This document is filled with the marriage quotes we’ve posted on our Marriage Missions Facebook Page. This is the 21st page of quotes that we’ve created with quotes from different “marriage experts” giving marriage tips. You can use these quotes in a variety of ways:
- A church, ministry, counseling organization, or an individual can use them to share on their Facebook site.
- You can use these quotes as points of discussion in marriage classes, mentoring, counseling, or coaching situations.
- Couples or individuals can use these quotes to discuss or consider the issues raised. It helps to pray that the Holy Spirit, our Wonderful Counselor, to speaks further through them.
They make great discussion points for those couples who want to use them for conversation starters for a 22 Minute Date. We put these quotes into “bite sized pieces” to make them easier to digest and use for conversation. Just don’t allow yourselves to get into heated arguments as you discuss these quotes.
The point in sharing these marriage tips is to build marital relationship bridges. It is not so that you construct walls of contention, causing a breakdown of communication. You can constructively disagree with these tips and with each other, and still learn more about each other and grow closer together, in the process.
It is our sincere hope that the tips below will help marriage.
As you read them, please consider:
1. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
2. Do you have further thoughts on the issue to apply personally or as a general rule? (If you’re reading them with someone else, please share.)
3. Do any scriptures come to mind, which apply to the marriage tip given? (If so, please share.)
The following are quotes to note for your use. Each paragraph we were able to glean stands on its own —for your knowledge.
• “Making a commitment to pray for your spouse daily may be one of the most enriching and spiritually bonding things you can do for your marriage. Keep in touch with each other’s needs by asking, ‘What are the major concerns you have today or this week? What is causing you stress? What are you most burdened or excited about?’ Lift these things up to God in prayer as you go about your day. And be sure to check in and tell each other how God is meeting the needs you’re both praying about. You’ll be amazed at how He knits your hearts together as you pray faithfully for one another.” (Cheri Fuller)
• “A pat on the shoulder, a touch of the hand, a hug, a quick kiss on the cheek —all of these actions say, ‘I love you.’ …Ladies, when you reach for your husband’s hand or give him a hug you’re saying, “you are mine and I am yours.” Men, when we share a kiss on the cheek or a hug for the sake of a hug—without sexual overtones—we’re helping our wives know that our love goes beyond the physical relationship.” (Zig Ziglar)
• “Many couples ask too much of their mates. They want their mates to fill up every part of their being. This is unrealistic. It is the whole of our lives that will fill up the whole of our being. We need a dynamic relationship with God, a fully developed soul, an engaging family, interesting, challenging work, a thriving church, a peaceful community and enjoyable friends. All of these together touch the whole of our person.” (Gil Stieglitz)
More to Read:
• “Warning: Another human being can’t meet all your needs. The only person who can meet all of our needs is the Lord, and He had to die first! …Your spouse can love you and still not have a clue about what you need. Often as I talk with young wives, they lament, ‘But if he loved me, he’d know what I need.’ No. He can love you desperately and thoroughly and still not know what’s bugging you. So it’s up to you to tell him [and if it’s the wife that needs to know something, the husband should tell her].” (Sandra Aldrich)
• “The best way to protect your marriage and your body from adulterous actions is to protect your mind from adulterous thoughts. The reason is obvious. Adultery is always committed in the mind before it’s committed physically. When you feed your mind with pornographic images, you’re feeding your imagination with powerful suggestions that eventually will weaken your moral resolve when you’re confronted with sexual temptation.” (Zig Ziglar)
• “Jesus said that in his Kingdom, the greatest leader would be the greatest servant. Serving our spouse is a way of practicing the teachings of Jesus. If service does not begin in marriage, where will it begin? Jesus said that every time we serve one of his creatures, we are serving him (see Matthew 25:40). This lifts our service to an even more noble level. Every time I vacuum floors for my wife, I am serving Jesus. Bring on the vacuum.” (Gary Chapman)
• “Suppose I were to hand you a sack of potatoes, a jar of peanut butter, and a gallon of ice cream, and ask you to bake me an apple pie. You would obviously consider me somewhat deranged. You can’t bake an apple pie unless you have the right ingredients and then combine them properly, under the right conditions. It should be no less obvious that you cannot have a healthy marriage unless you have the proper ingredients. A man, a woman, and a marriage license are not enough.” (Gary Inrig)
