God’s Plan for Happy Marriage
There really are “keys” and time-tested principles which can help produce truly JOYOUS marriages! Our success in marriage depends upon our willingness to USE these keys in our own lives.
Scores of women have told me, with tears in their eyes: “My husband just won’t talk to me! He is distant. He won’t share things with me anymore. Even though we share the same house and the same food, I feel so alone most of the time!”
The breakdown of marriage and family in our western societies is by now legendary. The statistics are terrible, but would be much worse were it not for the millions of couples choosing to live together nowadays without benefit of marriage. Since there never was a marriage, neither is there a recorded divorce if these couples break up—which they do even more.
What Does GOD Say?
But what does God have to say about divorce and about the real meaning and purpose of marriage? This is vital to understand. For history shows us that any nation whose society allows or causes its families to come apart soon begins to disintegrate. Most historians note that “the breakdown of the family” was one of the symptoms, if not causes, of the fall of the Roman Empire. And in our newspapers, we read countless articles describing how young people in fatherless homes tend to turn to drugs, illicit sex and crime far more than do those raised in stable families.
In fact, roughly 20 million American children under 18 years of age in the United States live with just one parent. This represents 28 percent of all children. The majority of these—84 percent—live with their mother. In other words, approximately 17 million American children live in fatherless homes!
No wonder youth crime has been spiraling upward for decades. No wonder we have produced an entire generation of young people seemingly unafraid to do wrong. They seem to have no conscience. They are absolutely blatant in their sarcasm and in their rebellion against the rules of society and against the laws of God. As many have observed, this is the “in your face” generation. In a dual prophecy that certainly refers, in type, to our day, the prophet Isaiah was inspired to write: “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isaiah 3:4–5).
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul describes that “in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Such people who are unthankful, unholy, unforgiving and disobedient to parents are very unlikely to have strong, stable, loving marriages!
What we all need, then, are “keys” to building God-centered marriages, and principles as to how He would have us live together joyously as husbands and wives. The following are just such godly principles gleaned from more than 50 years in pastoral and family counseling, much reading and studying, and more than 45 years of happy marriage.