External influences are everywhere. It is easy to be influenced by the people and things around you. Influences can be positive or negative. It is very important that couples don't let the negative influences take over their marriage .
One way we've shown others what influence can do is to get an orange and an onion. We have them smell each one individually. We cut them both and put half of each in a ziplock bag. After several minutes we open the bag and have them smell inside. At this point most people can only smell the onion. The orange has been overpowered.
There can be many different kinds of influence, and as mentioned before, not all are bad. However it is important that you put up protective barriers for those things or people who may try to intrude.
One major influence can be family. Couples need to make sure that family members do not intrude too much on the marriage. Remember the vows that said you forsake all others and cling to your spouse. Make sure your spouse never feels second place to family or friends.
Also parents should not be used as a safety net for your marriage, just in case it doesn't work out. Needing to get out is certainly understandable if there is abuse or other such things going on, but if it's just a matter of not getting along, it's best if you can stay together to work it out, even if it means you need a third party to help, such as a counselor, etc.
It is also important that you don't let negative media or friends/family with a negative view of marriage effect you. Don't get sucked into telling negative jokes about the opposite sex, marriage or your spouse. It may just seem like fun, but it can easily go to far and become hurtful. Remember what we said about the onion and the orange.
One last thought about influence: The other day I was shoveling snow. I noticed how beautiful and white it was. Then I noticed snow on the side of the road that was all dirty from the trucks that had driven through it.
When I saw this, I had this thought. Marriage starts out beautiful and white and pure, like the fresh, clean snow. And most who get married do so with hope for the future, at least at that time. But the powers of influence can make the snow dirty. It's like someone going trucking through that beautiful snow.
This can come from others with bad attitudes about marriage or even your own negative attitude. So, remember this, Don't let anyone go trucking through your snow! Try to read and see things that have a positive view of marriage. Also be careful who you listen to or allow to influence you. This is one way to help you have a positive and healthy marriage that will last, through all that may try to come against it.