While most of us are almost forced to think about the pandemic almost every day, I make it a point to divert the minds of the readers of this column to another place and time, because it is good to move away from the current pain and frustration and enjoy life, if only for a moment. Hence, today’s column is for married couples, and comes in the form of a question and answer.
Question: Is a perfect marriage possible in a world that is so selfish and materialistic?
Answer: Yes, it is possible to have a perfect marriage today. Without a doubt, two loving people can succeed in having a well-balanced, mutually enhancing, emotionally and spiritually satisfying relationship. Before you get turned off by thinking that I am just a fool who believes we are living in a utopian society, you are wrong. Read on and see how you can have a perfect marriage.
My definition of a perfect marriage is one in which both married partners realize and admit their imperfections and find ways of reducing them one by one, thus creating a synergy of marital forces that only brings harmony.
I am sure we are aware that absolute perfection is not possible on this earth. That will only be possible after Jesus Christ returns and recreates the earth. The perfection Jesus asks sinners to have on this earth is not freedom from the presence of sin, but freedom from the power or control of sin in our lives. Freedom from the presence of sin will only occur when Christ removes sin entirely from the universe.
Similarly, a perfect marriage on this earth is the harmonious blending of two sinful human beings struggling with imperfect thoughts and actions. It is this struggle that refines and molds us, building a character of integrity. Hence, a perfect marriage is not the lack of imperfections, but the presence of a repentant, humble spirit.
Romans 5:1-5 provides for the most meaningful explanation of the joy of pain and suffering in our lives. It says, “…We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Could it be that a pain-free marriage is a miserable marriage? Happy couples would agree that it was the test and trials that enriched their marriage. We learn best about each other by observing how we deal with the pain, disappointments, and troubles.
To further clarify my definition of a perfect marriage here are some points:
• A perfect marriage is not free from pain, but free of misery.
• A perfect marriage is not absent from anger, but absent from resentment.
• A perfect marriage is not free from disagreements, but free from discord.
• A perfect marriage is not the absence of challenges, but the absence of confusion.
• A perfect marriage is not free from diminishing romance, but free from an apathetic spirit.
If there are not some challenges in your marriage, then you are not normal and happy.
There are certain problems that should not be in the marriage. For example—physical and emotional abuse, cursing, stealing, rape, etc. However, in reality, other problems like misunderstanding, mis-communication and disappointments are a gift to a healthy marriage. I am never impressed when elderly couples say they have never had a “fight” in the marriage. Perhaps they are telling the truth because they are truly not living like married people. Also, as long as both individuals are mentally normal, there will be differences of opinions or “fights”. Happy couples learn how to fight right. That’s a perfect marriage.
Yes, I do believe you can have a perfect marriage where both partners feel fulfilled, loved and valued. Go and create a perfect marriage.
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.