The wedding is over and the wedding party is gone. The wedding coordinator is no longer giving you directions and the last wedding related expense was just debited from your account. People have come and gone and all you have is your spouse. Calmness is being restored as you gradually settle into your new life style as a married couple. You both look forward to a life full of excitement and a fulfilling marriage.
You gradually start packing for your honeymoon and you can’t wait to get to your destination. You navigate through security, board the airplane and take your seats. You fasten your seatbelt as you get comfortable and look forward to your honeymoon. The plane taxis no the run way getting ready to takeoff. The Pilot increases the speed and you notice that the plane starts vibrating. At this point, the seat belt sign is on and the pilot continues to increase speed to gain enough momentum to takeoff. The pilot looks beyond the initial vibration knowing that these vibrations are expected during takeoff. The plane finally gains enough momentum and the plane is air bone. As the plane continues to ascend the vibrations initially experienced is more pronounced due to turbulence (a phenomenon that occurs when an aircraft collides with air pockets). Once the plane reaches its predetermined altitude the ascending stops, the plane mains this altitude and usually the seat belt sign is turned off. The vibration and turbulence reduces drastically and is occasionally felt throughout the flight. The vibration and turbulence then intensifies during the landing process as the airplane descends.
The turbulence and vibration experienced during a flight is relatable to marriage. Research shows that most plane crash occur during takeoff or landing. This is when the turbulence is highest. It is when the plan feels the most pressure and strain on its engine. The chance of divorce is highest within the first 5 years of marriage; this is the take-off stage when the difference you didn’t see during your courtship is experienced the most. It is the adjustment phase, the phase in which most marriages feel strain and pressure. The chance of divorce increases again between 20years and 25 years of marriage which is when the children have left the house and it just you and your spouse at home. This can be related to the landing stage.
Newlyweds need to understand that the success of their marriage is dependent on how they can adjust to the vibrations, turbulence, differences, miscommunications, misunderstanding and conflict they are exposed to at the takeoff stage of their marriage (usually the first 5 years). Just like the pilot anticipates vibrations when ascending and looks beyond this expected vibrations because he/she knows that once they reach a certain altitude the initial turbulence is reduced; it is imperative for newlyweds to understand the vibrations in the adjustment phase and know that it takes vision to get through that phase. Understanding and communications are two vital ingredients newlyweds need at this stage. Notice that during the landing and takeoff of an airplane, pilots and air hostess are in sync as communication between them increases. They both understand their roles and want the same outcome, which is having a successful flight. Zig Ziglar put it this way “Many marriages would be better if the Husband and Wife clearly understood they are on the same side.” The bible puts it this way
“If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other” Genesis 10:6 – 7
The ability for couples to speak the same language is vital for the success of their marriage. Understand that speaking the same language here refers to being on the same page, being in agreement about things. Conflict resolution is a skill set that newlyweds should start developing early in their marriage especially through the adjustment phase (first 5 years of marriage). The purpose of conflict is to revolve and find a lasting solution. When couples resolve conflicts, it brings them closer together. Ultimately the more conflicts they resolve, the less barrier between them and the closer they get. Couples should see conflicts as a learning opportunity to discover their spouse and an avenue to get closer. I talk more about conflict resolution in my article title “4’C in Marriage”.
Some essential things to do during this stage
Prayer is an important asset during this time. It helps set the stage for dialogue. It also invites the presence of God into your situation. It helps you set the stage and atmosphere. It tells God that you depend on Him to help you understand your spouse. Notice that the pilot increases his communication with the control tower during take-off, landing or when vibrations on the plane are for extended period of time. Also notice that the control tower informs the pilot of weather conditions ahead and how to navigate this conditions (what altitude, speed etc.). God plays the role of the control tower and prayer is the way you keep the communications between the control tower and the plane open. Imagine flying a plane without a control tower or flying a plane with no communication between the control tower and the pilot. This is the case of going on the marriage journey without God. Also imagine flying a plane with no communication between the pilot and the airhostess? This is the case of going on the marriage journey without talking communicating with your spouse. The importance of prayer in your life cannot be over emphasized. It is the life line of your life and marriage. If you want a great marriage step one, pray together. The book of James puts it this way
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” James 5:6
Add value to your spouse
Marriage flourishes through value added growth, where growth is a function of the value you add to your spouse. During the adjustment phase you will meet a new side of your spouse that you have not met before. You will also experience a side you are used to. Marriage is like a magnifying glass that magnifies strengthen and development areas. It is important for you to celebrate these strengths and consciously add value to the development areas of your spouse. There is less stress in the adjustment phase if you leverage each other’s strength and add value to each other development areas. God added value to us by sending His son to die for us, that we will be saved through that action. We were sinners but God chose to change that nature by adding value to us. Upon salvation, we are no longer slaves to sin but free from the chains of sin. If you add value to your spouse, your spouse becomes a better person. They are better for marrying you and you are better for marrying them if you can leverage each other’s strength. The pilot should not be trying to serve meals or the airhostess trying to land the plane. The pilot knows that if he can keep the plane steady, the airhostess can better serve the meal. I am not saying you should change your spouse, but rather enrich your spouse. Add value to your spouse and watch your marriage flourish.
Finally understand that marriage is a journey that gets better over time and not a destination. The word of God should be at the foundation of your union as Christ is the foundation. The success of your marriage is dependent on your ability to diligently applying the word of God on your marriage. The principle governing marriage does not change and it works for whosoever will apply it. May the grace of God be upon your marriage and keep your union in the name of Jesus.
Marriage is Journey not a destination. It should get better over time if the governing principles are consistently applied.
Love Always ~ T.E