In this post, I am going to make quite a bold claim. I was thinking about this vaguely a few weeks ago. It is a thought that has occurred to me before. It is this: that no matter what it is that you want in a marriage, the way to attain it successfully will be the same. I mean that the way to attain it to make a marriage successful will be the same. I never know just how honest to be on my blogs; I never know whether to admit things like this: namely that I have not thought so deeply about this issue. Because of that, I may find myself adding to or modifying at a later point the points that I make here in this blog. Sincerely, my mind has been so busy with various things that these days I rarely find myself thinking very extensively on any one topic.
I know that the claim of this post is quite bold, and it is all the bolder because as I say I have not had lots of time to deeply think through it and think of any situations which might contradict this. And yet the reason why I feel confident to make this statement is because I am thinking that this is a good and reliable way to form any kind of long-term partnership. Marriage, or any kind of partnership, should be a thing or a system or structure where the people within it agree on what they want and how they want to get there. My point is that for the sake of forming the partnership, what they actually want is almost immaterial. Whether they want to climb Mount Everest within the partnership or they want to plan a two-person mission to the moon, I’m thinking that for the sake of success there are basic principles which will contribute to success.
A big part of these principles exists to make sure that the two people involved (in marriage) truly are moving in the same direction, to make sure that someone who “only” wants to climb Mount Everest does not find themselves tied for life to someone who is wishing to go to the moon. Marriage is an especially important partnership of course because it is for life. The longer the nature of the partnership the more effort should be made to make sure that there is true compatibility between the partners involved. This is quite obvious of course, if you stop to think about it. If you’re only going to be living with someone for one day, then obviously you do not need to make as much effort to choose them carefully as if you are planning to live alongside them for the rest of your life.
So here is the thing: I think that whatever it is you want in marriage, absolutely whatever, the path to attain it successfully will be the same! I think that to anyone who follows this blog it might be clear what I want in marriage. I actually want quite a lot, of course, like everyone does. However, I talk a lot about hugs, character, and emotional intimacy. Someone might think “that’s all very well, Tosin, but my wishes for marriage are completely different!” However, I think that whatever it is that you want, the path to attaining a successful marriage that will most adequately fulfil your legitimate needs and desires in marriage, will be the same. So what exactly is it that you are (legitimately!) yearning for above all in marriage? Is it sex? Is it money? Is it children? Is it some measure of security? Is it companionship? Is it all of the above?! (Can I hear an “Amen”?!) You might think that sitting around, making the effort to get to know someone, building a friendship is all very well, if like me you’re into hugs and emotional intimacy. But if you want something quite different, then the path to it might be different? But no.
The reason for this is because, as I say, marriage is a partnership that depends on true compatibility, no matter what your mutual end goal might be. I believe that my suggestions on this blog will help to confirm true compatibility and build friendship. And then once you are in the marriage, then it will be sustained and nurtured by communication and friendship, so that you remain united to keep pressing towards your mutual goal.
Let’s talk about sex. This is the kind of thing that might be difficult to admit publicly, yes? However, let’s imagine that deep down you are thinking: “What I want from marriage is endless nights of torrid passion!” This might sound counter-intuitive, but please, please trust me on this. As I write this, I am absolutely confident that the single best way to achieve this goal is to get to know the person first, and to build up a friendship with them; that is, exactly what I always talk about on this blog. What you have to do is to make sure that you find someone who also desires that same thing as a life goal.
What this means: the point of truly getting to know someone is so that you can evaluate their character. Would you not want to make sure that the person you are giving yourself and your body to is honest and trustworthy and reliable? What might be the ramifications for you and your life if the person you end up with is also as sexually hungry as you, and possibly great in bed, but not sexually faithful, for instance? Or perhaps fidelity is not the issue, perhaps the issue is that the person has some hidden but dangerous tendencies – would that make for happiness in the long term?
This is why I believe it is just as important to get to know someone’s character thoroughly before marriage even if sex is your deepest marital longing.
Or let’s say that you never really think about marriage itself per se, you simply want your life to be full of passionate sexual intimacy. I would still say that the single most effective and fulfilling way of achieving that would be to put in the effort to build a single great relationship; ie, a marriage – and to go about building that relationship in the way that would most effectively ensure long-term success.
Thinking about sex: if you want sex as a long-term goal, and you chase after sex in your dating or courtship relationships; that is, you choose romantic partners solely or primarily because of supposed sexual desirability, and then sleep with those sexual partners before marriage, then I’m sure that in many cases, you will not actually end up with your goal of long-term sustained sexual passion. What I’m sure happens in most cases is that people end up frustrated, disappointed, heart-broken and lonely. That is because the characteristics that make for a great long-term sexual partner are exactly the same as the characteristics for any great long-term partner, but with the added proviso that the person should also like sex and be looking forward to it.
So the person should be honest, reliable, striving after God, crying out for purity of all kinds (including sexual purity), striving always to be the best they can be, trying to be open to ways that they need to improve. They should also be someone who looks after their body, exercises, so that their body will last for longer, in more ways than one!
3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
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