The RMS Titanic is arguably one of the most popular historical passenger luxury cruise liners. It was owned and operated by the White Star Line. Its popularity in our time may largely be attributed to the 1998 epic movie Titanic. Although the main storyline of the movie is fictional, there is historical truth that we can learn about the ship, the people, and the events that led to its demise in the early hours of April 15, 1912.
Before the Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage, an extract from the White Star Line publicity brochure released in 1910 stated that the Titanic, was designed to be “unsinkable”. During that time, it had technology that no other ship had, the most unique of which is the sixteen watertight compartments located in the ships’ lower section. This meant that in an event of a punctured hull, the affected compartment could easily be sealed off to contain the water coming in. This very well may be the reason why it was publicized as an unsinkable ship.
We, however, know from history that this was not the case. On April 14, 1912, just two days into its maiden voyage, the Titanic sideswiped a massive iceberg and what was in the beginning deemed as an unsinkable ship hit the bottom of the ocean floor in just three hours.
There are nuggets of wisdom from this fateful event that we can learn from to protect our marriage. Just like the myths surrounding the Titanic, there are myths in marriage that many unconsciously assume as truth that leave our marriages vulnerable to temptation and destruction.
MYTH #1: “It’s not going to happen to me.”
Like the Titanic that was once believed to be unsinkable, you can end up with the same fate in your marriage if you refuse to accept the truth that it can happen to you.
Many times in our marriage we set out thinking everything is going to be fine. We become so confident that there’s nothing that can ruin our marital relationship, so we become complacent. We don’t realize that when our guards are down, we will most likely fail to identify earlier on possible threats that can ruin our marriage.
A practical example is when you find yourself being drawn to invest in seemingly harmless interactions or conversations with the opposite sex other than your spouse; learn to acknowledge that it’s a warning sign. Consistent interactions with the opposite sex, no matter how innocent we think it is, can easily become a major source of temptation for unfaithfulness that can threaten or even ruin your marriage.
When you find yourself amused, drawn, or intrigued by a particular person of the opposite sex, you have to take precautionary measures to keep yourself away from becoming emotionally invested in that relationship.
MYTH #2: “I’ve prepared enough to resist any temptation.”
Overconfidence is the foundation of failure. The RMS Titanic’s advanced, unique, and one-of-a-kind design for its hull was supposed to make it unsinkable or at the least keep it afloat for three days after any accident, giving enough time for help to arrive should there be a need. From history though, we know how this failed.
Many times we pride ourselves in our values, in how much we love our spouse, in our maturity in the faith, in our relationship with and fear of the Lord. We think that because of these things, we will be able to safely navigate head-on any temptation that we may encounter.
We have to remember that Adam’s fall into sin at the Garden of Eden had changed our original state from innocence to fallenness. We have since become beings who tend to gravitate more towards evil than towards good. We have become people who are prone to selfishness than to selflessness. As such, we tend to seek to gratify our own needs rather than to look after the needs of others—even those of our spouse.
If you want to safeguard your marriage, do not dare to stare temptation in the face; rather, run from it as fast as you can. Avoid it no matter how petty, unattractive, small and insignificant this may initially seem to be to you.
It’s also important to keep an open line of communication with your spouse and find people to whom you can be accountable. You see, the more hidden or secret you keep things in your heart, the more power, control, and influence you give it over you and your actions.
There’s an African proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child.” The same can be said when it comes to safeguarding your marriage: It takes more than just you and your wife. You need a community or a group of people you trust to come alongside you.
MYTH #3: “No one else is affected by my actions.”
When the RMS Titanic sank, it claimed the lives of 1,500 people. Of the more than 2,200 passengers, only 705 survived—forever scarred and traumatized by the tragic events of that fateful morning.
We often think that our sins affect no one but ourselves. That is not true. When you do something that eventually hurts your marriage, you do not only damage yourself, but you deeply wound your wife and children. You also cause great sadness to the people around you—those who once believed, trusted, rejoiced and journeyed with, loved and supported you and your family.
Most of all, you grieve the heart of God. Scripture likens Christ’s relationship to the church to that of a marriage relationship in that He calls the church the bride of Christ. This tells us the sanctity of the institution of marriage in the eyes of God.
Our faithfulness to our spouse reflects our faithfulness to the marriage institution that Christ has established, and our unfaithfulness is in every sense a perversion of God’s plan for it. Marriage is God’s design, and He has said in His word, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mk. 10:9).
Protect your marriage, at all costs!
Milton Luga graduated from the International Graduate School of Leadership with a degree in MA Transformational Leadership. He is a businessman by vocation but he is also currently pastoring Christ’s Commission Fellowship-Fairview.