The Three Most Important Things in a Happy Marriage
At the very moment that Man opened his eyes to see Woman, it was established the three most important things to a happy marriage.
A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
But what exactly does this mean?
Leave Father and Mother: Leave childhood and embrace adulthood.
As an American who has lived among people of other cultures, I will sidestep defining how far a man must leave in order to “leave.” Can he be in the same house? On the same piece of property? On the same street? I don’t know. He just has to leave.
What I will define is that kids live at home with Mom and Dad. Grownups live on their own. For a person to be happily married, he/she has to leave childhood. That timeless love chapter I Corinthians 13 reminds us that, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Kids babble unintelligibly. They tattle. They bicker about nonsense. Lots of sentences start with “I.” Lots of sentences continue with “want.” Kids bully. Oh, the drama of middle school girls and manipulations. Kids fix their attention on a little trinket that quickly loses its value. They ricochet from grief to boundless joy over trivialities. Kids can’t properly assess the priceless value of a friendship that spans decades. Kids have faulty logic. Their reasoning powers are weak and inconclusive. Kids want to play the trombone when their friends play the trombone and want to play soccer when their friends play soccer. They don’t have a secure identity.
Marriage works a lot better when you leave childhood. You become an adult. You assume adult responsibilities and take ownership of time management, finances, and housework. You trust and become trustworthy. You talk openly and directly. You share your thoughts minus blaming and manipulation. The “take-my-ball-and-go-home” days end with childhood. You resolve your issues and make compromises.
And be joined to his wife: Leave the single life and establish a new family unit.
The bachelor/bachelorette days are over. You’re married! You formed a new family unit. You’ve made a commitment to each other to live as husband and wife all the days of our life. This isn’t just a relationship that was hatched up out of convenience. You are joined in holy matrimony.
Note that God did not say, “Leave father and mother and now agree on everything.” The old saying, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary” is never more appropriately applied than in marriage.
A happy marriage is one where the man is joined to his wife. You don’t live as strangers under one roof. You join lives. Wife, you’re his helpmeet. Husband, you need her. God took one look at this man He had created and said, “It’s not good for him to be alone.” It’s not good for her to be alone either. The two of you attach financially, socially, physically, emotionally, and mentally. You join your values, beliefs, interests, and goals. You support each other’s endeavors. You care for each other. You empathize. You are faithful to each other. For the first time in your life, you can say with conviction, “I will never leave you.” And then, you don’t leave. What God has joined, you don’t “un-join.” When she gets a job offer in New York, and he gets one in St. Louis, you can look into the eyes of your spouse and say, “I’ll go with you wherever God calls you.” You don’t have to wait for who’s going to blink. You know that God has joined you for life, and He will honor your marriage.
Two shall be one flesh: Leave virginity (or fornication) and have safe sex for life.
You’ll never be a virgin (or a fornicator) again. Have sex. Get naked. Become open and vulnerable. Be seen. Find intense pleasure. No more choosing between celibacy and “Him will God judge.” You’ve moved on to “the bed is undefiled.” You are within the bonds of marriage. You are protected. It’s hot. It’s steamy. It’s all yours!
God told us from creation what it takes for a happy marriage. He repeated the strategy in the gospels and epistles. If something is blocking your marriage from being a happy marriage, look at the three things God makes a priority. Are you and your spouse both assuming adult responsibilities for management and communication? Are you joined in this covenant marriage and joined in your lives? Are you having naked, vulnerable, undefiled, pleasurable sex? Those are the things God calls important for marriage.
P.S. – If your marriage is in danger of separation or divorce, call us at (866) 903-0990 to speak with someone or use the form below to request more information about our Marriage Helper workshop for troubled marriages. We can help you save your marriage even in cases of infidelity, loss of trust, anger, sexual problems, and other issues. (If you’re thinking your spouse would never come, contact us by phone or the form below and we’ll tell you what others who felt the same way did to get their spouses there.) We will keep everything you tell us completely confidential. Our motivation is to help you determine if this workshop is right for you and your particular situation. We also offer solutions for couples who can’t attend the workshop.