Marriage should never be treated as a cheap electronic gadget that people use and throw. Any product that is meant to last long has to be properly designed, engineered with the right material with the deft hands of an experienced workman and is to be carefully maintained. In the same way, to have a long lasting marriage, the couple have to rightly design, engineer, work and maintain the relationship.
A person designing a long lasting product must have an inherent faith and conviction that the product will work and work for long. Without this conviction, how can he ever design a product? Likewise, a couple, entering into marital relationship should have a firm faith in the institution of marriage and they should have a firm conviction that it is a relationship aimed at living a lifetime together. If the very act of marriage is planned with an idea “if it doesn’t work, we shall break”, it is faulty right at the design stage.
A well engineered product relies on quality of raw materials. In a marital relationship, the prime raw material is “commitment to each other” and should have the stamp of quality called fidelity. In a marital relationship, contrary to common belief, “love” is not the first raw material. It is “commitment”. “Love” is an alloying element best added to “commitment” and love improves the sheen, the attractiveness and the strength of the marital bond. The very engineering of a marital relationship will be sound, leading to long lasting marriage, if each partner knows for sure that the other one will not ditch him/ her in search of a sexual relationship outside marriage.
Workmanship is extremely important if a product is to last long. Husband and wife have to really “work” for ensuring that the other person will continue to be with him/ her through thick and thin. The secret of this work is unselfishness; it is the keenness to sacrifice a fair amount of selfish interests for the sake of happiness and well being of the other person. This workmanship should find its mastery in the sexual relationship of the couple. “Is what I am doing going to make the other person extremely happy and satisfied?” “Am I considerate enough to understand the mood and inclination of the person and work accordingly?” “Do I understand fully that marital relationship is not just for being an outlet to the animal passions inside me?”
And finally the product requires regular maintenance for lasting long. A machine running continuously needs rest. Wear parts require regular lubrication. In a marital relationship, husband and wife needs to give a well deserved rest to the partner once in a while. A husband can extend helping hand to his wife in her daily domestic chores to give her rest. A wife may encourage her husband to take a long break from work for a while. Both should have opportunity to go together on a holiday, to get rest from their regular mundane work.
Regular and affectionate communication between the husband and wife is the “lubrication” that makes things run smooth, without friction.
Those who have faith in God will be able to really grasp that getting the right husband or wife is really a grace descending from God. Beyond that, there lies the responsibility of the couple to strive hard to make the marriage long lasting.