Fresh Possibilities in an Old Institution by Pastor Lloyd Pulley, January 2023

Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – January 2023

By Pastor Lloyd Pulley

There is a reason the first institution God established was marriage – see Genesis 2! Study after study shows the impact of marriage on society and how the well-being of our children and children’s children comes back to the stability of family. As the family goes, so goes the stability of a nation.

Why then do we observe such little effort into building up families and instead focus on the selfish pursuit of personal happiness, which leads away from family commitment which would impact us more deeply in the end?

There is a grave consequence to simple neglect. If we don’t maintain our health or house, they will deteriorate. In marriage, the stakes are much higher – every divorce is the death of a small civilization that could have been.

The truth is, the greater the difficulties to overcome in adjusting to another, the deeper the relationship will be if we work them out! A marriage study out of Texas revealed that if we rank high in marital unhappiness, but choose to stick it out for five more years, we will rank high on the happy scale. Let’s just say, if we used the energy we would spend in finding another mate, directing that love, patience, and diligence instead towards our marriage, we would be far happier – not to mention the rescue it will prove for our children!

Commitment, companionship, love and friendship, are what marriage is about. There are no secrets beyond the basics of love and respect!

The most difficult part of marriage is navigating ourselves. If our soul is at rest, our marriage will be as well. Unhappy singles make for unhappy married couples – instead of trying to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, how about being right ourselves? There are many passages in the Bible about marriage, but many more about the need to put our own lives in order before we can make the commitment to another.

Marriage is a thrilling, fulfilling dream, learning to serve and bless another – but it is a horrible nightmare with our untamed selfish nature on the throne! Not regarding the principles of the Bible in marriage would be like visiting a zoo with no enclosures. It would be traumatic!

We can either build up or tear down! What if we made it our aim to love, cherish, and inspire our spouses, overlooking their flaws? Anyone can tear down – it is much harder to plan and work at putting a life together. And forgiveness is essential! We married a sinner like ourselves, after all. If it seems too hard because we did not realize how horrible our spouse would be, perhaps we may not be in touch with just how bad we really are!