Developing a marriage on the foundation of faith sometimes leads to a rocky start and even a rocky finish. To make a faith-based marriage work properly, there are many factors that must be considered. When these factors are overlooked, trouble is certain to arise down the road for one or both partners involved in the marriage. The following four ideas should help a faith-based marriage stand the test of time.
Getting Married at the Right Age
A lot of times young people rush into marriage, long before their faith has matured. Though they are filled with what appears to be love and passion for one another, it is not uncommon that the nature of their individual faith perspectives will change over time. As people mature, their views about faith, God, and the world in general change with their experiences. For this reason, it is better to wait until later, after one is more settled in their faith, to decide to find a partner to build a faith-based marriage. This will have a tendency to prevent radical shifts in individual faith perspectives from creating tension in the marriage.
Marry Within Your Faith
Since different faiths often harbor radically different faith-based perspectives on issues, it may be more convenient for people to marry someone within their own church or religious sphere. When people marry outside of their respective faith, they may find that they are unequally yoked. Often the inherent, radical differences in faith they possess create unnecessary problems with their marriage.
Compassion and Understanding
According to Psychologytoday.com, a lack of basic compassion resides at the heart of most failed marriages. Faith-based marriages are not invulnerable to this pervasive underlying cause of divorce either. The need for people to feel compassion and that their partner understands them is a central pillar for any successful marriage. This is especially true when disagreements arise over matters of faith.
Faith is not something that can be forced on another. Convictions of faith must come from the heart. Being understanding of the faith-based struggles your partner may be going through will foster a far better outcome over the long term. It is generally best to not measure your partner’s faith with respect to your own. They may simply not have the insights you are blessed with having or it may take them much longer to achieve such a level of faith. Alternatively, your own faith may need work itself to reach the level your partner has obtained.
Enjoy the Experience
Whether your particular faith deems some foods off limits or harbors specific rules on dress or conduct, it is important for partners in a faith-based marriage to take an active part in what their faith has to offer. Some reasonable amount of tradition helps to keep faith-based marriages alive by providing a framework for that faith to grow. For instance, choosing the right kind of LDS temple dresses when attending an LDS temple may be beneficial for helping a couple of that faith to orient to the expectations of their religion. In like manner, other faith-based marriages may find more meaning in their marriage from attending the ritual celebrations their religion offers each year.
Faith-based marriages will inevitably experience a range of hardship and joy. The important thing to remember is that your partner is only human. When trouble or conflict arises, it is best that people of faith seek for mercy and understanding for their partner as a first line of defense to preserve their faith and their marriage. Above all else, truth will always guide people to a prosperous outcome with their faith and marriage, even if it means enduring hard times together for the sake of a better future for the couple involved.