• “When we hurt our spouse, we must acknowledge that what we have done is wrong and that just apologizing is not enough to make it right. We also need to make a plan to change our actions so we don’t hurt our loved one in the same way again. Why would we not want to do that in our closest relationship? Repentance is a vital part of a genuine apology.” (Gary Chapman)
• “Realize that you and your spouse don’t have to do something wildly romantic together in order to appreciate each other. Take the time to consider some of the many ways your spouse acts in love toward you every day, and express your appreciation —both by letting your spouse know that you notice what he or she does for you, and by making a concerted effort to bless your spouse through small yet meaningful acts of affection.” (Whitney Von Lake Hopler)
More Marriage Quotes:
• ”Husbands and wives aught to ask themselves in conversations together: Are we, as marriage partners, glorifying God? Do we, as husband and wife, seek to express his self-giving image to each other? Are we, together, providing an exhibition of crucified love within our world? Do we, by the way we relate to each other, offer a solution to the social ills of our day? Are we, in our regular prayers, asking God to sustain us? We should ask questions like these as though life on our planet depended on them. Because it does!” (Tim Savage)
• “Some things are not permissible in a marriage. Physical abuse, sexual unfaithfulness, abuse of children, alcoholism, or drug addiction require loving action. In fact, we are not loving if we accept such behavior as a way of life. Why? Because love is always concerned about the other person’s well-being, and such behavior destroys both the individual and the marriage. Love must confront. That’s tough love, and that’s real love.” (Gary Chapman)
• “All great relationships start when people choose to trust God. We are all imperfect people trying to love other imperfect people in an imperfect world. Therefore, we all have perfectly imperfect marriages. The greatest moment of your marriage is when you realize you don’t have all the answers, and with reckless abandon you throw your hands up and say to God, ‘Okay, we’ll do it your way! Lead on.’” (Bill and Pam Farrell)
• “Instead of waiting for your [spouse] to be romantic, initiate romance yourself. That’s right —you! Sometimes we women (and many husbands) cling to the silly notion that spelling it out for [our spouse] ruins the romance. We want them to read our minds and create the romantic evening we’ve always dreamed of. Frankly, we need to get over it! If we don’t invest in romantic love, we take the risk that our marriage will become boring, and disconnected. More marriage die because two people drift apart than because of a crisis.” (Melanie Chitwood)
• “Marriage gets the leftovers —leftover energy, excitement, creativity, and leftover thoughtfulness. We do everything else first. Then, if there’s time and we’re not exhausted, we’ll see if there’s something special or loving we can do for our spouses. I wonder what would happen if we flipped this around, and started working after we focused on being married. What if we fit our play and recreation around our duty to our spouses, and if the kids had to occasionally give up something in order for Mom and Dad to get together —instead of the other way around? What would our marriages be like then? (Gary Thomas)
• “A lack of connected, quality time is the #1 issue couple’s face today. It’s ironic, since the world is more ‘connected’ than ever. You must understand that your time is finite. You have a very limited amount. This means you must draw boundaries to block out wasteful or frivolous uses of it. Do this by turning off devices and spending quality time together. In 20 years, you won’t remember whatever is on your phone but you will absolutely remember the moments you spent together.” (Ryan Frederick)
• “All of us have emotional hot spots. When our spouse says or does certain things, we get defensive. Usually our response is rooted in our history. You may find that often your spouse is echoing statements made by your parents that hurt or embarrassed you. The fact that you get defensive indicates that the hurt has never healed. The next time you get defensive, ask yourself why. Chances are, you’ll have a flood of memories. Share these past experiences with your spouse, and he or she will develop greater understanding.” (Gary Chapman)
• “Our divine Prayer Partner does not want us to give up praying for that reluctant spouse. He urges us to be like the persistent widow who, in her determination to receive justice from the unrighteous judge, kept on knocking, seeking, and asking. And Christ assures us that the One who sees what we do in secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6) if we P-U-S-H: Pray Until Something Happens!” (Cheri Fuller)
• “Investing in your marriage often means doing small things deliberately that will ultimately have a huge impact.” (Debra Fileta) “What works for my marriage (carving out designated time together) might not work for yours. But ultimately we need to make sure that we are placing our spouses at the top of our priority lists (just below our faith in God) regardless of date night availability.” (Carrie Dedrick)
