Although sometimes marriage can be problematic, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences for couples. For instance, couples in a satisfying marriage enjoy happiness, a long and enjoyable life, personal growth, and better health, among other benefits. However, apart from the power of love feelings, a strong marriage requires the couple to establish healthy rational habits. Additionally, marriage is a work in progress. As such, both parties should work through it together to improve their relationship.
Changes I could make in my marriage
I was once married for 18 years, but later we got divorced, and I am now single. We had dated for seven years before we got married. Therefore, we knew each other for some time before starting a family. Later, we got two children, a boy, and a girl. My life experiences and this course have taught me various things about marriage.
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One thing I have learned is that there is no “right” mate in marriage. Therefore, you should look for a partner with whom you can work together towards a common goal of making your relationship better. As a result, personal behaviors and willingness to make the relationship beneficial for both parties is crucial. Social exchange theory claims that the ways of an individual making social decisions depend on their insights about the efforts they are putting and the benefits they will acquire (Nakonezny & Denton, 2018). Admittedly, I committed some mistakes in my previous relationship. As such, I am currently working on those mistakes to ensure that I will not carry them to my next relationship.
Characteristics that I am looking for in a potential mate
Unquestionably, you should be compatible with your marriage mate for a stronger relationship. So, it is essential to look for specific personal behaviors and characteristics in a person before getting committed to them. As such, it will be easier for both of you to get along. I am looking for a God-fearing man. According to my Christianity teachings, marriage is a holy institution. The Bible says that a man shall leave his parents and be joined to his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24 The Holy Bible). Therefore, I find it vital to have a partner with whom we hold similar beliefs.
Likewise, respect is crucial in marriage. Dashnaw (2018) argues that emotionally abusive relationships lack recognition respect. This type of respect recognizes the individual’s inalienable right to have agency and free-will in their lives. With a respectful partner, each party will have a moral concept of freedom and free-will to independent decision-making. As such, respect remains to be a strong character in my future partner.
Similarly, appraisal respect is an equally important character that I am looking for in a partner. The concern in question is an indication of the attachment quality in the marital bond (Dashnaw, 2018). Consequently, having a high degree of appraisal respect will lead to a more securely attached relationship.
In addition, the partner that I am looking for should be loyal and a good listener. Besides, he should be thoughtful and romantic. With such a man, I will feel special and appreciated in my marriage.
How to ensure I marry the “right” mate and have a happy, life-long marriage.
Every individual has their weaknesses. Therefore, I don’t expect my partner to be perfect. Nonetheless, we should both be willing to work towards building a healthy relationship. So, I have to choose my partner right to ensure we are compatible and have a common goal. Also, I am willing to continue learning my mistakes and avoid them.
As a Christian, I believe in prayers. The Holy Bible says, “So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). Subsequently, we shall be praying together as a family, asking God to give us happiness and a strong family bond. Additionally, I will use Bible teachings as a guideline in my marriage.
Being respectful to my husband is another critical factor I will use to secure a happy and life-long marriage. Also, I will make my decisions carefully to protect my marriage. Moreover, I will have a high degree of appraisal respect to strengthen our marital bond.
A satisfying marriage prospers on the open exchange of beliefs, desires, and emotions (Krull, 2018). As a result, I will take communication as one of the most significant aspects of my marriage. Subsequently, it will be easier for us to come up with a solution when things are not going on well. Besides, I will be a good listener, loyal, thoughtful, and a romantic wife.
My opinions about families in today’s postmodern society, the Christian’s response, and the church’s response
In the recent past, many things have changed. Similarly, family structures have not been left behind. Some individuals in the current world no longer believe in the nuclear family arrangements and lifestyle. However, I still believe in traditional marriage, where families consist of two parents and children.
Churches accept that postmodernism is a big challenge to Christianity. Nonetheless, most of them have insisted that the Bible is the correct authoritative word of God (CMF, 2004). As a result, they have continued to teach Christians on what the Bible says about marriage and the roles of men and women. However, some Christians have differing beliefs about family life and values.
Has my opinion changed since taking this course?
Undeniably, I have learned many things since I took this course. It has played a vital role in enlightening me more to things and changes that I have already been doing. So, my opinion has not changed.
What might you do differently and/or encourage your church family to do differently?
All Christians should be encouraged to follow the Bible teachings on family structures. Also, the church family should emphasize on the roles of both genders in marriage. Besides, Christians should be encouraged to be more God-fearing and respect Christian values and beliefs. As a result, they will set an excellent example for other families in society. With such values, it will be easier to overcome postmodernism. The children should be taught the advantages of being in a nuclear family as well. Consequently, they are most likely to ignore postmodernism and preserve Christian believes and values.
Have I experienced any negative feedback/interactions with Christians regarding my own family life or experiences?
I have never experienced any negative feedback or interactions with other Christians about my family. Also, my family has been very supportive, even when I was going through the divorce process.
Three of the essential conditions needed for families, whether nuclear, single, or blended, to achieve success?
A satisfying relationship is essential for any family setup. Indisputably, children feel loved and secured while growing in a positive and healthy family relationship. Moreover, it is easier to work as a team, enjoy each other’s company, and resolve conflicts in such a family. However, a strong family bond does not come automatically. God, communication, and respect for each other are some of the most critical conditions for a healthy family.
God has to be the center of the relationship
Making God be the center of your relationship helps in strengthening the relationship bond. The Bible teaches about family members and their responsibilities, which can help in uniting the family members more. For instance, it commands the wives to be submissive to their husbands, for the husband is the head (Ephesians 5: 21-22). As such, it gives a guideline on who should lead the family. Likewise, Ephesians 6:1- 4 commands children to obey their parents and teaches parents how to bring up their children. Consequently, if a family makes God the center of their relationship and follow His teachings, they can quickly build a healthy family bond.
Secondly, effective communication is vital for a healthy marriage. According to Krull (2018), communication is like the mortar that keeps the relationship running. Subsequently, a family is most likely to crumble if communication breaks. Apart from effective communication building a stronger relationship, it helps in improving an individual’s health. Good communication helps in resolving the tension, thus reducing stress.
Lastly, treating family members with respect is essential. When a person is respectful, they are always mindful of how they communicate. As a result, respectful individuals rarely hurt each other’s feelings, thus avoiding unnecessary conflicts. Besides, it is easier to solve a conflict while talking in a respectful tone. Also, respect teaches a person the value of patience. Subsequently, it enables you to deal with unexpected situations effectively, thus coming up with a solution to the problem at hand. Therefore, every family member should be respectful of each other. In marriage, respect nurtures trust between partners. As such, they become more understanding of each other, hence breeding to true love. Respect creates a love that overcomes all the conflicts and qualms you have had.
CMF, (2004). Christians in a Postmodern World. https://www.cmf.org.uk/resources/publications/content/?context=article&id=696
Dashnaw, D. (2018). 13 Best Ways to Show Respect in Marriage. https://couplestherapyinc.com/13-ways-to-show-respect-in-marriage/#:~:text=Respect%20in%20marriage%20is%20one,spouses%20show%20toward%20one%20another .
Krull, E. (2018). Marriage Communication: How Does It Work? https://psychcentral.com/lib/marriage-communication-how-does-it-work/#:~:text=A%20good%20marriage%20thrives%20on,spouses%20communicate%20with%20each%20other .
Nakonezny, P. A., & Denton, W. H. (2018). Marital relationships: A social exchange theory perspective. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 36(5), 402-412.
The Holy Bible.