The Marriage Institution (v)

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2 Corinthians 13:5. Proverbs 10:18.

If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is small. Proverbs 24:10.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21.

9, Appraisal.
Every marriage must have a period and time to take stock. That is what appraisal is all about. A time when couples examine themselves, and search their inner consciences to establish the reality of their relationship: to determine whether it’s working or otherwise?
Appraisal tells you: If your attitude towards your spouse is in the right direction; If you have been honest, fair and open in words, deeds and actions with your spouse; If you have dealt with care, concern and consideration with your spouse; If you have worked hard to ensuring the progress and survival of the marriage. Appraisal is like passing judgement on yourself. An act of self evaluation to establish your worth, your value and your contribution to the marriage relationship. If you do it in all honesty and GODLY sincerity, your answer or the result will shock you. Yes. It will shock you because all the gray areas, all the failures, all the inconsiderations and lack of understanding shown, expressed and denied would be glaring in your face. Just try it today…

Appraisal is carried out by couples — The man and woman involved in the relationship themselves. But they MUST tell each other the truth. There is no need lying to yourselves. The worst thing to do to yourselves is to deceive each other. Even the Bible tells us that we must not deceive ourselves by being pretentious because whatever anybody sows, the same shall they reap. So appraisal should be brutally frank and sincere — since the essence is to make the marriage do better in all ramifications. Although appraisal could be privately carried out by each party involved, and on a regular base, however when carried out by both spouses, it must in love. It must not be done as a criticism. No. It should be carried out constructively in love and for the betterment and progress of the family in mind. Do it with the MIND of Christ. Phillipians 2:5.

For instance, if a man has been giving out more than what he earns. Or, if the wife has been more dressy beyond the means and capacity of the family. An honest and sincere appraisal should point it out for possible correction. No party should feel offended in this regard because it will make for the good of the family.
Sometime ago, a husband had approached me that the wife will always remember her parents as soon as she sees money in his hand. Meanwhile they don’t have a car, a development that makes going to church every Sunday a huge burden. . I told him to educate his wife on why they need to have a car as soon as possible. And , to set a target for it. Six months later, they got one. Even the wife was happy. That is practical appraisal, done in love and understanding. The Bible is correct when it says that purposes are destroyed where there’s no counsel. Appraisal is indeed another form of reexamining the essence of our married life: whether it is functioning or not. Where there is not vision the people perish. Proverbs 29:18.

  1. Adaptation.
    Marriage does not change our color, our race or our background. We could be refined in these areas, but we are still part thereof. Marriage also does not alter our professional characteristics, or unique cultural identities like tribal marks , or labiodental speech defects perculiar to our cultures and orientations. Whereas appearances and mannerisms ( as in ACCEPTANCE in number 1 above) could change , for instance being tiny to being big in size. . But if your spouse is short, you have to cope with it. If she or he speaks with a mixture of “R with L” , you just have to manage, and not complain because that is part of her cultural orientation. If he/she calls … Yoke for Joke/? How about that! Love covers all these. You have to adapt for the Marriage to succeed. To adapt is to make suitable. To conform to new reality. To adjust in the face of changing situation or circumstance. To accommodate what is . To fashion or tailor your behavior in a particular manner arising from a change in reality.

Yes, adaptation sometimes also means accepting your spouse’s new status or condition. Sometimes for good. Other times, for bad . A spouse becomes incapacitated. What do you do? Adapt. A spouse goes blind, What do you do ? Adapt. A spouse runs into poverty. What do you do? Adapt. The list goes on …It could be challenging though. But the marriage vow demands that we adapt to these new realities of our MARRIAGE. Adaptation demands that we learn to cope with things that have become the NEW NORMAL or PERMANENT in our marriage. Galatians 2:14-15.

Whereas these 10 As could help any sincere couple to make their marriage a happy and harmonious relationship, there are other ingredients of the Marriage Institution we are going to discuss in our subsequent Conversations including :
The Responsibility of Marriage;
Expectations of couples from each other, and, What couples should do together.
Happy Sunday. God bless. ( To be continued).

Pastor Okoro is a revivalist; and marriage counselor. He can be reached on: 08051000462. All Bible references are taken from the KJV, except otherwise stated.

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