• “Look at all of your relationships to see if any one of them is choking out time, energy, or resources for your marriage. These are the relationships of your life: God, marriage, self, family, work, church, money, and friends. …Make sure the two of you are watching your work/life balance. …Build into your family the essential four R’s: respect, responsibility, rules, and relationship.”(Gil Stieglitz)
• “Marriages can’t be healed overnight. But the direction of the marriage can. The pattern of destruction can change into a pattern of construction. For this pattern to change, a new commitment must be made. As long as divorce remains a consideration, even if a person hasn’t yet chosen it, he or she is usually paralyzed and cannot make the kind of commitment necessary to change the direction of the marriage.” (R C Sproul)
• “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.” (Timothy Keller) “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10) Jesus said, “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12-13)
Still More Quotes:
• “Marriages should be better in 2017 than they were in 1917 or 1967. That is because in every other arena of social society and intellectual thought, we grow. So, why don’t we try to take our marriages to the next level? Why don’t we say, it’s not just about staying in there? It’s about a wife who really feels cherished, a husband who really feels cherished, so that people can see, infatuation is wonderful. But there’s something even better on the other side. If we stay with this, and we work through it, we can get something that pays off even more.” (Gary Thomas)
• “If you’re married to someone who avoids praying with you or is disinterested in spiritual matters, keep praying for your spouse. Know that when you’re feeling alone in the prayer closet, heaven is watching and the God of the universe is listening. You’re not alone! In fact, the spiritual realty is that when you pray —with or without your spouse —you’re joining Jesus in intercession. He’s seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you (Hebrews 7:25) and He makes a terrific prayer partner!” (Cheri Fuller)
• “A good marriage brings two people together who lay aside their selfishness and put the other person first. The team must win before the individual wins. Marriages disintegrate when one or both partners go after selfish wins at the expense of the team. There’ll always be things that you would like, but they may require a loss for your spouse. Those wins must be left unclaimed. That may be hard, but it’s how great marriages are built.” (Gil Stieglitz)
• “Although many people become less happy in their marriages year after year, it’s not because God ‘goofed’ when He instituted marriage. It’s because we ‘goof’ by failing to follow His plan.” (Jimmy and Karen Evans) “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17) “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)
• “Spouting off before listening to the fact is both shameful and foolish.” (Proverbs 18:13) “So the next time you’re tempted to fix, solve, or explain your spouse’s problem, remember the words of today’s proverb. Or think of it this way: listen to your partner as if you were from two different continents.” (Drs. Lee and Leslie Parrott)
• “Some differences demand confrontation, while others are simply a part of living with someone else. We all have our frustrating annoyances and idiosyncrasies and so do our spouses. It’s just that ours seem so much less weird, unusual, and bizarre than theirs. Before you allow an issue to consume too much of your time, ask yourself, ‘How important is this?’ Is it a high-ticket, or a low-ticket item? (Gary and Carrie Oliver)
• Emotional affairs often start at work, community or church committees, or online. When you’re married, you need to establish boundaries with your opposite-sex friends, such as: • Don’t vent to your friend about your marriage or share secrets. • Don’t hide the things you do with a friend from your spouse, including emails, texting, or Facebook exchanges. • Don’t compare your spouse to your friend.” (Cherie Burbach)
More Quotes to Consider:
• “Listening is one of the most powerful intimacy builders in any relationship because listening leads to understanding. That’s why James exhorts us to be ‘quick to listen, slow to speak’ (1:19). When you choose to listen to another person, you’re saying that your value them and their concerns, and that they’re worth taking the time to understand. An open ear is the sure sign of an open heart.” (Gary and Carrie Oliver)
• “My husband and I discovered a special, heart-to-heart connection that’s only available through prayer and spiritual interaction. When we’re fresh out of love and patience with each other, God has a supply of each, waiting for us to ask. God has taught us a lot through simple prayers uttered over coffee or at our kids’ bedsides. And although we’ve seen Him work in our lives over and over as we’ve prayed, we still have not arrived. We’re still worshipping, Lord, teach us to pray. And we’re still finding that He shows us more!” (Cheri Fuller)
• “Whether the prodigal you’re praying for is a child, a sibling, a parent, a spouse —whoever it might be —eventually you must put him or her in God’s hands and trust Him to do a work of grace in that person’s life.” (Quin Sherrer) We’re told in the Bible, “In all things pray…” We’re doing this with our loved ones and trusting God for yours, as well.
