Every Christian couple wants a Christ-centered Marriage and we all know this isn’t an overnight work. Many young people today think that marriage is the solution to all the problems they have in life especially at home. When they are in trouble with their parents, siblings, in-laws, or anyone else they live within the house, they are quick to think that they need another company to live with and another roof to live under in order to get rid of their ugly current circumstances. They fail to realize that if they enter marriage with such a negative disposition, they are only most likely to carry out a family life which is just as problematic as the one they so desire to leave. Hence, instead of alleviating their situation, they are bound to make it even worse.
Our youth, no matter how wise they already think they are, must be reminded that it is best to marry only because they are ready and not because they are in misery. And more importantly, they should choose to marry someone who shares their values and faith in order to ensure less disagreements over the major aspects of the married life. This can only happen though when they make their family their teammates in selecting a prospective future mate.
Nevertheless, even if they have married one with the same faith and principles they hold dear, they must realistically keep in mind that marriage is an increment of a day-to-day challenge the couple has to hurdle together in order to be truly happy. It has been said that “There are no perfect marriages, only happy ones.”
Thus, perfection is not our goal in marriage but happiness. And since marriage was designed by God, we will only find true happiness in it when we make Him the center of it. By happiness, we have to recall its sense in the very first chapter of Psalms when it says “Happy is the man…”. In this context, “happy” is synonymous with the word “blessed”. And we can only be blessed when we are Christ-centered.
Sadly, there are so many Christian married couples who start out well but drift along the way and end up breaking off each other and ultimately giving up on marriage to the devastation of their children. Needless to say, they have failed to keep their marriage because they have not invited Christ to take its center stage. Instead, their focus shifted to themselves and their awful differences.
So how do we keep a Christ-centered marriage?
I would like us to get back to Psalm 1. Generally, I would like to categorize the suggestions only into two: The Don’ts and the Dos.
The Don’ts to a Christ-centered marriage:
Obviously, the passage talks primarily about how a single person in specific ways can live a happy life.
So, how does it apply in marriage? Well, the same principles apply in marriage because whatever kind of individual one brings in to marriage is the same who will help or hinder the other into Christlikeness.
It says, “Happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of the sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers…” In this passage, there are three things that a person must avoid in order to be happy:
One, do not walk in the counsel of the wicked. Two, do not stand in their way. And three, do not sit (or settle) in their company. Just like when we are single, in marriage we would also find ourselves in many situations where we need to seek counsel. In fact, we might find an even greater need for counseling when we are married than when we are not.
Our choice of a counselor is extremely crucial to the marriage principles with which we base our decisions later. Hence, it is best to consult our spiritual leaders, pastors and or mentors. In the same way, we are to be careful in the path that we tread or the lifestyle we live by. If God requires holiness in singleness, He all the more requires it in marriage because marriage, as He originally designed it, is holy.
Furthermore, we must stay away from the company of the ungodly. As the Apostle Paul says in one of his epistles, our association with them (when they are living in sin) could mean approval to the world which as a result could cause confusion among those who look up to us — believers and unbelievers alike — due to our seeming double standards.
The Dos to a Christ-centered marriage:
“But his delight is on the law of the LORD. And on his law, he meditates day and night”, continues the chapter. After saying what must be shunned, it tells us that what is required of us to keep a Christ-centered life or marriage for that matter is to DELIGHT in his word.
To delight means to find pleasure and therefore good reason to get soaked in the Word. There is only one requirement yet it has to be done day and night. Closing the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul says “…whatsoever things are good, …are noble, …are just, …are pure, …are of good report, meditate on these things”. And all these, apart from other positive and godly things in life, could most perfectly pertain to the word of God.
As the husband and the wife become both filled with the Spirit through Bible reading, only then can they start to be truly Christ-centered. And since meditating the Bible day and night gives them more insights on the specific principles for marriage, the wife will learn to RESPECT her husband and husband LOVE his wife.
And that’s just the beginning of their lifelong journey to having a Christ-centered marriage.