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How Do I Love Thee "Food for Thought Before You Say "I Do" ~ Lesson One ~

Pastoral Counselor ordained Elder/Minister Ambassador at Alpha 7 Ministries M.A.Christian Clinical Counseling Certified in Creation Therapy


~ Lesson One ~

~ How Do I Love Thee ~

Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO”

It is important to learn to work together as a team

In This 21st century many marriages are ending in divorce. They will often reach out to someone other than their spouse. Seeking to satisfy their emotional or physical desires outside of the marriage is a problem! Remember you are supposed to be a team. Work together to learn how to resolve conflict. When necessary seek wise godly counsel. However, many couples wait until they have reached the edge of their rope before they seek help for their marriage. Frustrated and at their wits end they all too often select divorce as an option.

There needs to be a time of healing after divorce. Many impatiently rush into marriage again... Did you know that second marriages result in divorce at an even higher percentage rate as well? Third marriages even more so... It really is important you take time to heal before marrying the second or third time around! You will carry unresolved baggage into your new marriage. Quite often the same problems arise and there is major anxiety experienced by the couple!

In today's culture “anything goes” making it really easy to adopt the world’s concept of marriage. When a couple decide they want to marry the last thing they want to hear is “wait.” Knowing that 55 – 60% of marriages end in divorce I think it is important to take time and weigh some things "Before You Say “I DO!”

Each couple is really quite different! Each marriage is different! The original foundational principles of marriage remain the same! Marriage is a spiritual union! Your marriage is and will be what you make it!

Building A Healthy, Fulfilling Marriage

“How Do I Love Thee” is a mini premarital guide from a biblical perspective! I want to share some things you may want to consider? All across the nation there is a push to change marriage! The laws have already been changed in some states... Here in California they are vigilantly working to redefine marriage and change the laws as well… As an adult you have many alternatives and are afforded the right to choose… God’s original design for marriage has not changed! I am Pro Marriage GOD’S WAY!

Keep close to heart the words of this marvelous well known classic poem as you prepare to take your Marriage Journey!

~ How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. ~

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death…

Marriage is ordained by God! It is meant to be a lifetime commitment! So be patient. You do not want to rush into marriage. You want to take the time to get to know this person who you are going to make a lifetime commitment tot. Here in “HOW DO I LOVE THEE; I would like to share with you a few things to ponder and consider? This is the first in a series of (8) eight short lessons in marriage principles!

Lesson 1

Marriage Defined

In Webster’s new encyclopedia dictionary marriage is defined as; “The state of being married, the mutual relation of husband and wife: wedlock, the institution whereby a man and a woman are joined in a healthy special relationship for the purpose of making a home and raising a family, an act of marrying, an intimate or close union.”

The Scriptures tells us marriage is defined by God. When God created Adam He realized that Adam needed a helpmeet. Therefore He created Eve so Adam would have a companion. Eve was created while Adam was in a deep sleep. Eve was a God given gift to Adam for companionship.

Marriage is part of one of the first institutions God ordained; which is the family. The New King James Open Bible teaches us that; The family was the first human institution God created. Through the family God illustrates visibly the relationships that exist between Christ and His Church.

God honors marriage

Through the family God sought to bring into proper relationship the world with Himself. He created all of the heavens and the earth and the things in them that they might prepare the way for and sustain the crown of HIS creation-humanity.” (1990, pg.29) The husband and wife relationship is an intricate part of the family.” The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all of the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.

He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the live stock, the birds of the air, and all the beasts of the field. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place of flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman” for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2. (NIV)

When a man is mature enough to leave his parents and establish a relationship with a woman he should seek God’s guidance.

