What works for one couple, may not work for another. That’s how it often goes concerning marriage advice and tips. So for this Marriage Message we’d like to give you assorted marriage tips that others have found to be helpful. We pray you will find several that you can benefit from reading and applying to your own marriage.
Here are Assorted Marriage Tips:
• Kindness and decency SHOULD begin at home.
Why should we be kinder to strangers than we are to those we claim to love —particularly our spouse?
“Like letting someone with only one item go ahead of you in the supermarket line, bring home to your spouse the decency and kindness you would show to someone you just met” (Michele Weiner-Davis, marriage therapist).
• The Bible tells us that God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.“ And that includes what we need to maintain a good marriage that honors the Lord.
As followers of Christ, we are called to participate in the “divine nature” and escape “the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness. And to goodness, add knowledge. To knowledge, add self-control, and to self control, add perseverance. To perseverance, add godliness; and to godliness, add brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.“ (2 Peter 1:3-7) These are great attributes to carry over into your marriage relationship —which is a living picture of Christ’s love for the church.
Keep in Mind:
• When you live with someone day in and day out, it’s easy to “nit-pick” at each other’s faults. BE DIFFERENT!
“‘Celebrate the small, positive things in the relationship. Notice and comment on what’s going well. It’s not just that positive reinforcement is the best, fastest, most efficient way of changing someone else’s behavior’ says Michele Weiner-Davis. ‘When partners feel valued, they are less inclined to jump to negative conclusions when something goes wrong. (‘He forgot my birthday; he really doesn’t care.’) They are more likely to give each other the benefit of the doubt. (‘It’s been so hectic around here, I forgot it myself.’)”… (Diane Cole)
• Reintroduce the element of surprise. Identify patterns and break routines. Become unpredictable. Celebrate anything and everything. Buy the unexpected present. Take an unplanned trip. (Jim Magruder)
• “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom“ (James 3:13).
Show Your Spouse You Value Him or Her
• The most important marriage skill is listening to your partner in a way that they can’t possibly doubt that you love them. (Diane Sollee)
• We have to fight against taking our spouses —and our responsibilities —for granted. And taking them for granted is easy to do, because on the day we marry, we gain a monopoly of sorts. (Gary Thomas)
• Keep in mind that marriage is a high-maintenance relationship that requires work to keep it vital and growing in a positive way. You don’t just plant a seed in the ground and never take care to make sure that it receives proper watering and growing conditions or you may have to face the fact of not being able to enjoy it’s “fruits” some day. You don’t just purchase an automobile, fill it up with gasoline one time and expect everything to run smoothly from that day on without doing more to maintain it. In both cases, there are maintenance responsibilities involved to enjoy the benefits!
The same can be said about marriage. We all go through seasons of busyness, but don’t allow those seasons to continually over-run your marriage where you neglect the partnership you once enjoyed. Invest time and effort into maintaining your relationship. The sweetness of the benefits far out-weigh the effort you must put forth.
We’re Told in the Bible:
• “Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.“ (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
• Build a close-knit family through teamwork!
“Picture yourself in a rowboat, gliding down the river with your family. Suddenly, an argument erupts. You see a hammer, and to make your point, you grab the hammer and start punching holes in the bottom of your boat. You might get your point across —but what happens to the boat? It sinks. And who’s in the boat? Your family, and you. What a fine time you’ll have, celebrating your “victory” all the way to the bottom of the river!
“No matter what kind of conflict happens in your family interactions, you can’t win unless everyone wins. Why? Because you’re a family. Your goal should be unity and a commitment to love one another. In your effort to be ‘right,’ punching holes in the boat may help you feel better, but your family is stuck bailing water and struggling for the shore.
When you choose to build a close-knit family, you must focus on becoming a team. Your actions will decide whether your team’s going to succeed or fail. Successful teams don’t have dictators and hole-punchers. One of the most important steps of being a team is serving one another” (Dr Gary Smalley)
• As husband and wife, you each have individual as well as mutual responsibilities to set the tone for your home —as to how you will reflect the love of God —displaying His love, care and concern for all.
• “My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.“ (Proverbs 3:21-24)
• “The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the heart of fools.“ (Proverbs 15:7)
• “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.“ (Proverbs 14:1)
• “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.“ (Ephesians 6:7-8)
May the Lord bless your marriage and your home as you express kindness and decency to each other, maintaining your relationship as a marital team who serves one another “as unto the Lord.”
Cindy and Steve Wright
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