Last week we were privileged to share in the joy of Toks and Rita Olukolu, a couple within Colossians Family Network who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Reflecting on the beautiful event and the joy exuding from the couple, they have every cause to celebrate – 25 years of marriage connotes 25 years of compromise, loyalty and commitment from both parties. No doubt they faced challenges along the way, but due to their commitment to each other, they were able to reach this great milestone. It must have taken dedication, determination and discipline to remain committed to their marriage for such a long time.
We wish Toks and Rita many more blissful years together.
Marriage vows are words of commitment to stay with each other no matter what the circumstances may be. The true measure of loyalty in a marriage is determined by couple’s commitment to each other during different stages/phases of life. When we get married, we make a commitment. As our shared history builds on commitment, our sense of being part of one another takes that commitment to a higher level called loyalty. Loyalty is a positive virtue that should be defined as the natural sociability of people. A loyal person is indeed someone who is attached to other people for the long term based on a deep sense of what is due to them. Loyalty in marriage requires giving our spouses the first place over others including our parents.
People always think the opposite of loyalty is infidelity, but this is not necessarily the case in most marriages. The main challenges we face are more related to divided loyalties – giving more attention to work than to our spouse, talking sarcastically about them, not listening attentively when they are talking, giving our friends the best of our time or happiest energy than our spouse, giving our children more time than our spouse, or even being more concerned about taking care of the home than taking care of our spouse.
Loyalty can be viewed from different perspectives, and this would entail asking ourselves some critical questions that would challenge our behaviour.
1. Do I give my parents and siblings priority over my spouse therefore making them feel second place?
2. Do I support conversations that bring my spouse down, or do I stand up for them covering their mistakes?
3. Am I still committed to the same goals and values we agreed at the beginning of our life together?
4. Does my spouse feel supported in this marriage or does he/she feel threatened.
5. Would I still love this woman when wealth abounds or would I still respect this man should challenges of life affect him?
You cannot be committed to what you do not believe in and you can’t be loyal to what you are not committed to. Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is. Do you consider your marriage a treasure or is your marriage a burden? Those who are enjoying blissful marriage are loyalists to their marriage, values and spouse. They take their vows seriously, and have totally committed to each other – forsaking others (including extended family and friends) and cleaving to each other spirit, soul and body. Essentially, for us to be truly loyal to our spouse we need to get our priorities right – God first, our spouse, our family, then others.