God created man in His own image. Eve was “bone of his bone.” Ephesians 5. (NIV) states: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” Ideally speaking marriage should be a one time, for a lifetime, monogamous and God centered relationship. Why God centered? Because with God in the center He’ll will make up for the differences. The differences are our imperfections.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment

Marriage a lifetime commitment two imperfect people make to one another. God is totally aware of our imperfections. God is a perfect God and “We can do all things through Him” Philippians 4. (NIV) If we remain faithful to His principles located in the Scriptures and apply those principles within the marriage relationship, God will reveal Himself. It is through the marriage relationship we are given the opportunity to experience true love and commitment to another human being. It is through this relationship we can learn to fully express ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Becoming "One" in marriage

The marriage bed is undefiled. According to the Scriptures “the marriage bed is honorable among all.” Hebrews 13. (NIV) The marriage bed is a sanctioned place for a pure physical, sexual relationship. If at this time you are engaging in a sexual relationship I recommend you cease, it clouds the issues and hinders your ability to be objective, moreover you are outside the will of God. Just be patient and exercise some discipline, reserve the sexual relationship for the “undefiled marriage bed.”

DeBorrah K. Ogans Profile background image.

How Do I LOVE Thee "Things To Think About Before You SAY " I DO" ~ LESSON TWO ~

© 2010 Elder DeBorrah K Ogans


Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on May 13, 2011:

Sweetie, Marriage is a serious commitment. It should not be entered into lightly… One should consider and address any doubts before committing, it is supposed to be a lifetime commitment!

I think it is wonderful that marriage is still taken so seriously in India! It is true that there “is no guarantee” second time around… Actually the statistics in US show that second time around there is even a higher divorce rate for many… Getting married on the rebound to prove something to an ex spouse is not good as you stated.. . One should not make the commitment unless they plan to keep it…. It is important to know that you should not go into marriage thinking that you can change your spouse… You are wise I am sure that when you decide to marry you will responsibly make the commitment….

Thank you for sharing your thoughts & concerns, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

sweetie1 from India on May 09, 2011:

Hi Deborrah,

For 90% indians divorce is not an option so we try to build our marriage and make it work. Though i m yet not married but one day i would be and i have seen it is not that difficult to stay in marriage if you really want your marriage to work. There is no gurantee the next person you say yes would be any different than first one then why complicate your life by changing partners. I dont know why many country has easy divorce laws. This can make people take divorce on small things. marriage is no joke or to be taken lightly, so it should never be rushed and due to any reason if someone has to marry again, then they should only do it when they are ready for it and not to prove to something to someone. Also if you marry to prove something to your ex, then stay married second time or you would be proved wrong and ex right that you can not stay married.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on February 22, 2011:

Soneblom, It really is important to take time to heal before jumping into another relationship! Better yet make sure you do all that you can in the one that you are in... A good marriage takes work! Thank you for stopping by to share, please do come again, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessuings!

soneblom from South Africa on February 21, 2011:

Amen DeBorrah! people do not wait to heal bedore they get involved in another relationship... so they hip up old and new insecurities and never learn to live in victory... Well done:-)Vote Up!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on October 19, 2010:

Stars. Great! I am glad this is helpful! Marriage is really a wonderful thing! I believe that we can always grow and improve as long as we are on this side of heaven! The Lord wants us to enjoy life inspite of all the things that try to hinder us! Keep looKing up!

Be encouraged!

You are so kind and thoughtful! I pray that the Lord continues to Bless & Keep you All as well! Take care! In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on October 19, 2010:

Dear Mr.s Deborrah : Thank you for your thoughtful hub on marriage. There are details that you mentioned that I never realized. God Bless you for this enlightening hub on a subject which requires more to learn about than we generally realize. God Bless You , You are My Precious Heart, And More. Wishing You and Your Precious loved ones Joy, and Happiness Always in The Loving Arms Of Christ In Heaven.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 17, 2010:

Coffesnob! Excellent point! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share! In His Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 17, 2010:

Nobody, You are right about “marriage honoring God,” So soon does one forget “Dearly beloved we are gathered here together in the sight of God…” Even when the vows are customized they usually include honoring God!

It is important that couples realize vows are more than mere words. Marriage is quite serious! As you join together there is a spiritual exchange that takes place… When we encourage others to patiently think marriage through a bit more there will be much less divorcing… God designed marriage to last a lifetime. Marriages should be attended, appreciated and refined like a valuable fine antique; it improves with age… Yes! We each still must develop our very own ongoing personal relationship with the Lord!

