24 God said, “...and is united to his wife...” A husband and wife are glued together or bonded together in a lifelong commitment.

 

4. Marriage is a process.In Genesis 2:24 God said, “...and they became one flesh.” Marriage is not a single act of intimacy but a lifetime process of blending two independent lives into one. This oneness is characterized by a faithfulness to each other. They will not allow another person, work, children, extended family and even complacency to come between them.

 

5. Marriage was thought highly by Jesus and Paul. In John 2:1-10 Jesus performed is first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana affirming the wedding celebration. In Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul clearly lays out the responsibilities of men and women in marriage.

 

6. Marriage is about companionship.In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 King Solomon writes about the strength of companionship by saying, “Two are better than one...” (v.9). Life was meant to be shared.

 

The list could go on and on, but I offer these as a beginning place for those who are contemplating marriage, for the engaged couple, and even for the longtime married to do a check-up. I challenge you to be a lifelong student of marriage and your spouse. Good, satisfying and fulfilling marriages take hard work. Arlinda and I were blessed to have started well. Our goal is to stay well and end well. I pray you will work hard on your marriage. It will be worth the effort.

 

Dr. Coleman has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Prattville since 1989. He is married to wife Arlinda, and they have three children and six grandchildren.

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 05 January 2017 12:25
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