‘My marriage is different’ is usually the common response we get from couples going through difficult situations. You will also hear things like – You won’t understand, you haven’t been in my shoes, how dare you judge me?
Stop! Please take a moment to listen; be open-minded and let’s see what this is all about. Why is it that we argue and refuse to learn basic principles or guidelines that can help our marriage, claiming that our temperaments and situations are different? Yet we devour books and learn basic principle about business without thinking of our temperament.
A good example is when learning how to drive:
No matter your temperament, education or strata in society; the basic principle of driving - clutch, brake, accelerator and steering doesn’t change.
We all are mandated to learn the basics and thereafter our temperament or education level determines the finesse we put into it.
For me, I like things fast; so I drive fast and I’m impatient with slow drivers. Now that’s my temperament showing up, it still doesn’t remove the fact that in all these I’m still utilizing the driving principles - Clutch, brake, accelerator and steering. If I accidently stop applying the basic principles of driving, accident is sure and death could occur.
This brings us back to marriage. Yes our temperaments and situations will affect the finesse of our marriage but the basic principle has never changed.
What are the basic principles of marriage?
- Commitment: taking responsibility to stay the long haul and pay the price.
- Communication: speaking daily and ensuring that the other understands the message you are passing across, while giving room for feedbacks (or as we call it in KMA ‘Verifying’).
- Teamwork: Have written goals and expectations of where you both are going (vision) and the part each of you will play in accomplishing these goals (mission).
- Forgiveness: this is very crucial in building an intimate relationship with your spouse. We should learn the habit of letting go of past hurt and letting God in.
- Prayer: every marriage will encounter a storm and to survive the storm you need an anchor. This is where prayer comes in.
Don’t forget - EVERY MARRIAGE IS UNIQUELY DIFFERENTLY BUT THE PRINCIPLES THAT DRIVE IT ARE THE SAME.
Ngee & Rich
Founders of Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative
“Will two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3 (CEB)