However your marriage started out, the decision must be made to be totally committed to your wife or husband. It may have started out based on worldly expectations, but as you learn and grow you can change it to one built on a scriptural basis. All it takes is a decision.
Most people view a decision as not being permanent. More of a casual thought or a whim. They might say "I just decided to go shopping", as if a decision is something of no importance or can easily be changed.
But it's more than that.
I'm sure you've heard the word 'incision' before. It means to cut IN to something. Detach refers to removal or cutting off. So you can see that a de-cision also refers to a cutting off. To me, it has a definite and permanent connotation. Once it's done, there's no turning back.
A true decision cuts off the lazy, selfish options, and only leaves the right way as your pathway. If you go into marriage this way, with the idea that it's permanent, then that will help to prevent you from choosing someone you shouldn't. You will be patient, taking the amount of time and thought necessary to make the right choice.
Failure can only happen after you quit, so the option of quitting must be eliminated. If you will do that, you can't fail. That's why you need to see the decision as permanent. If you can't do that, then you really need to re-think what you are doing.
You're in it for the long haul. You don't "try" marriage, you do it. Period. If you will approach it like that, then when the trials of life come at you (and they will) you will think: "How can we solve this" or "overcome this"? Not "How can I get out of it"?
Please understand this. I'm not giving anyone advice about an abusive relationship or any other unusual circumstances. It takes two fully committed people to make it work. Use your head and think for yourself in any situation. Seek professional help if you need it. I'm just trying to help people to have a winning attitude and plan for a good marriage.
It's worked well for me and my wife for 28 years, and will continue that way for the rest of our lives. We made that decision a long time ago. It sure feels good to have that settled early on.
Mitch Ferguson, April 2009