I got married at the age of 22. To some, it was bold and brave, and to some it was crazy. Getting married is no joke; one needs to be prepared for it. Marriage is holy and sacred to God and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just like what our elders would say, “Ang pag-aasawa ay hindi parang susubo ng mainit na kanin at iluluwa na lamang kapag napaso.”
I always knew that marriage is hard because I grew up in a dysfunctional family. But by the grace of God, I saw the beauty of marriage in the church. With that background and all the wisdom from leaders and mentors, I knew what I was getting into even at that age.
I knew that marriage will bring out the beast in you, but with the grace and truth of the gospel, it is possible for marriage to bring out the best version of yourself. I knew that both of us were not perfect, but we could always look back to God and help us fix what’s broken. But looking back, there are still things that I wish I knew before I got married.
Yes. There’s still waiting in marriage.
Men, when you’re all done and ready to go to church, you’ll need to wait for your wife to finish fixing herself up. Women, when you’re hungry and you let your husband decide where to eat, you’ll need to wait for him to decide because food is sacred to us men. Women, sometimes you'll need to wait for men to say "sorry" as well because we can be slow in processing our mistakes.
I wish I knew that there would still be waiting in marriage.
Waiting for God to change you and your spouse to become more like Christ.
Waiting for God to speak to you or your spouse when you’re trying to make a decision and you're not in agreement.
Waiting for God to move in your marriage for provision, for direction, and for clarity.
Marriage is a place where God puts both of you in a position to trust Him and fully depend on Him. It is in the position of waiting that you have no choice but to trust God and surrender your passionate emotions to Him–both of you giving every ounce of hope, strength, and plans to Him, even if you’re uncertain of the outcome.
Marriage is an invitation from God into a journey of faithfulness and waiting is God’s way of refining our faith by shifting our expectations from our circumstance back to Him.
When I was still single, I was hooked on the idea of "non-negotiables"–writing down things that I want in a spouse and praying about it. The potential spouse's character was one of the things I considered.
As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we may put primary importance on godly character over looks, personality, and wealth.
The caveat here is that there may be a temptation to try hard to meet each other's expectations of a godly person, which may lead to putting up a facade that would eventually crumble. In marriage, more of your flaws will be exposed. You’ll discover more of each other's character–both the good and the bad.
It was never about trying hard to be a certain kind of person for God or for your future spouse; God knows that we’ll fail and mess up someday. Marriage is God’s invitation for us to see how He loves us, and how much He’s willing to stay and forgive.
God wants obedience that is always rooted in faith. That no matter what happens, we trust in Him. Our character is built when we obey, even when it’s hard.
Mainstream media usually presents marriage as the end goal, presenting the same idea of "happy ever after" in different ways. Why are we wired to desire this? It all goes back to the void we have in our life that can only be filled by God.
Coming from a dysfunctional family, I grew up longing for things like affirmation, attention, and of course, romantic love. I thought that if only I could have a girlfriend I would be happy. I looked for a love that I thought I deserved, but that didn’t fill the huge hole in my heart. I just ended up broken.
Eventually, I found that being married doesn't disqualify us from seeking love. But it is through marriage that I experienced a love that is beyond what mainstream media could ever show. I experienced the love that I don’t deserve–a love that is unconditional and sacrificial, but only because my spouse and I first experienced the unconditional love of God through the gospel. And we keep going back to seek God's love in order to sustain the love in our marriage.
Love is a concept that God wants us to live by; it is the character that God modeled and that we should mirror in all of our relationships. But to love someone is never easy. It is to be humble, to serve, to give, and to forgive, which are only possible when we abide in God's perfect love.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
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