• “The goal for a good marriage is knowing how to take delight in each other, not knowing how to win. Too often our culture feeds the idea, ‘Win at the other person’s expense.’ In marriage, if one loses because the other wins, both lose. We need to fight our way through our past and present cultural programming to choose the most effective strategy for our relationships.” (Gil Stieglitz)
• “’There is a way which seems right to a man [or woman], but its end is the way of death’ (Proverbs 14:12). We’ve all learned immature ways of dealing with things we don’t like and we’re tempted to use them. They are techniques to get our own way, to deflect the discussion, or to punish our spouse. If we do not grow beyond our immature behavior patterns, our marriages will never become enjoyable relationships.” (Gil Stieglitz) “Do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:20)
• “Early in our marriage I learned that I could be right, but go about being right in a wrong way. In the intensity of an emotional discussion it’s easy to say things or express ourselves in a tone of voice that discounts and wounds our partner. Over the years I discovered there were some things I needed to apologize for. My intentions had been good, but my words had wounded the person I loved the most.” (Gary Oliver)
Additional Marriage Tips:
• “Have you and your spouse “reached the point where discussion is no longer beneficial? Are you too tired or emotional to clearly communicate with and understand each other? Perhaps it’s time to call it. If it’s important to continue the conversation, set a time to come back together and talk. If it’s better to walk away from the upset, do so completely, leaving all bitterness and resentment.” (Cara Joyner)
• “When God stands as witness to the covenant promises of a marriage it becomes more than a merely human agreement. God is not a passive bystander at a wedding ceremony. In effect he says, I have seen this, I confirm it and I record it in heaven. And I bestow upon this covenant by My presence and My purpose the dignity of being an image of My own covenant with My wife, the church.” (John Piper)
• “The more you focus on what you dislike about your [spouse] and your marriage, the more unhappy you will be about both. On the other hand, if you focus on the good, on what you enjoy, you’ll become happier and more content. BONUS: As your thoughts and feeling change your actions will change, and this may well cause your [spouse] to change.” (Paul Byerly)
• “It’s good for couples to get away periodically to work on their marriage. Such extended times away are not primarily for the purpose of dining, seeing movies, and recreational pursuits (though some of those activities can be put into it). The real purpose is to engage in in-depth conversations and long-term marital planning. The goal is to talk proactively about issues and to pursue real intimacy in marriage.” (From book: “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless)
• GOOD COUNSEL: “I asked a number of pastors, ‘If you were going to give somebody biblical counsel on marriage and you couldn’t use Ephesians 5, or 1 Peter or Colossians 3 —you couldn’t use the standard texts on marriage—what passage would you point somebody to?’ One of them said, ‘this is how I proposed to my wife—it was with Psalm 34:3: ‘Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.’” (Bob Lepine)
• “Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; Companionship, intimacy, friendship etc … The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage; you have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.” (Unknown)
• “Remember when you and your spouse 1st dated and it seemed they could do no wrong? Remember when you got to know them better and some of their habits began to irritate you? Now that you’re married, you may find that some of their habits are more intolerable than others. Before letting these annoyances become bigger than they should be, look at your own bad habits. Nobody’s perfect!” (Tip from Focus on the Family, Canada)
• “Being frustrated with your spouse isn’t a good reason to get divorced anymore than being frustrated with your children is a good reason to put them up for adoption.” (Dave Willis)
• “To solve a marriage problem, you have to talk with each other about it, choosing wisely the time and place. But when accusations and lengthy speeches of defense fill the dialogue, the partners aren’t talking to each other but are talking PAST each other. Take care to listen more than you speak.” (R. C. Sproul) “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).
• Sit down together (at a non-conflict time) and figure out boundaries you can put into place so technology doesn’t hurt your marriage. “Left unchecked, technology can quickly slip from something that enhances our life to something that eclipses our relationships. The right balance is unique for each couple, and we owe it to the people we love most to find a healthy approach together.” (Tip from Outreach Magazine)
• “It’s better to focus what you can do to make things right than to focus on what your spouse [or both of you] did to make things wrong.” (Linda and Charlie Bloom) Join together as a team. Stop picking at who did what, that went in a negative direction. Instead, learn what you can from it, and move on. Work together, with your hand in God’s to make the best of the situation. (Cindy Wright)
• Put things into perspective this Christmas. Please know that “video games will break, jewelry will be lost, and golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!” Remember: “Love is kind,” even though you’re harried and tired. Don’t forget that if you’re too busy to be kind, you’re too busy! Keep things as simple as possible. Jesus should shine above all else.
