Maybe Prince Harry is on to something. The Duke of Sussex and sixth in line to the British throne shocked the world when he announced in early January 2020 that he is stepping back from his royal duties and carving out a new life with his wife and son. It’s a bold move. It’s controversial. And maybe it’s the healthiest thing he and Meghan – or any other married couple – can ever do for their marriage.
Why talk about Harry and Meghan?
First things first: We’re talking marriage, not royal gossip. We also know that the royal family is not a perfect family. Harry and Meghan are in the spotlight. Everything from their marriage to their careers, plans and family dynamics is being scrutinized. Some people have noticed how Harry speaks about his marriage. BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond summed up Prince Harry’s recent comments about his decision. Harry, he said was speaking out against the ” ‘Meghan myth’ — the idea that the Duchess of Sussex is at the root of the couple’s desire to lead a different life … And while he talks about the decision ‘I’ made, a decision ‘I’ did not make lightly. He stresses that this was his call, though it was clearly one that they came to together.”
While Prince Harry has admitted that there are many factors that led to his decision to step away from the royal family, he has also stressed that he and Meghan want to carve out a new life together.
What’s so healthy about Harry and Meghan’s decision?
A group of religious leaders once questioned Jesus Christ about marriage and divorce. In response, Jesus pointed them to God’s design for marriage. “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) God’s plan for marriage calls husbands and wives to become one — to come together and create a new identity that supersedes even the natural bond between a parent and a child.
Couples in a healthy relationship learn the importance of leaving home and investing in a new identity as husband and wife.
Marriage can mean making sacrifices
Sometimes making the right choice in marriage means tough sacrifices. Sometimes it means letting go of something you hold dear because that special someone you’ve committed to means even more. Prince Harry seems to have grasped the challenge of putting his marriage first. Speaking at a charity event in London, Harry explained, “I hope that (the choice to separate from the royal family) helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”
Sacrifice — and sacrificial love — is key to a successful marriage. The Bible has much to say about sacrificial love … even going so far as commanding husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. He “gave up his life for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)
You don’t have to be Harry or Meghan to treat your spouse like royalty
Harry and Meghan will dominate the headlines for months to come. And when you see their story, why not take a moment to think about your own marriage? How can you treat your spouse like royalty? You’ve already committed to him or her. You’ve likely made some sacrifices to put your spouse first. Great job! Keep it up. Marriage is a gift from God, and your spouse is worth your time and investment. With God’s help, you can commit to a lifelong love.