Have you ever thought about Fire? Fire is good for cooking. It keeps you warm when it’s cold. Fire allows cars to move & planes to fly through combustion. However, Fire also burn properties down that results to huge losses and when you touch it without proper protection, it causes pain and even death. So what is it that determines whether fire is good or bad?
During the Before I do Jumpstart event where we shared the stage with fabulous suppliers like Ian Cruz (Video), Darlene Salazar (coordinator), Alex Ruelo (Photographer), Madge Lejano (Makeup) and our very own Benz Co-Rana, we talked about Marriage being on Fire. For those who missed it, this article is for you.
The fact is, Marriage is really On-Fire ! I shot a celebrity whose father was an actor as well and he said on TV “I don’t understand why my daughter has to spend so much money getting married when they will just separate a few years later. They should have just eloped!” Imagine that statement!!! Today I am proud to say that these couple are still going strong. There is a deep problem today especially if you came from a broken family yourself. No one teaches you how to be a good wife or husband and much more how to become good parents.
Philippine Statistics say via the Office of Solicitor General & National Statistics Office Website:
- The # of marriage annulment has steadily risen from 5,250 in 2002 to 10,528 in 2012.
- Marriages have decreased by 20.1% from 2005 to 2015.
- In 2015, 42.7% of marriages are civil while Catholic Weddings are only 36.2%.
Clearly, Marriage is under attack and it is losing this fight. Future couples must remain vigilant and put people’s trust back in the sacred ceremony. And why are we surprised? If the family is the basic cell of the society, then it is a great strategy for the devil to attack it. When the family fails, the church falls as well. So what should we do now?
Fortunately, there is another meaning to “Marriage On-fire”, in games for example, being on-fire means you’re on a winning roll. So in marriage terms, being on-fire means always being passionate about the relationship.
For you to easily remember, we’ve used F.I.R.E. as an acronym for things we can do to keep our marriages on-fire:
1. Faithful – No one in the right mind dreams to have a broken marriage or says “Someday I will be faithful!”. If you want your marriage to be on Fire, you have to be faithful not only to your spouse but most especially to God and to your God-given role. Why?
a. God – Because there will be times when you won’t see eye to eye. Knowing and believing in God would allow you guys during these times to go back into His word and shed light into whatever it is that is dividing you. When you are faithful to God, you know that divorce or annulment is never an option and when loving your partner becomes hard, hanging on because you love God becomes another level of protection for both of you.
b. To your role – A lot of problems arise from one of the couple because on or both are not doing their role. It starts off the crazy cycle of “Since I don’t feel love, I will disrespect him” to “Since she disrespects me, I will withdraw some of my love”. Do you get it?
2. Intentional – People think Marriage is like a business wherein you can just invest, leave it and expect it to grow. Wrong! A great marriage takes a great investment and here are the areas you need to be intentional about:
a. Growing as a couple – Join a couples group who you can trust and who you feel comfortable with. Be under a mentor who you know loves you. Unfortunately, I know couples rarely meet with their God parents.
b. Protecting your marriage – Do not let anything harmful to the marriage get near the marriage. Not a friendly one on one meeting with drinks with the person of the opposite sex or a chat with an ex that your spouse doesn’t know about. Anything that can harm it, see the marriage something worth protecting and get away from it.
3. Romance – Romance is something that naturally fades away specially as the marriage ages. I’ve shot a lot of renewal of vows and I noticed for perhaps 90% of them, the romance has died and it’s not because they’re way too old. I am praying that even as Monique & I celebrate our 50th anniversary, that we will be as sweet or even sweeter to each other. Now how do we keep the romance?
a. Date every week – Busy schedules can get in the way. We say maybe next week but before you know it, it’s been months or even years since the last one. Put that in your calendar.
b. Sex is a duty – The Bible says your body is not your own. So when your spouse asks for “IT” remember that he or she has as much right to it as you do and vice versa.
c. Do things together. Whether it’s a hobby or sports such as biking, diving, climbing or traveling make sure that you do these recreational activities together. It helps in your dynamics as a couple.
d. Romance needs to be worked at. You need to put effort – so book that candlelight dinner, drive out of town if you must, write her letters no matter how cheesy it gets, just build that romance up.
4. Engaged – When you got engaged what does it mean? Why do you call it engaged? Do things together.
a. Empower – Monique & I have empowered each other. If there is anything that she notices that is wrong with me, she has the permission to say it. When it comes to our kids, they know that daddy is not a boss. Both mom & dad are authorities that should be respected. With that, I never put down my wife to anyone. I do not tolerate any sign of disrespect.
b. Enrich – Usually, when you ask high risk couples to attend marriage retreats they are the ones that question “Why? Do we need it?” and I see these retreats and seminars as refill points designed to fill our buckets at different times during the year. Marriage is not the end… its not a culmination of your relationship. It’s the start of a journey and just like a car when you buy it, your Uber, taxi or jeep expenses might stop but now we have to welcome parking fees, gasoline & maintenance. Your marriage needs investments too and you pay it in multi-currencies: time, service, words and gifts.
Keep your Marriages on-FIRE. Marriages can only be successful if it serves it true purpose which is honor God as you stay married.
Read more of John & Monique’s WaW Before I Do articles at weddingsatwork.com/category/waw-before-i-do/.
- About John & Monique Ong:
John is a pastor at Revelation City Church, Scuba Diving instructor and owns Imagine Nation photo + Video. He is a graduate of business management at DLSU and took up Masteral in Marketing in the same school and is currently in the Pastoral counseling course at Asian Theological Seminary. Monique is a creative wife / help mate to John, a wedding hosts and heads Post Ad ventures (an Events Management company), a youth pastor in Revelation and writes in their blog called “an ounce of faith”. She took Tourism in UP Diliman.