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On Beginnings and Endings

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Ah, January... It is officially 2014.

The start of the year usually brings in a sense of mixed emotions. A part of you is excited for the new year (one that you hope would be better than the last), while some part of you feel especially nostalgic about the year that just ended. Nonetheless, a well-known cycle occurs: one thing ends, another one begins – and vise versa.

The same (cycle) can be said about getting married. The beginning of your journey together as husband and wife is the end of your life long search for the person you will share that journey with. As for my marriage, here are a few beginnings and endings that happened throughout our lovely journey:

1. The end of endless talks of non-sense

I used to gauge compatibility according to the couples’ ability to talk to each other about “anything under the sun.” If you can spend the whole day talking about the mundane details of life among other things, you get a high score on my imaginary compatibility scale. However, as my husband and I mature spiritually and emotionally (by God’s grace and through the reading of His word), we realize that communication is not about how long or how often you can talk or (even) gossip with your spouse about anything. It is your ability to maintain conversations that will encourage and edify both of you (Ephesians 4:29); how you can use your words to dwell on things that are true, noble, of good refute, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). In our daily chats we try to stick with quality subjects than several and different ones. We started to be mindful of what we talk about (James 3:10) and avoid godless chatter (2 Timothy 2:16).

2. The end of "solo serving"

Solo food servings may be the best way to make sure we don’t waste food, time and money. But when it comes to marriage, our roles and plans are not for "single serving." Unlike food, taking over a particular task on your own without involving your spouse does not conserve time and resources but does the opposite. You end up feeling overworked, overly stressed and under appreciated. Worse, your spouse had no clue about what you were going through because you choose to go solo in fulfilling your role. That is wrong and it's not what the Bible teaches us. My husband once told me that we have our own roles to fill but we have to do it together through prayer and constant communication. It is no longer “He does his part and I do mine,” because when we got married we became one in the sight of our Lord. As Mark 10:7-9 says, “…A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

3. The beginning of a more prayer-filled life

One of the things we started doing less is talk about "anything" (see number 1). But one thing we began doing more often is pray about everything. Instead of trying to wrap our minds over every little thing we encounter, we begin everything with prayer. We acknowledge God's sovereignty over our lives, our needs, our desires and our plans (Ephesians 1:11, Matthew 6:8, James 4:13-15). We try not to be anxious about the minute details of our marriage and the big decisions we face, instead we lift them all up to God (Matthew 6:25). It is amazing how our troubles appear to be quite insignificant when we pray and realize how small they are compared to the God we serve. Praying doesn't put an end or an escape to our problems but it "gives [us] peace that transcends all understanding and guard [our] hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-8).

The journey of marriage doesn’t end at “I do.” It goes farther and gets even better when the “We do" phase begins– when we start to think, plan, serve and pray as one mind, heart, body and soul.

And as we journey along this road called marriage, it is our prayer that these wonderful beginnings be a testimony of God's work and His faithfulness "to complete the good that He has started in [us]" (Philippians 1:6); that our service to our spouse be a reflection of Christ's love for the Church (Ephesians 5:25) and that we would always fix our eyes in Him who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelations 22:13).

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