3 ways to love the stranger you married


By Pst. Philip Mwaura

The wedding service is about to begin. The air is full of expectancy. The officiant ready with newly printed set of vows stands at the altar with visible confidence. The groom takes a deep breath and the bride marches down the aisle, her parents holding her hands tightly with pride, ready to give their treasure away.

The bride stares at him, such a geek with so much goodness is now her soulmate. She imagines how great their life will be together. The fireworks of their first glance are evoked as the groom smiles at her, for all the love in him is hers as long as he has breath, a sense of accomplishment as all the things that surround them that day is a tasteful reflection of the wonder of their love. They veer off to their honeymoon suite looking forward to the two worlds blossoming blissfully and sharing love tenderly.

They wake up the next day in their honeymoon suite as husband and wife! As marriage is, the new couple finds that the things that attracted them to each other start distracting them and then if not careful, they start attacking each other.

Their differences start glaring at them and they are strangers to each other! He has so much to share yet she wants to go make her hair. She wants to stay and chat till late night yet he wants to sleep early for he has a flight. He wants ‘cereals’ for dinner though she wants salad to look thinner.

No matter what age they get married, a couple finds difficulties and joys as they adjust to their new status of married life. As the “romantic idealism” of their wedding day fades, distorted expectations and hopes can be mixed with fears and anxieties. They have nothing more to hide and they become (or are in the path of becoming) new people. The altar alters them.

To navigate this rather unstable and disruptive stage, there are things that a couple needs to learn that can catapult their marriage to a fulfilling one.

  1. Love as God Loves

There is need to learn that a marriage is stabilized and strengthened by displaying the love that God has freely shown to all of us to our spouses. It is knowing that that you have given unconditional commitment to a very imperfect person. Understanding and showing this love helps a couple to put themselves in each other’s shoes and understand their perspective. It energizes them to nurture each other in defeat and adversaries and celebrate the triumphs in their marriage together.

2. Marriage is not a prison

Acknowledge that marriage is meant to free-up; it’s never a confinement. It is an arena to develop some unique gifting without being pulled down by a spouse. For example, wives, never despise or doubt the work that your husband does. Be willing to grow and develop together as a couple but also give room and nurture individual growth. (1 John 4:18)

3. Adventure together

A couple needs to cultivate a spirit of adventure. Marriage in itself presents a stranger who is very different from you but a willingness to learn everything about them makes the adventure fun. In this adventure, however, there are some ‘baggage’ and attitudes that must be left from the onset. What are you willing to leave behind as a wife or husband to make this adventure worthwhile?  Talk over with your spouse about each other’s mannerisms or habits openly.

Know that “A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but abandoning of two worlds in order that a new one might be formed”

As a single person looking forward to be in marriage in future, what are you doing now to make your marriage stronger before it begins? Marriage is not built on performance, perfectionism or appearance as many believe and try to display. A true marriage is built on what God says about it. What do you think the true blue print of marriage says and are you willing to base your future marriage in that truth?

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Col 3:15 (NIV)



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