Thank you for stopping by to share your words of wisdom brother Bob. We must encourage others in their quest for a fulfilling rewarding marriage... In His Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings to you and yours!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 17, 2010:

Habee, Thank You! As always so nice of you to stop by and share words of encouragement!! In His Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

coffeesnob on August 17, 2010:


In these times in which the marriage vow is taken so lighty it is good to see written here a voice of admonition to get it right the first time and to keep it pure once there. God bless you

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 17, 2010:

A M Werner, It is true about “two imperfect people” agreeing to a covenant relationship is deep! It is important to know and keep in mind that there is always room for improvement. Therefore when we point the finger at one another we must remember that they point both ways when properly pointed….

When both spouses truly embrace God’s design for marriage His principles should become the barometer for what is right or wrong!

It is important to know that it does matter how we present ourselves... not in a superficial way. It should be a priority to improve who we are and consciously grow together. To encourage one another to be the best they can be...

I like your example of the landscape… Think of your marriage as a garden. Do you want weeds or flowers and what kind? Is it well maintained or is it low maintenance… I think there should be realistic goals for both spouses that work towards building a healthier and improved living environment! This will help you as well as your future or current children weather the storms of life. It is within marriage we are able to build wonderful life sustaining memories knowing your marriage is sanctioned by God and you honor Him as you honor your vows! One should really think about the seriousness of this commitment….

How lovely if we could encourage others that our marriages become a bouquet to the LORD! It really is very important to have much discussion in regards to what one expects and desires in their marriage. Each marriage is different…. What type of flowers are you both willing to maintain?

Thank you for sharing your insightful and most helpful thought provoking comments! You have provided additional "Food for Thought!" In His Love, Peace Joy & Blessings!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 17, 2010:

BK, I have seen this many times over as well… Not realizing that they have not divested themselves of the emotions and hurts of the first marriage they often rush into another relationship. Sometimes they feel the marriage was over before they left so its okay… Often with blinders on they think they “got it” this time it will be different? The TRUTH is there needs to be a season of aloneness to restore who you are… rather than allow the next person to fill the empty void…

Initially there is a honeymoon period and everything seems okay again! All too often many find out they have married a stranger with some interesting habits they did not share… “The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence...” One must really step back and take a deep breath before plunging into another marriage... otherwise you carry the unresolved hurt into the next and the next...

Thank you for stopping by to share your insight! In His Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on August 17, 2010:

Marriage is to honor God and is a picture of Christ and His bride the church. To be ready for marriage is to represent Him and His design for the relationship. It is a permanent one and has no back door as the world would have us believe. It is designed for life and to maximize fruit for God's kingdom. Two become one flesh and operate as one. Yet maintain their distinct ministries and relationships with the King of kings. Wonderful hub sister.

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

Lady E, I am glad that you too have been encouraged! Marriage is a big step and there is much to consider before making a commitment that is meant to last a lifetime...

I want to encourage you to make sure you take the time to really get o know your future spouse. It is important that you share core values...

It is always nice to hear from you... Thank you for stopping by to share, In His Love, Joy Peace & Blessings!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

Fred Allen, It is quite interesting…. I have come to realize that many find it so easy; opting out because it has become the way of the world. Or for some it is difficult to be in a marriage when one has no loyalty… In some cases they have actually married a stranger...

Marriage designed by God was meant to last a lifetime…. But as turbulence or unexpected difficulties occur instead of working together many work against one another. Too often they take heed to ungodly counsel and often seek out one sided advice... Or solicit advise from well meaning friends or relatives who have no clue as to what is really happening...

It is really important to build trust, transparency and intimacy in a marriage.

When an issue arises and they will it is a “Solid Rock foundation” that will weather the storm.

It is most admirable that you and your wife made a conscious decision to “forsake all others.” It is important to remain faithful to your vows… There is an unexplainable strength that comes from being on one accord in committing to your vows! You seriously respect your vows to one another as well as to the Lord!

What is so wonderful here; is you have shared true authentic LOVE! It is wonderful and will anchor your life in the midst of any turmoil….. Love is not selfish you want what is best for your spouse even when you do not agree... Respect, consideration and faithfulness are also components of a good marriage.

