Putting the Equation Together for a Successful Marriage
From Here to There – Part 2.2
Now that we understand what marriage is and the why behind two individuals uniting together as one, there is one additional idea to consider. There’s one secret to marriage that most (51% and more) miss and thus fall prey to a marriage that’s less than successful.
Marriage <> Him + Her
I need to be a little careful here as this statement could be seen as a little controversial, more today than ever before. At any rate, if the idea of marriage was a math equation, the common response would be that marriage equates to him plus her. Marriage equates to her plus him. Marriage equals the two individuals becoming one. While this idea sounds good because it’s normal and we hear it so often, there’s obviously something missing based upon the average results we find.
Let’s talk about those results for a second. The average marriage ends in divorce. We’re told that 50% or so end in divorce. We hear it all the time. That would mean that divorce is as common as marriage is. However, I’d like to paint a different picture for you to consider. Let’s put the 50% of marriages that end in divorce to the side for a moment and think only of the 50% that don’t end in divorce. Of that 50%, how many would you say are happily married? It’s a normal assumption that the 50% that remain are happily married. While I’ve not found a stat on this percentage, it doesn’t change the idea. There is a large number who are married, but are unhappy. Keep in mind, people who fall into the divorce category today were once in the married, but unhappy category yesterday.
Answer the following questions:
1 – Do you know anyone who’s been divorced?
2 – Do you know people who are married?
3 – How about people who are married that you don’t think will be in the next few years?
4 – Do you know any couples who’ve been married more than 20 years?
5 – Of those married twenty years or more, do you know any who are happily married?
6 – If you could model your marriage after someone that has been married 30 years or more, who would it be?
These questions are to test your knowledge of people, but to demonstrate how much more difficult it becomes when asked to identify a good marriage versus one that’s failed or is failing. It’s this idea that leads me to believe that marriage takes more than her plus him or him plus her. Therefore marriage doesn’t equal him plus her. There must be something missing from this equation.
Marriage = Him + God + Her
Actually this equation is a simplified version of the true equation; Marriage = (Him+God) + (God+Her).
No matter who sits on the opposite end of the table from us, the number one response a couple has for marrying is that of love. At least until I ask my follow up question. Then “what is love?” If two individuals are going to marry out of love, then shouldn’t they be able to define and more importantly know what love is? In an upcoming lesson, we will go through the exercise of defining love; but for this lesson, we will simplify it and say that “God is love.” Based on the common response of “love”, I now have something more I can use to improve our equation for marriage. Marriage equals him plus love plus her. It may also be stated that marriage equates her plus love plus him.
Now let’s substitute love with God since God is love or God equals love. Marriage equals him plus God plus her. Again it may also be written this way, marriage equates her plus God plus him. Please note that the equation can only properly be written this way.
Without God marriage really doesn’t exist because love is a requirement for marriage. God is love. In fact, a person has no idea of love without having an idea of God. This is why marriage can’t just be him plus her.
The “plus God” is quite important. A “him” needs God in order to love a “her.” The same is true for a” her.” God is needed in order for a “her” to love a “him.” It’s impossible for any two individuals to love each other without God being in the picture since God is indeed love. This is the key and number one reason for a marriage to be successful. When you remove God (love) from the equation, now you’re asking a “her” to be God to a “him” and you’re asking a “him” to be God to a “her.” When God isn’t in the equation, what you’ll have is a person or both trying to be God in the relationship. A successful marriage begins and ends with him plus God plus her. God (love) must be the link to the individuals.
Be careful of normal thinking, because normal thinking can only produce normal results. Believing that “marriage is simply her plus him” is normal thinking and we already know those results. In fact, we need no teachings or counseling to get the average results. A person who thinks they don’t need teaching or counseling on the subject of marriage is a person who wishes and plans to have an average marriage. They, therefore, are also planning for a marriage that on average will fail, ending in divorce. Today, I’ve offered you some uncommon thoughts to consider with such thinking you can expect some uncommon results. Marriage is more complex than just him plus her, it requires a more complicated equation. Marriage is her plus God plus him.
Question: in what areas are you leaving “Love” out of your relationship?