Our Maker instituted marriage and by His plan, marriage is meant to be indissoluble or a lifelong journey. In fact, aware, the Akan word for marriage means a long journey.
It is about a man and woman leaving their families, cleaving to each other and becoming one flesh.
Marriage is the greatest journey ever told. Unfortunately, most partners never make it to their destination because they lack adequate resources, vision, planning and commitment.
Today studies show only 20 per cent of partners make it to the end and some sociologists predict that if marriage continues to decline at this rate, in less than 100 years from now marriage will disappear and be replaced in forms like cohabitation and renewable contracts.
Fact however is that you can have a good journey and enjoy the benefits of marriage.
How to enjoy your journey of marriage
Nothing good can happen in your marriage or relationship if you do not resolve to win. You win with your mind. You must therefore take a stand to defy all odds.
Make it a point never to quit or settle for less. Acting alone, you can put a spark into your journey when your lover appears to give up on the way.
Be a mentor and keep inspiring your lover especially during difficult times. You are the only key to your success.
Have a mission and vision
Helen Keller who was blind, deaf and dumb said the only thing worse than blindness is to have sight without a vision.
Have a road map and stay focused on your mission statement. Regularly evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as you progress in your journey.
Just don’t float in your marriage or relationship because you may be going around in circles for years without making any progress, just as the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness in making a journey they could have made in only 11 days!
Appreciate your differences
You have your strengths and weaknesses. Have a team mindset and use your strengths to support each other in your areas of weakness.
Make mutual decisions and watch each other’s back because there may be ‘wild animals’ on the way.
Be good friends
Share all areas of your lives because all fulfilling relationships are based on solid friendship. Let your marriage or relationship be your topmost priority and never be too busy for it.
Companionship improves your self-image, security, peace of mind and the assurance that you are there for each other.
One may fall but two can defend themselves along the way. Never leave when your partner is weak and needs you most.
Forgive your lover
No matter how much you love each other you will have challenges on your journey, some predictable, others not. Expect them but have the determination and commitment to deal with them.
Always appreciate that most of your problems have no solutions because they are caused by your unique differences in background experiences, sexuality and temperament.
Resolve your difficulties and use them as opportunities to revitalise your relationship. Forgive each other unconditionally and let it be deep from your heart.
Love and hatred cannot stay in the same heart. Always let go of anger, bitterness and unforgiving spirit.
Pope Francis says if you don’t forgive you will never have peace in your soul or have any connection with God.
Again, today research shows that most of our diseases including cancer may be caused by unforgiving spirit. Therefore, if you forgive you are the only person who benefits.
Pope John Paul refers to forgiveness as restoration of freedom by yourself to yourself.
Let there be no stopping
The Danube River rises over the slopes of Germany’s Black Forest and courses through 10 nations on its way to the Black sea, some 1,800 miles from the beginning.
It goes through very contrasting conditions including romantic fairways, befouled pollution, fairways and wildlife but it does not stop. It keeps going to the end.
See your marriage or relationship as the Danube River. There will be times of romance and times of conflicts and pain. There will be times when you love to move on and times when you want to give up.
All marriages and relationships are like Danube River. The difference is your determination to move on. Be strong and refuse to give up. Brave it out in all situations.
Make a way where there is no way, going under, over or through the obstacles of life. Stay focused on your journey and have the resilience to win. Your journey can be happy and exciting.
Develop the motto of my people the Kwahus or asase aban who say yente gyae (we know no stopping) or one of our local football teams; ‘yenko nkoaa’or let us keep going. Let there be no stopping, surrender, parking or retreat in your relationship or marriage.
Always remember the weapon to success is your mind or determination to win. Each day entertain thoughts, words and images that are conducive to the success of your relationship.
In your mind’s eye see yourself as winning. Work hard and expect good results; happiness, joy, good health and successful outcome out of every situation.
The good news is that your positive thinking is contagious; your partner senses your aura and is positively affected to give you more than you can imagine.
At the start of the New Year when partners worry about what may happen in their relationship, resolve to be different and better.
Say ‘yes I can’ and you will win because you have resolved to win.