Love is truly a gift from God that few spiritually understand…

Thank you for sharing this will help many others who are contemplating marriage! We want to encourage them…. Marriage is beautiful but you must be willing to build a solid relationship it doesn't just happen…. A good marriage improves as it ages... In HIS Love, Joy Peace & Blessings!

Holle Abee from Georgia on August 16, 2010:

Such wonderful advice! Rated up!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

Cristina, I am so glad that you have been encouraged. You are in a wonderful position since you are choosing to enter into marriage keeping the Lord and His Word at the forefront! No doubt you know the importance of being “equally yoked… “

I pray that you continue to grow together as you enter into your marriage. The “Marriage Covenant is sanctioned by God!”

Be encouraged! Marriage can be marvelous, despite all the one's you see ending in divorce...! Marriage is what you make it! Life presents many challenges together you are able to weather them all as you trust God! Marriage is really meant to be a partnership. You honor God as you honor your vows!

Thank you for stopping by to share! May the Lord Bless you and your future husband, In His Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

Unchained Grace, Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts and concerns on marriage! There are a plethora of marriages ending in divorce. Many do not consult the Lord until their marriage has gotten almost totally out of control or they see Him as a last resort! Love, commitment, respect, transparency and intimacy are important components of marriage…

God’s original design for marriage has not changed. My intentions here are to encourage others to sincerely consider God’s principles before marrying and once they have entered marriage! Marriage is the ultimate God ordained relationship between a man and a woman…

I thank the Lord for His Faithfulness and fully subscribes to and encourage “MARRIAGE GOD’S WAY.” I am most thankful for a loving “God centered’ marriage. God truly is able! In His Love, Peace & Blessings to you and your wife...

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

RevLady, It is heart wrenching to see the escalating number of marriages resulting in divorce… God is not pleased! Our vows were never meant to be mere words recited in a temporary celebratory moment in front of others... The couple must consider their vows before and after marriage!

Rather than becoming “God centered;” Manipulation has become a big part of many marriages… This is why they are not lasting…

“God has and will continue to work miracles in many marriages if He is consulted for guidance, forgiveness and reconciliation power.” It is important that couples begin to embrace God and His principles! God is Love! There is no other source more proficient or competent to help one resolve marital conflict. “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not to your own understanding in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight…. Proverbs 3. One must first be willing… God truly is able!

Thank you for sharing your wise and godly insight! In His Love, Joy, Peace & Bles

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 16, 2010:

His daughter, Thank you!! Amen!!!

I realize that few want to hear this… But it becomes increasingly important that we speak forth what God has to say about Marriage! You are so right there are so many “wounded people” children and casualties from broken marriages… What has happened can not be undone, but we can continue to encourage others to think about what commitment really means before they say “I DO” or once they have think before they break their vows and the ensuing consequences…

Thank you for stopping by to share, In His Love, Peace & Blessings!

Allen Werner from West Allis on August 15, 2010:

DeBorrah, people often don't realize this truth you gave: "Marriage is a lifetime commitment two imperfect people make to one another." All too often people expect their mate to be "perfect" both physically and spiritually. People expect this other person to always be everything they want or need them to be. When the imperfections appear, they quickly become chasms of separation. Instead of working with the landscape as it is, they either want to knock down hills, re-route rivers, build up bridges, and change everything, or, divorce and go somewhere else. There is a great maturity in Christ to be had, to accept one another as is, to suffer the landscape the way it is, and be in union with the natural and supernatural commitment entered upon. Learning to be content is difficult. Rushing into another commitment cannot fix a person's inability to be content and deal with differences and imperfections. Great lesson. Peace.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on August 15, 2010:

Interesting point about people rushing into a 2nd marriage and that failing too. I've known people to do that and then I hear all the horror stories - whereas the people that didn't rush into a 2nd marriage gave themselves a chance to heal and discover who they are.

This is food for thought - thank you!

