July 24, 2013
July 31, 2013


The topic of ‘World-Class’ has been top on my mind for more than a month. Nobody wants a wishy-washy life. We all want ‘world class’ things.

Marriage is one of the hottest conversations on earth any time of the day, with people from nearly all age brackets talking about their thoughts, their expectations, their hangups, their fears and their highlights of marriage.

Today’s ‘World Class’ article is about marriage! Yaaay! It is brought to us by a great writer on marriage, relationships and ‘intentional life’. It is a two part series that my dear friend Ngina Otiende has put together.


Ngina Otiende is a writer and trainer who loves helping others take charge of their lives. She’s passionate about intentional growth and relationships and wants to ignite the same passion in others. She’s married to her hero and they live in MD, USA. You can pick up her free E-Book when you subscribe to her Blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Enjoy!



Can you remember your wedding day?

Can you remember all the dreams and aspirations you had? The adrenaline, the dopamine coursing through your veins, the joyous expectations for the future?

For a moment did you ever imagine that this person you were vowing your life to would one day make you so mad, hurt you so bad that you’d want hang them? Did you think that at some point your marriage would demand more than you thought you can give?

As for me I did not! When my mum and eldest brother walked me down the aisle on a sunny Saturday morning, I had no idea that the heartthrob of a man standing at the end of the aisle would one day  hurt me enough to make me want to throttle him.

Truth is am yet to meet somebody who got married with the sole intention of being miserable (or making their spouse miserable).

We get married because we desire happiness and joy and fulfillment which comes from spending the rest of our lives with the one we love.

But before long, we begin to realize that happiness and joy and fulfillment isn’t handed to us on a silver platter (for some reason that part eludes most of us in premarital). As we get along in fact, it begins to appear as though the one we vowed our lives to is the sole cause of our unhappiness.

And that’s where many of us get stuck, between the dreams and expectations in  our heads and the reality in our lives; the things we dreamed about when we got married and the reality of marriage.

Most of us want to bridge that gap, we want to know how to make our marriage flourish. But sometimes we don’t know what to do. And other times we just don’t want to apply ourselves.

So here’s some ways you can get your marriage out of that ‘no-man’s land’. For without world-class thoughts and habits, you can’t have a world class marriage (Tweet this)

  1. Understand that a great a marriage takes time to grow, it doesn’t happen in a day

Most of us want our spouse and marriage to change like yesterday. We look at our friends who’ve been married 15 years and demand that our 5 year old marriage behave the same way. We come into marriage with a lifetime of baggage and hurts and pains and expect the same to be healed completely by the time we get home from work.

What we fail to understand is that a strong marriage is not a sprint. It takes time. We must be willing to invest ourselves for the long haul, to give issues in our marriage time to heal and resolve. She won’t be a proverbs 31 wife a few years into marriage (the proverbs 31 wife was a snapshot of a lifetime) and neither will he be the greatest dad in the world on the day junior comes home from hospital. We must be willing to invest, to exercise, to apply ourselves and build strong relationship muscles. Muscles are not built in easy seasons, but in tough ones.  Tweet this

So we must weather the tough moments, the days he won’t talk and the day she burns your food.

We don’t have the luxury of checking out of the relationship (and finding ‘refuge’ elsewhere e.g work, other relationships) because our spouse has “failed” to deliver in a certain area within a given time.

  1. You must take personal responsibility for your happiness and relationship

I used to think that if my sweet husband would change or act/become/treat me a certain way, then we’d have a dream marriage. He was the problem as far as I was concerned.

It took a while to begin to get a clue that I was responsible for my own happiness and the growth of our relationship.

A great relationship doesn’t start when my husband changes, it does when I do. So often we hinge our happiness and growth on our spouses  A wife may think “If he could treat me better maybe I’d feel more intimate” A husband might think “If she’d take better care of herself, maybe I’d feel more attracted to her.” The truth is, in marriage and if we all looked for reasons not to intentionally love the one we married, we’d find a bundle and then some.

To move your relationship from that no-man’s land (the dreams in your head to the reality in your life), you must understand that God does not hold you responsible for your spouse’s actions or in-actions. Only your own. In the same way, He does not hold back His rewards based on the actions of your spouse.

He will find a way to meet your needs in your marriage but only if you walk according to His ways and values. And His ways include taking personal responsibility for your life and marriage, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, loving lavishly and extravagantly as He’s loved you, taking responsibility for personal growth

(of course am not talking about taking “personal responsibility” and keeping quiet when you should be talking and finding help, e.g in cases of violence in marriage. See point #6 for more)