One of the common questions we get as counselors is this “If you catch your spouse with a 3rd party, is that enough reason to quit the marriage?” Or “What if you’re not happy with the marriage, what do you do?” Our general answer is “Stay and work it out!”. The only reason we can think of that can justify ending the relationship is when your life is in danger. Other than that, go back and work it out. One of our other common reply also is “Are you sure that you have totally exhausted all possible measures?” If they say yes then we give them things that usually couples have not tried. Have you ever tried working out in the gym and think you can’t do another rep, till your trainer or spotter says “Go! 3 more!” and you end up being able to do it. When you think you’ve exhausted everything, contact us and we’ll show you how you can do 3 more things to keep that relationship alive.
Husband & Wives, as they enter the marriage, should stick into their minds that there are “No escape buttons, no ejects and no quits in marriage”. It’s different when you enter the marriage with that mindset. Think of the workers who clean windows on high rise buildings, have you ever wondered how it could feel like being 50 floors up? the wind, the heat, the dirt? the dizziness? They do it not because they love the thrill of putting their life in danger but because there are no options. Marriage needs to be like this, no plan Bs.
I realize, why people give up so easily is that they never understood what they were getting into. The commitment was sub-standard to begin with. So I would like to dedicate this article to make you understand what makes a covenant so special:
- A covenant is based on trust. A contract is based on distrust meaning to make sure the other party delivers what is supposed to be delivered. Usually, a contract involves the service that needs to be given and how much you need to pay. But not only that, it also usually says what is to be done as penalty for not being able to deliver. Check your lease agreement or the loan agreement that you signed with the bank. Because a contract is based on dis-trust. A covenant however is based on trust… true it is an agreement but it is entered into with the premise that the other party is going to do their part no matter what.
- Subject – Why do you get married in the church and not just do a civil wedding? Because you want to get the pastor or the priest’s blessing and you think that with their blessing you are getting God’s blessing as well. Let me tell you this, if this were so, then the promise you are making is not only between yourselves nor is it with the person officiating your wedding but also to God. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says “When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” However, being Civilly wed does not mean there is less commitment in your marriage. It is as binding and as recognized by God as a church wedding because the officiant was also instituted or instilled by God and is His authority.
- Coverage – While some contracts have expiration dates, covenants do not. Even in case a law is passed that says marriages must be renewed every so and so years, in God’s eyes marriage is a lifetime which is why we say “in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer till death do us part” it means in any and all condition the marriage stays.
- Effect – It involved 3 parties, you, your spouse and God. There are no other parties involved. So you two may agree that it is best to live separated, or divorced or annulled (whatever you want to call it) and the state may even agree with you but God will never agree to it and His laws are higher than the law of the land.
I’m sorry if this article is not what you expected… but we feel that many couples nowadays need to put in more commitment to the marriage. As a photographer, a usual complaint of couples after all the posing and picture taking is “Ang hirap pala ikasal” and I would joke by replying “I intentionally do that so that you will not think of doing it again”. A joke but a lot of truth… we should never think of doing it again and start living out our promise to stick it out “in richer or poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part” and not just let it be a cliche that we were forced into saying in order to get the officiant’s signature on our marriage contracts. If you don’t mean it — perhaps you are not ready to wed.
Read more of John & Monique Ong’s articles at www.weddingsatwork.com/category/waw-before-i-do/.