The Marriage Race

Growing up, I learned very early that many times we fail at a task because we do not prepare well enough. Hard work pays and it’s as simple as that!

I also observed early in life that many times, most marriages fail because we do not prepare well enough, we do not work hard enough, we do not put in as much effort there as we do our careers, we seek too many comforts that we bail too easy and early enough when the comforts we seek do not arrive too soon. Marriage is no rocket science but it’s still hard work all the way through. Yet, with all the hard works too, it still will not work well if we don’t build it on a solid foundation of Christ and a great deal of “marital knowledge”.

Good knowledge will always be a vital tool in every endeavour; without it every venture perishes (Ref: Hosea 4:6). It is in light of that and my resolve to see my marriage last till the end that I recently made it a life goal to not let a day pass without reading something (even if it’s a sentence) on marriage. Aside books, I subscribe often to different daily marriage devotionals and I’m really learning a lot. Mark Twain said “the man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read” and I find that to be true. Similarly, I believe a man who makes the effort to acquire more marital knowledge (and applies it) will have a better marriage than the man who doesn’t and just goes through the motions.

I think what I learned today from the recent marriage devotional plan I subscribed to (a plan adapted from Dr. Kim Kimberling’s new book “7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage”) was interesting:

“Let’s compare marriage to a long distance race. The truth is that most of us did not prepare well for the race. We just jumped in and someone said go and we went. We did not train. We did not change our habits or behaviors. We just ran. So it is not surprising that not too far into the race some of us were ready to bail out. Others seemed to be hanging in, but they were really struggling. It comes down to this.

Everyone in the race needs hope. Hope that they can make it the distance. Hope that there are a whole lot of water stations along the route that refresh and energize them. Hope that their spouse is running side by side with them. Hope that their spouse is in it with them to the end. Hope in the truth that they are not running the race alone – God runs with them.”

How to make marriage successful is never learned in a school syllabus in our formative lives and if we do not make any effort in our adult life to seek that knowledge then I wonder on what foundation of knowledge our marriages will be built on and how well/far we will run the race. Maybe attaining the “marriageable age” naturally confers on us all the marital knowledge we need to achieve success, huh? Or, maybe growing up and observing our own parents’ marriage is all the knowledge we need, huh?

Well, whatever it is, why not start a daily marriage reading challenge and see if it is worth it?

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Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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