We see so many couples who are married who seem to act like they’re still “in a relationship” or worse in “single” status. Unaware of their actions, these couples probably don’t realize they are doing something wrong because they’re just doing what they are used to do. However, unattended, these habits can actually harm or kill the marriage.
1.Fault finding – A marriage is a union of 2 imperfect people. Try and find fault and you will definitely fine one. Faults are common things, not a rare find that you can be proud of. When you realize how flawed you are, you become a person of grace and give allowance or become more forgiving of each other’s fault. Col 3:13 says “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others“
2. Not being on each others side – I think early on I knew that Monique has been my team mate in life. I am always sure that she is after my best. Unfortunately, in our years of counseling people, we’ve met dozens of couples who have forgotten this and think otherwise. When there are differences (and I am sure there are), things you don’t agree on and criticisms, it’s different when you know that the other people has your best interest in mind. Ecclesiastes 7:5 “Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.“
3. Separating everything – Remember that after marriage you are already one. No such things as His or Hers. Everything is conjugal. We’ve been asked countless of times. Monique and I share almost everything (except clothes). No such thing as my car and your car etc. Mark 10:8 “ The two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh”
4. Focusing on kids – When kids come out, many couples feel that their priority changes and that the way to being a good wife is to be a good mom. It’s the other way around actually, to be a good mom, you need to first be a good wife. Don’t expect your spouse to always understand why you can’t do hubby or wife duties simply because you’ve been busy taking care of the kids. They are different roles and you have different love tanks to fill. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
5. Keeping score – It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been wronged. Since you’re together for life, it won’t be the last. Being so, why count? Keeping track puts stress on you and your relationship. I don’t see the point of doing so unless you have plans (consciously or unconsciously) to seek revenge someday. 1 Cor 13:5 “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”
6. Not consulting your spouse – I have to admit, this is my weakness and I can probably attribute it to the fact as an only child I grew up alone. It takes time to remember that I now have a partner in life who needs to be consulted every time I make a decision. I know the wife is supposed to submit to the husband, but I believe she’ll respect you more if she feels her opinions are valued as well. Like in our case, Monique is more creative and she often has better ideas than I do.
7. Trying to change the other – If you try to change each other, you’ll get disappointed. You’ll probably discover after you successfully change the person that there is more to change. Be content with who you got. I’m not saying let him be the worse version of yourself… it’s good to give feedback and constructive criticisms in love but leave the what and when to change to your spouse. That’s not your role anymore. Forcing the issue will just lead to conflict and the other person already not feeling “himself or herself”. Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
8. Having an exit plan – If you remember your vows to one another a part of it says “Till death do us part” which simply means until God pulls the plug on your life, Man or whatever law man makes has no power to cancel the marriage made before him. However, I am surprised that some couples already think of how it will be when they separate even before they unite. I think if you enter marriage with all your reservations because you are afraid to get hurt, then you’re not being fair for God’s word says “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear”. If you love a person, you simply give it everything. For true love is unconditional. Romans 7:2 “By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.”
Read more of John and Monique Ong’s 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.