The Love Factor
According to Hagee, "conflicting expectations are the source of most unhappiness in marriage" (Hagee 2002). There is no need to go into to marriage with some unrealistic expectation that will leave both individuals disappointed and unhappy. It is clear that individuals should seek to have a basic understand of what marriage involves and the reason why he/she want to get married. Building healthy marriages, one has first to understand that it involves two individuals who are from different parenting background. “Marriage is more than a honeymoon; it is a lifetime commitment. Through sickness and health, for richer and poorer, marriage requires devotion and a mature ability to commit when it’s the last thing you want to do. Marriage is the act of two incompatible people learning to become compatible via compassionate compromise” (Hagee 2002). The Bible puts it well in declaring “the two shall become one flesh, and this is the expectation of all marriages, one flesh. The things that one party knows to do may vary because of his/her social background. Dr. Daniel J. Vassell states “love is not a second-hand emotion. It is the lifeblood of Christian Marriages and the church” (Vassell, 2005). There must be a clear definition and understanding of what love in a marriage is and should be. There must be a clear distinction between the feelings of love and the choice to love in marriage. Vassell reiterate the fact that “many marriages have failed because couples claim their feelings of love died in the relationship” (Vassell, 2015). It is also evident that redefining marriage will not solve the marital issues that society now faces. Healthy marriages are built on unconditional love. Dr. Hendrix states “unconditional love – or, more accurately, unconditional giving has not been in vogue in recent times. Too often we tend to think regarding a balance sheet, of earning someone’s love or having him or her earn ours – an economic model.
Unconditional Love sounds like a willingness to love someone no matter what he or she does, even if he or she neglects or abuses us”(Vassell, 2005). Loving each other unconditional will help to build a healthy marriage. Vassell puts it this way, “unconditional love is an unselfish love. It is an action you make happen. It is a love you determine to give without performance” (Vassell, 2005). Having a clear understanding of what love is and the ability to differentiate between love and infatuation help individuals to determine if they really want to get married. It is clear that love is more than just talk, it is a action word that must be demonstrated. Paul in penning 1 Corinthians 13, gives details of what love is and should be. It is therefore recommended that individuals think about these points intensively in order to have a clear understanding of what love in a marriage should be.
What constitutes a prosperous and healthy marriage? “A successful marriage is a marriage in which the two individuals respect each other's values and principles full-heartedly; have mutual interests; feel the commitment towards each other; have made a decision to be together under any circumstances; and cooperate with one another. Satisfaction of the couples requires the endeavor of the couples to gain it” (Parker, Ortega, & VanLaningham, 1995). According to a former President of the United States of America, “Ronald Reagan notably stated, “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms” (Lee 2009). Again there must be an understanding of the different stages of love that one will demonstrate in a marriage relationship to produce a healthy marriage. The love relationship in a marriage is a growing one. The love should be growing as the years progresses. There has been a sharp decrease over the last two generations in the proportion of British children who live with their own two married parents, spurred first by increases in divorce, and more recently by large jumps in unmarried or cohabiting childbearing (Civitas. 2004).
Civitas. (2004). Does Marriage Matter? Retrieved April 28, 2018, from http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/cs31.pdf
Hagee, J. &. Hagee, D. (2005). What Every Man Wants in a Woman What Every Woman Wants in a Man. Florida: Charisma House.
Jose, A., O'Leary, K. D., & Moyer, A. (2010). Does Premarital Cohabitation Predict Subsequent Marital Stability and Marital Quality? A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 105-116.
Misja, M., & Misja, C. (2009). Thriving despite a difficult marriage. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
Vassell, D. J. (2005). The love factor in marriage. Lake Mary, FL: Creation House.