Seven keys for marital success

There are only seven vital considerations serving as guarantee for successful marriages.

Marriage is not sustained by reason.

Any reason, given for marrying another person is reason why that marriage ends in turmoil. Nothing is permanent in this world. Attraction and beauty are also not permanent. For instance, marrying someone for being beautiful or handsome is like building on shaky foundation.

Old age or possible accidents in life, inevitably change a person’s outlook. If married for financial stability, what happens when hard times come, turning that person into a liability? There can be as many considerations as can be proffered, but all leading to what causes marriage failures. Marriage should not be sustained by reason.

The Bible reveals that marriage should be considered on unconditional terms. Marrying another person is like deciding to lay your life for them. You become that person’s keeper, more than thinking of your own welfare. This view is more than the allocation of specific roles, often used as guide for marriages to work. Specific codes of conduct  or defined roles cannot sustain marriages.

Praying for a successful marriage.

Prayer is the most important resource. But, people always ask amiss (James 4:3). Jesus’ method of prayer is often ignored. The significance of prayer is in asking for God’s will to be done (Matthew 6:9-13). Christ’s prayer enables our submission to God’s will, ahead of our own opinions.

Only God can enter into the mind faculty of another person. Some people want to revenge for being treated badly, instead of just loving unconditionally. You cannot equally violate marital vows because your spouse has done so. That would be violating God’s will, on which your prayer is anchored.

Jesus loved Judas Iscariot, whose mission was to betray. What Judas did was uncomfortable, but most important for Jesus and us. Without Judas’ betrayal, the blessing of Jesus, as our Saviour could have been thwarted.

In search of a marriage partner, it is best to pray thus: God, please make me the best husband/wife of the person you provide me with, for marriage.”  This is different from asking God to provide you with the best husband/wife. The diamond does not change, even when thrown into a pigsty. It remains diamond, regardless of environment. Yet it increases the value of the pigsty.

Three times, Jesus prayed, “If it were possible let this cup pass, but not as I will, your will be done” (Matthew 26:39). Individually, we are the masterpiece of God’s creation. This life shapes us according to His design. Who said we were called to enjoy in this life? Those enjoying now, discomfort may be awaiting them in future.

Your missions may be different

Each person exists for a specific mission on Earth. This is not according to our specific viewpoints. God may have designed that your spouse’s mission be to torment you. Jesus successfully accomplished His mission. Judas Iscariot accomplished his, just as Paul had his, though transformed from evil conduct. Your spouse may not have the same mission as yours. Quarrels often arise when one becomes the judge, or being a police sergeant for the other.

Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:44). We are called to be at peace with our fellow men. Judging causes them to take defensive lines and make counter attacks, not helpful to both sides.

The only workable solution is to allow people to be themselves. To illustrate: The husband may decide to engage in polygamy. The wife may view that as unbiblical and therefore unacceptable. This is catchy; but not when considering the biblical principle of allowing that person to be him/herself. That husband needs love, just as God loves him. His mission may not be clear to the wife, but God knows, as much as He created him to be who he is.

Marriage includes respective baggages

Everything may appear well with the person being engaged for marriage. However, the person may be loaded with his/her family responsibilities that need catering for. You get hooked, but not having been prepared for such responsibilities.

The other person may not have communicated this beforehand. But that failure is not good reason for quarrel. The decision to marry includes another person’s problems. His/her weaknesses become yours, just as your strengths become his/hers. It is only love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 1:4).

Jesus carried the entire sins of the world. Bear in mind, it is light that removes darkness, not the other way round. The question is: What value are you adding onto your spouse, without making him/her worse? Take note of what John says:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16) NIV.

I would be lying, if I say these things are as easy as walking in the park. But I request that you consider that God created you for a specific mission on earth. And that mission could be related to what you are going through with your spouse. However, this message may not be for you (Matthew 19:11).

But I have it on good authority that these things work. Christ says He came so that people may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

No-one knows the future, except God

A decision to marry is always on face value. The other person may not even be aware of his/her mission. If marriages disappoint, it is commonly on failure to appreciate this reality. What people say on romantic engagements is not always realistic, serving only to create a shaky marriage foundation.

Infatuation confuses people, making them feel hot about a person they think they love. But it is those hot feelings that make a person promise or pretend to be what they are not. Only God’s wisdom enables one to discern truth from fallacy. Nevertheless, one should always be prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

Being prepared for the worst, empowers one with the elasticity to handle worst eventualities. It holds true to the saying: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed. ” The ability to handle a worst scenario is possible when prepared for such a possibility. When not prepared, one can easily make stupid decisions, only to regret later. Others decide to endure silently; thereby succumbing to stress, with its consequences.

Pride should not be mistaken for dignity.

The worst enemy of humanity is pride. People like approval by other people, thereby pretending to be what they are not. It is only pride that seeks to hide bad things in our lives. Approval from other people may actually serve to be harmful to your spiritual cause. Just be yourself. We are only dignified by being who we are.

A problem becomes a problem only where there is a lie. Pretending to be a saint when you are not, does not help anyone. If the disclosure of your true identity repels another person, that is excellent for both of you. You would not have been a perfect match for each other, anyway.

When secrets are displayed in the open, that normally adds onto the trust that the other person bestows on you. I doubt it that there is anyone in this world who wants to marry an angel. We are all human beings, with characteristics of human nature. Paul spoke openly about his past weaknesses, which made him to be one of the greatest apostles of his time. David, a man after God’s own heart, had to contend with serious problems of human nature. Exposing them is what helped him. There is no need to hide weaknesses, even if that causes another person to dislike us.

Weaknesses actually strengthen one’s faith, when humble enough to confess them. The only reason a person is unable to confess sins is finding value in them. Only the hypocrites appear surprised by other people’s sins. But all have sinned before God. Like the Pharisees, hypocrites are in serious problems, because of pride.

Openly share weaknesses with others   

Openly talking about one’s past weaknesses removes gossip, from those fond of highlighting other people’s weaknesses. A free person does not hide his/her weaknesses. Otherwise, one leaves with fear and uncertainty, wondering what happens if others discover?. Personal disclosure douses the flames of gossip.

Happy marriages are found among those holding no secrets. They easily deal with other spouse’s unhealthy struggles of the past. A couple in marriage should be a strong cord, overcoming problems haunting the other.

A confidante, like a church minister may be another resource to help on turbulent issues. Keeping in touch with also helps restore happiness when facing marital tribulations.

Having dealt with seven keys, here is a bonus:

Communication lubricates relationships.

Communication entails listening and observing. Understand your spouse for who he/she is. Stressing your viewpoints to another person is necessary. But listening and observing to understand the other person is more important. What is your spouse doing? What is he/she saying about things that mean a lot to him/her?

Listening implies suspending one’s point of view, until fully appreciating what the other person says. We are used to supposing that love is possible when being listened to. But, actually, what makes love possible is paying attention to what the other person says, than seeking to be heard (James 1:19).

One spouse, capable of listening, can serve a troubled marriage. But a marriage gets dissolved by both spouses, unable to listen to each other. There is no problem in marriages where couples hold no reason for marrying, except unconditional love.

Societal discords emanate from broken marriages, causing skewed political decisions that lead to economic troubles of any country.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99