Growing togetherSue Afutu
Ephesians 4: 15, 16 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly, as each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (NLT)
Marriage is about doing life together with your spouse. Together you and your spouse experience the everyday moments of life and the exciting moments too.
Working together as a married couple is not only fun but it is also rewarding in many ways.
One of the consequences is that you end up growing together. When my husband and I were dating one of his favourite lines was ‘ I want to grow old with you”. It’s a romantic statement no doubt. But it is also pregnant with meaning and takes time and effort to achieve.
Growing old with your spouse is not merely clocking the years together. But it also involves being there for each other through it all. One litmus test in knowing whether you and your spouse are growing together is to honestly ask yourself whether you are there for each other through the moments and the phases of life.
I attended a marriage conference some years ago and was privileged to listen to a couple who had been married for more than fifty years. The secret to the success of their marriage included attending events together as often as they could and being involved in each other’s lives. I have observed a few married couples who also run a family business together and seen the positive effect it has on their marriage. I do not know of any couple who have suffered from such an arrangement.
It’s also necessary to grow together so one spouse does not advance ahead of the other. As one spouse develops mentally or intellectually by pursuing advanced degrees, professional courses and the like; it is prudent that the other partner is encouraged to also improve himself or herself similarly if possible. There are various levels of professional improvement and this includes both formal training in schools and informal training through mentorship or apprenticeship. This would help both of you to continue to be fulfilled in your careers. A full-time homemaker also needs mentorship from those who have towed that path on how to excel in that area. It is advisable for full time homemakers to seek personal improvement by staying abreast with the news, reading books etc.
If you are into physical fitness, have you thought about how you can robe your partner into it? This would ensure that you both stay fit and healthy while adding some spice to your relationship.
Do you think your spouse is not as spiritual as when you first met? Has his or her love for God and the things of God waned even if it be in a small measure? Perhaps it is because you have been growing in leaps and bounds in your walk with God and left the other behind. To prevent such a thing from happening you need to attend church camps and conferences together as much as possible. One added advantage of this is that in the process you would make mutual friends. You can also identify some books, magazines and blogs and decide to read them. This can even contribute to your conversations. Some couples say very little to each other and often the conversation is skewed towards the children (where there are children) or around the family finances. This can even make our conversations stale or boring.
Marriage is about harnessing the power of two.
There’s an African proverb that says if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together. The Bible says one would put a thousand to flight and two would put ten thousand to flight. You can be married but still live as though you were single.
Wishing you well in this journey called marriage.
Yours in the service of Christ.