The key to marriage is investment. You cannot become skilled at your trade unless you learn more and practice it. You cannot become an expert at a sport or an instrument unless you put in the hours and learn how to do things optimally.
You cannot have a healthy body unless you eat the proper foods and exercise regularly. So what makes us think we can get something out of our marriage without putting anything into it?
One of the ways we can invest in our marriages is to read a book on it. There are plenty of good books on marriage out there, and since none of us knows everything there is to know on this subject, we can certainly gain by listening to one another.
I can read a book on marriage on my own on marriage and work at improving my part in this covenant, or I can read a book with my spouse, answering the study questions usually found at the end of the chapters.
Another way we can invest in marriage is to attend a seminar on marriage put on by an expert, or to get away to a marriage retreat at a Bible camp. We must find ways to stoke or rekindle the fire of our love, so that we may “rejoice with the wife of your youth…and always be enraptured with her love” (Prov.5:18,19).
If going out on a date with our spouse has the power to reconnect us to one another, how much more when we get away for a night or two, away from the kids and the busyness of work, to just enjoy one another again? Remember, the greater the investment the greater the dividends.
A third way we can invest in our marriages is to adopt a mentoring couple as an example to follow. Do you know anyone who has been married for 30, 40 or 50 years? Do you see anyone functioning well as a couple, respecting one another as partners in the ministry?
Those are the people you want to talk to, observe, and glean from. Sometimes discipleship and role modeling can teach more than any book or seminar could ever do – and faster! As they say, some things are better caught than taught.
So find a couple you respect and ask them to mentor you in the ways of healthy marriage.
The call of marriage
The Lord holds marriage in high regard. Husbands and wives are to pattern themselves after the loving and submissive example of the Christ. It is no accident that Paul speaks of marriage as a “calling” (1 Cor.7:17).
Therefore, let us take seriously the high calling of marriage and do all we can to learn to walk together in holy matrimony, “as being heirs together of the grace of life.” (1 Peter 3:7), since our marriage will only be as good as the investment we put into it.