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on August 14, 2010:

Samsoms, Thank You for stopping by to share! Your comments and encouraging words are most appreciated! Many marriages are in turmoil… I pray many are helped and encouraged by this as well! Please do come again! In HIS Love, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

Elena from London, UK on August 14, 2010:

I'm glad I read this and hope to refer to it again. (Actually share it with friends too.)

"Marriage a lifetime commitment two imperfect people make to one another."

Thanks for writing this Hub. :)

fred allen from Myrtle Beach SC on August 14, 2010:

It is a shameful decision to ignore the vows made before God and man to a spouse on wedding day. I have been married for 19 years. While we have had many great times together, ther have been times where honor was the glue that held our marriage together. We vowed to each other to foresake all others. To remain faithful in sickness and health, richer or poorer, better or worse, till death do us part. We made these vows before almighty God. Honor bound us to remain faithful to each other. When feelings for each other were threatened we rallied around such ideals as loyalty, honor, and faith that feelings would be restored if we decided to go back to doing things that nurtured the feelings we needed to strengthen our marriage. We held hands, soon the feeling of wanting to be together took root once again. We kissed. Intimacy followed. We had date nights. Friendship blossomed. Do the action, the feeling will result.

Gret hub! Vital topic.

Cristina Santander from Manila on August 14, 2010:

Great hub with great truths to consider when contemplating marriage. Thank you for sharing this godly principles for those who will enter marriage. I find this message very valuable for me who is considering to get married soon. Blessings to you and your family. Best regards.

Unchained Grace from Baltimore, MD on August 13, 2010:

Today's society looks for the easy way in and the easier way out. The first sign of conflict equals divorce for some.Many have had a personal history of quitting on themselves when any level of difficulty presented itself during any endeavor. Naturally, they followthru in marriage. Problem? Difficulties? Time to ring the bell, hit the showers and rack up one more defeat in life. If this sounds like you, than ask yourself if there has been ANYTHING in your life you've actually followed thru on.

Couples who do in fact wait need to wait for the right reasons. A six month engagement does not guarantee a successful marriage depending on your definition of success. What does?

Take it before God. The author of this Hub was indeed correct. The divorce rate is through the roof and moreso in subsequent marriages. Ever see an animal in the woods? When scared, they run from one point of concealment to another though never staying too long at any one location. Many look at 'rebound marriages' as a point of concealment. An attempt to conceal themselves from the pain, anguish and most importantly the responsibility of self-examination. The mirror becomes their enemy. While a new matrimonial endeavor may be temporary reassurance they are not rejects simply because the prior one nosedived, that euphoria won't last. Why? We never came to understand what happened last time. We never consulted God, did we? No, we jumped in with our own worldly understanding.

Marriage is as Abraham's journey. He sought God throughout it all and trusted Him from the very beginning.

My wife and I have been through literally hell and back and we remain in love as much today as we were the day we ourselves said 'I do'. Anyone care to consider Matthew 6:33 before they lie to God at the altar?

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on August 13, 2010:

As you so eloquently addressed, 21st century marriages seem to have become mere "hotel" relationships with the option to check out at will. The most successful and blessed marriages are those built upon the foundation established by God Himself.

"Why God centered? Because with God in the center, He will make up for the differences. The differences are our imperfections." AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!! God has and will continue to work miracles in many marriages if He is consulted for guidance, forgiveness and reconciliation power.

A wonderfully written and presented hub pastor DeBorrah. It is my prayer that those considering marriage or divorce contemplate the suggestions offered.

May God bless your ministry!! It is gratifying to know there are pastoral counselors such as yourself helping couples rethink what marriage means in the context of faith.

Forever His,

His daughter on August 13, 2010:

Great word and advice DeBorrah. Too bad the majority don't or won't listen. Quick ways out have become all too convenient for people which in turn leave a whole pile of wounded people going from one marriage to another. The sad part is not only they carry those wounds but so do children involved.

Sam from Tennessee on August 13, 2010:

voted up & beautiful! Amen and Amen...

nothing else needs be said, this is 'right on' according to God and His plan. Beautifully written and I pray many, many will read and heed the advise in this hub.

Blessings to you & yours.

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