How Do I Love Thee – LESSON 3 – How Compatible are We?
Compatibility means being capable of existing together in harmony. It means to be free of adverse or unwanted effects when present together. Compatible plants are able to fertilize freely. In the marriage relationship harmony is a key ingredient. We must have a common ground of existence. The marriage union is communion with God and one another. Look around you, despite the plethora of material comforts and gadgets available there are many unloved, unfulfilled, unhappy people.
When pondering marriage consider how compatible you are with the potential spouse. If we perceive life to be a pursuit for happiness we invite frustration. Instead we should see it as an opportunity to pursue our God given purpose. Marriage will provide a lifetime companion to pursue God’s purpose with, one to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But, we must be certain that the one we are considering is willing to remain through the “thick and thin” or should I say for better or worse.
Marriage is something that must be cherished and nourished. Some people take better care of their pets and possessions than their marriages. We must have our priorities right. Remember to keep the embers burning. Embrace the courtship and continuously reflect and ignite the flames of love. Not the surface infatuated love. The deep unending love that God has prepared for the undefiled marriage bed.
Mature Christians should realize we are stewards of whatever God puts in our possession. We are held accountable for whatever he puts in our possession. The exuberant attention gradually dissipates. But do not allow the relationship to become like a pair of old comfortable slippers.
Take a good look at your fiancée! Is this just a surface attraction? What happens when the evening of life begins to bloom and the wrinkles are quite apparent? Will the attraction still be there? Do you enjoy the same things? What really irritates you now?
Who will do the dishes? Who takes out the trash? Who cleans the toilet? Where do we squeeze the toothpaste? Who walks the dog? Who cleans the bathroom? Who sleeps on what side? Who takes care of the finances?
Although petty in thought these issues can become the catalyst to enormous battles. We must; learn to agree that compatibility is a desired atmosphere. We must strive to resolve any conflict that hinders the development of a healthy relationship!
We tend to subjectively view life from our own experiences. This can cause conflicts misunderstandings and disagreements to surface. We must take time to carefully listen to each other. We must be committed to developing good communication skills.
We must learn to be accepting and forgiving of one another’s shortcomings. Everyone has shortcomings. But we must never reinforce wrong behavior in one another, nor should we attempt to justify our own wrong behavior.
We must practice sincere humility towards one another. We must become passionately sensitive to the point we can relinquish a wrong point of view. We must commit to seeking godly counsel when resolving relational conflict. We must acknowledge that God’s way is the right way.
God will never lead us to do anything that destroys a relationship that He has truly ordained. Take a good look at the person you want to marry. Can you truly put him/her first in your life? Can you honestly forsake all others?
Are the two of you ready to allow God’s Word to direct your marital path? Remember marriage is a commitment to God as well as to your partner!
When we fail to readily follow His leadership we display a lack of TRUST and FAITH in HIM! If you are not discouraged at this point and you sincerely want to make a commitment you are probably ready to move towards creating a harmonious marital relationship!
LESSON HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
During this week list three (3) areas you feel the two of you are compatible. Be prepared to discuss the contents of this lesson at your next counseling session.
NEXT:LESSON 4 – Finances