Monday, May 26, 2014

{Marriage Monday} Marriage's Top Secret

This is my second {Marriage Monday} post. To know more about this series, please read my first post here.

One of our pre-nup photos, taken by the amazing talents of Super Seven Studio. 

Today, I am quite excited to share the top secret for fulfilling and thriving marriages! :)

But let me digress for a while and tell you about myself and my awesome hubby. We have been married for, hold your, that is. And  I am telling this fact to make a point here. Since, I published my first post  a week ago, I felt inadequate for doing so. Why, everybody would probably question my credibility on writing a marriage series when I have been married for only seven months!

But that is just basically what I wanted to do here. Marriage is crazy-beautiful but it takes a lot of hard work for it to become well, crazy-beautiful. For the seven months that I have been married to the love of my life, I can say that the quality of our marriage totally depends on our attitude and hard work. If we want a thriving and loving relationship, then, we have to work at it. It is the same as our desire to have healthy bodies--we have to work for it, make sacrifices, eat healthy choices, and say no to a lot of junk food that has, unfortunately, become mainstream staples in our tables today. 

So, this series every Monday is part of my "working hard" efforts for a thriving and loving marriage. I am not saying that I have perfectly applied everything I have written here nor have my husband and I attained the perfect state for our relationship. No, we're quite far from that! 

These posts are here to remind me what I am working hard for and why I am doing it. I will not only post tips and lessons that I learned but my struggles and failures as well, with the permission of my beloved husband, of course! ;)

I also hope that the Lord will use this {Marriage Monday} series to encourage and minister to other women, whether they be single, recently married, enjoying marriage or struggling with marriage. This is the place where we can encourage each other, laugh at each other's mistakes, cry with our struggles, and pray with and for each other. :) 

Basically, this {Marriage Monday} series has a two-pronged purpose: one for myself and my hubby, and two, for everybody! 

Last week, I wrote about the real and ultimate purpose of getting married and that is, to reflect Christ. I honestly believe that it is only when we know our exact purpose that we can actually function well, thrive, and be fulfilled. Knowing our real purpose is the basic foundation. If we know our correct purpose, then, we know our right destination and the proper way of getting there. 

Today, let me share to you the TOP SECRET of a loving and thriving marriage, which is also very much related to the real purpose of matrimony. I am no marriage expert but by the way I see it, this is the most important secret and the good thing is, it is not actually a secret. Everybody knows about it; it is very basic. Yet, it is too basic for us to neglect it at times. 

So, the top secret for marriage to be successful is actually one word: FORGIVENESS. 

Yes, that is right. CAPSLOCK that, highlight, and underline because it needs all the emphasis to make a mark in our minds and hearts. 

You see, if our real purpose in marriage (and in life, actually) is to reflect Christ, then we must know and live forgiveness. 

For Christ came to this world while we're still sinners and demonstrated His great love for us by dying a shameful and painful death on the Cross so that our sins will be forgiven. God initiated forgiveness. And He keeps on forgiving us every time our heart truly repents.

Since the purpose of every marriage is to mirror Christ in this dark and horrible world, then our marriages should show His forgiveness--unconditional, faithful, true, complete, abounding, inexhaustible. 

And I don't want to be a hypocrite in writing this. Before I had a personal relationship with Christ, I used to claim that forgiveness is not in my vocabulary. Once one of my friends or acquaintances offend me, then, that person is automatically flushed out of my heart and mind. That's how callous I was, dear friends, and I do hope that you will not judge me by my past. ;)

So, just imagine how hard it is for me to transition as I live and build relationships with Christ as the basis! And how harder it is now for me to live under one roof, one room, and share one bed with my husband who has quite a different background/stand/opinion/habit from me? 

Too many times I have fallen for the trap of conditional forgiveness. "I will forgive you if...." "I will forgive you but..." "I will forgive you when..." The list can go on and on. 

But I always remember how the Father has forgiven me. He never negotiated with me like this. He never said "I will send Jesus Christ to die for you if you change your ways" or "I will forgive you if you promise never to sin again." No, He sent His only begotten Son to die for me even though He knows that I will offend him countless of times. He sent Jesus anyway. 

Too many times too I have fallen for the trap of pride. More often than not, I know I have offended my hubby dear but I was too arrogant to ask for forgiveness. "I'm his wife so I am entitled to royal treatment"--this is what would often cross my mind. 

There are also times that it would be my hubby's fault so I'd tell myself that he should say sorry first. 

But by the Spirit's nudging, I'd realize that humility is essential. If Christ, Himself God in His own right, was humble enough to leave his Heavenly Throne to be among us so that He could die for us, then, what right/entitlement do I have not to ask for forgiveness? 

Often, I would be too hard-headed to feel or obey the Holy Spirit's nudging. And often, I would usually realize late and feel so embarrassed of myself before I can actually confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. 

Next week, I am going to share to you several lessons/advice I got when it comes to forgiveness. 

For now, I am going to end this post with two practical steps in forgiving and asking for forgiveness:

1) Think of JESUS on the Cross; and
2) Swallow your pride. 

Happy Monday! I pray that we will continue to show forgiveness to everybody and be quick to ask for forgiveness should we offend someone... Enjoy the rest of the week!

*All photos are from our pre-nup session with Super Seven Studios

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