How healthy is your marriage? Are you happy in it or tired of it? If you’re tired, who is to blame? Do you say your spouse, in-laws, friends, poverty, your job or lack of it? You may not like these questions, but I would tell you the truth- your marriage is what you make of it.
You are the number one friend or foe of your marriage.
You determine what happens in it; you can either make it better or destroy it.
IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. IT IS ENTIRELY IN YOUR HANDS TO DECIDEEITHER IT WILL LIVE OR DIE. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.
Many factors can affect your marriage negatively but none stronger than your attitude, actions, reactions, inactions, selfishness, thoughts and busy schedule.
Besides, indecision, bad attitude toward prayers, immaturity, unfriendliness and fear; attachment to the past, secrecy, laziness, pride, bad communication and crisis management skills affect your marriage deeply.
Again, improper mentality, inordinate ambition, bad character and incoherently expressed expectations can shake your marriage too. The last set – rigidity, self-glory, self-justification, self- judgment, unilateral decision, wrong association, wrong information are as extremely dangerous in marriage as the previously stated factors.
Any other thing life throws at marriage is an external attack. It can be destroyed by the joint efforts of the couple no matter how difficult. But WHEN IT IS A WAR WITHIN, IT IS A WAR INDEED. When a couple fights each other, they do not tear clothes; rather, they tear flesh. They do not shed water; they shed blood.
INTERNAL CRISIS DESTROYS EXTERNAL GLORY
A piece of land left uncultivated becomes a wilderness. In the same way, your marriage becomes a ‘wasteland’ if you fail to work at it. No marriage works on its own. It is also like a car; somebody must be at the driver seat, controlling the steering.
So making your marriage work is a task that must be done. Nobody will do it for you. It is your responsibility.
WHAT MANNER OF MARRIAGE IS YOURS
I want you to check your marriage on the scale of 1-100. How will you rate yourself? Besides, how will your spouse rate the marriage? Before you answer that, kindly answer the following questions sincerely and score yourself
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds (Proverbs 27:23)
HEALTHY MARRIAGE TEST
1. Have you said “I love you” ______Yes ______No to each other in the past one week? 2. Do you sleep in the same room? 3. Has somebody come to settle any dispute for you in the last 3 years? 4. You’ve not argued about sex in the last one year? 5. You’ve prayed together in the last 48 hours. 6. You say “I am sorry” regularly to each other. 7. You know each other’s shoe size? 8. The husband knows the wife’s bra sizes? 9. You hug each other every day? 10. You have never had a shouting match? 11. The wife invites the husband for sex? 12. You know each other’s salary? 13. You know each other’s e-mail password? 14. You’ve looked at your wedding pictures together in the last one year? 15. You discuss freely about your sex life? 16. You love each other more than your family members? 17. You take a stroll together? 18. You plan your annual vacation to be in the same period? 19. You have a joint bank account? 20. You both have your names on the documents of your car and landed property? 21. You attend the same church? 22. You go to church together? 23. You often go to social gatherings together? 24. You walk hand- in- hand on the street? 25. The man helps the wife in the kitchen? 42. You have time to dance together? 43. You’ve read marriage books in the last two months? 26. You praise each other in the public? 27. You easily show your affection in the public? 28. You are each other’s confidant? 29. You are each other’s best friend? 30. Can you answer each other’s phone calls? 31. You have sex regularly without quarrels? 32. Nobody is closer to you (your mother, friends and children inclusive) than your spouse? 33. You easily share your joy and fear? 34. You don’t enjoy it when your spouse travels? 35. You rarely quarrel about money? 36. You never go to bed without settling your differences? 37. You eat together? 38. You create time just to be together? 39. You bath together regularly? 40. You call each other pet names? 41. You wash each other’s underwear? 42. You have time to dance together? 43. You’ve read marriage books in the last two months. 44. You rarely have misunderstandings about in-laws? 45. You kiss regularly? 46. You massage each other’s body regularly? 47. You sleep in each other’s arms regularly? 48. A times you sleep naked beside each other? 49. You discuss joyfully when you make love? 50. People around you know that you are very close? 51. You celebrated your last wedding anniversary? 52. You celebrated your spouse’s last birthday in a special way? 53. You buy special gifts for each other regularly? 54. You laugh and crack jokes together regularly? 55. You enjoy each other’s hobbies? 56. You attend your children’s end of the year party in their school together? 57. If you have the chance to re-marry, you will marry your spouse? 58. You know all your spouse’s colleagues by name? 59. You go to your spouse’s office? 60. You evangelize together? 61. You have family altar regularly? 62. You never argue in the presence of your children? 63. You pray for your spouse regularly? 64. You believe you did not marry wrongly? 65. The wife is fully submissive?
66. The man is a lover boy? 67. You attend marriage seminars regularly? 68. You have many marriage tapes and CDs? 69. You watch and listen to marriage CDs and tapes regularly?
70. You can say the husband is a servant-leader? 71. You can say the wife is a good follower? 72. The man appreciates the woman after eating the food she cooks? 73. He appreciates the wife’s dressing? 74. He appreciates her outlook? 75. He appreciates the woman after sexual intercourse? 76. The woman appreciates the man after paying the children’s school fees, house rents and electricity bills? 77. The woman thanks the man for eating her food? 78. The woman appreciates her husband’s outlook? 79. Ever said, “thank you for marrying me”? 80. The man admits it when he is wrong? 81. He never forces the wife to have sex with him? 82. Does not avoid his responsibility because the woman denies him sex? 83. Do you visit a counsellor together during a misunderstanding? 84. Have never allowed a third party to come between you? 85. Can you say your marriage is a model? 86. You celebrate each other’s parents? 87. You celebrate each other’s family? 88. You do everything together? 89. You call each other regularly from the office just to say hello? 90. Ready to make any sacrifice to make each other happy? 91. You miss your mate sorely when he or she is not around? 92. You spend at least two hours per day talking intimately together? 93. You reach orgasm regularly in your sex life? 94. You spend at least thirty minutes in foreplay regularly before sex? 95. You can use the word FULFILLED for your marriage? 96. You can use the word INTIMATE for your marriage? 97. You can use the word HEALTHY for your marriage? 98. You play together? 99. Have gone on a prayer retreat together more than once? 100. You can use the word ROMANTIC for your marriage? Now, count how many “Yes’’ answers you made. What did you score? Is it up to 50 per cent? Halleluyah, if you score up to 80 per cent! What a great marriage you have! But, remember you scored yoursel£ What if I take 30 marks away from your scores and I call it “sincerity marks”, (marks that I keep to myself to cover for the answer you gave without being sincere), then what do you think you still score?
So whatever you score, deduct 30 from it, the remainder is your real score. Do you now see that you still have a lot of work to do on your marriage? Be ready to do new things, as you will discover in this book.
-Culled from his book 100% Marriage By Bisi Adewale