This one is for those looking forward to getting married soon or for those who are already married. From a young age, I was counselled by many leading men of God to get married as early as possible. One of the reasons, I was told, was that it would help me in the ministry. Best thing told by a man of God was, “Shyju, after you are married, you’ll learn aspects about the bride of God and God himself that you cannot learn otherwise”. Another said, “Marriage is God’s way of teaching a man to die to self”. My wife adds, “Same for a woman as well”.

I agree and for me, the last six months of our marriage have been a huge learning experience. I am still trying to unlearn many traits of my bachelor lifestyle. It is good to learn young while it is easier to change.

However, here is one thing we need to be cautious about when it comes to marriage.

While we learn a lot of good things from other couples, we can also be negatively influenced if we are not careful. Sadly, some people have more bad experiences with their marriage than good. And if we are not alert, we may find ourselves getting into a lifelong commitment with all that is not beneficial in our head and react negatively to otherwise harmless situations.

There were many ‘kind’ friends who did that to us as well. They said stuff like, when the honeymoon is over; it is no more what you expect it to be, and marriage is depressive and so on and so forth. I am sure you have heard your share of negativity and all its variants.

Now even when their advice has stemmed from the hurts of life, the truth is that there is no one who is perfect, and it is only God who can make your marriage perfect. Over and over again, I’m rejuvenated by the fact that, “In the presence of Jesus, we are made complete.”

There is no other way. Even if you have received counsel and good advice from friends, there is no one else like God who can break and make you. He understands your heart and your trouble because He destined the marriage in the first place. When you trust your marriage into His hands, He will give you the inner strength to face whatever may come your way.

Opening your ears to listen to the lies of the enemy is to open your hearts to fear. Fear blurs your sense of direction and plants disappointment in your heart. Consequentially, doubt sets in to take away your trust in God.

They are mouths to talk but our ears need to choose what we need to listen. Stop listening to negative reports of those who could not make it. Strictly, do not encourage or entertain those who poison your mind and draw you away from your partner. Start listening to God through the Word. Enjoy studying the Word of God – the Bible. Leave your marriage in the place where it began – in the hands of God.

If you are going through a difficult time with your marriage, remember that it is the Lord that can make you into the right kind of husband or wife; the very kind that pleases God in everything. Instead of continually wanting and hoping your partner to change, influenced by the high expectations of people around you or what you saw in a picture-perfect movie, start by first trying to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is teaching you in every situation. Now on that note, intentionally choose to love, serve and pursue your partner.

Have you had negativity spoken over your life? How have you dealt with it?