• When visiting family and in laws, if there is tension, you might try this: “At a family gathering, don’t wait until you’re so frustrated that you engage in a verbal conflict. If things start grating on your nerves, take a break and step away from the situation. A walk outdoors or a quick jaunt to the store can give you the breathing space you need to calm down before things get out of control.” (Focus on the Family tip)
• “Marital happiness is often a matter of choice. Maggie Gallagher writes in her book, ‘The Case for Marriage’ that in a broad survey of self-described very unhappy marriages, 5 years later 86% of couples who stuck it out described their marriages as ‘happier’ with most saying they were now ‘very happy’. In other words the act of staying together and persevering, in and of itself often ends up producing a happy marriage.” (Betsy Hart)
• “Sometimes we spend so much time praying about our marriage ‘pain points’ and forget to spend as much time, if not more, on the ‘praise points.’ Remember to always thank God for good and beautiful in your marriage even as you pursuer greater.” (Ngina Otiende)
• “The essence of Christmas is that we simply and humbly give of ourselves, just as God gave generously and sacrificially to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. With this Good News as our center, we can generously show up in the lives of others with our time, talents, money, possessions, and friendship” —especially as it pertains to our spouse. Try to save some of your best attention and love —not just leftovers, for your spouse. (Rick Warren)
• “We give love to people at Christmas when we show up in their lives, serving and celebrating in the name of Jesus (1 John 4:7-9). Our love is not to be limited to ‘just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.‘” (1 John 3:18) One way we tell our families and friends we love them is by giving them our focused attention. Attention says, ‘I value you enough to give you my most precious asset —my time.’ When you give someone your time, you’re giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time.” (Rick Warren)
• “Isn’t it ironic that at Christmas we will spend our money lavishly, yet spend our time like misers? We keep our schedules so full and hectic that we often have difficulty showing up, with focused attention in the lives of those we love. Yet Jesus showed his love by being there. He gave people time and focused attention when they needed his help, his comfort, his protection, and when they just needed time with him. One of our aims at Christmas should be showing up in the lives of those we love.” (Rick Warren)
• “Words should be used to lift your spouse, never to belittle.” (Unknown) Even if you disagree with your spouse, don’t stoop so low as to belittle. “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
• “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. When partners feel valued, they’re less inclined to jump to negative conclusions when something goes wrong and more likely to give each other the benefit of the doubt.” (Diane Cole)
• “Whatever embarrasses you let it help you appreciate God’s grace more. Remember the many times you’ve messed up in life, only to have God keep loving and forgiving you when you let Him. Let God’s grace motivate you to forgive others who do or say something embarrassing. Know that your forgiveness will show them Christ’s love in action and possibly move family members closer to a relationship with Him.” (Whitney Hopler)
• “If your mate has a severe emotional meltdown, offer to take the kids to the park or somewhere away from the house. (They and you probably want to escape too!) Vacating the premises can give God some space to quietly work on your spouse. God’s healing and encouragement can be powerful.” (Bill and Pam Farrell)
• Because of the sacred commitment of marriage: “When I am frustrated with my husband and feel like giving up on us, I have two choices. One: I can choose love and work on my marriage or: Two, I can choose love and work on my marriage.” (Darlene Schacht)
• “The cheap thrill you get from putting down your partner isn’t so cheap.” (Linda and Charlie Bloom) “Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:29-31)
• “Be VERY careful where you get marriage advice. If someone doesn’t love marriage, love God, AND love your spouse, they will not consistently give you healthy advice.” (Dave Willis) “He who speaks the truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit.” (Proverbs 12:17) “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
• K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple! “Keep this in mind as you make your holiday plans. You don’t have to cram your days full of activities, and you don’t have to make everything big and complicated. Consider what the Bible says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21) Keep your holidays simple, so you’re free to serve those in need and celebrate with those you love” –ESPECIALLY the LORD. (Rick Warren)
• “Don’t be afraid to make your marriage the center of your family’s life. In many families, the children’s activities have taken the place the marriage ought to occupy, leading to frustration and exhaustion for everyone.” (Gaye Groover Christmus)
• We’re told in Philippians 2, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” How are you looking for the “interests of others” when you stick them in the middle of your fights? Be kind this Christmas holiday and throughout the year—take your arguments to a private place.
• “Long-lasting love doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t find ourselves holding hands after 25 years with the one that we love by pure chance. Love is deliberate, it’s intentional, it’s purposeful, and in the end it’s worth every minute that we give of ourselves to another.” (Darlene Schacht)
• “If you don’t deal with offenses and get rid of bitterness, it can turn you into ‘Relationship Vagabonds’ and eventually into ‘Marriage Vagabonds’ where you go from marriage to marriage to marriage looking for the perfect marriage. You’ll continue looking for the perfect relationship but it will never happen if you don’t deal with and get rid of the toxic stuff making a mess WITHIN YOU.” (Louise Brock)
• “Getting up in the morning —especially weekdays —can be a challenge. On a middle-of-the-week kind of day like Wednesday, surprise your mate with a special breakfast in bed. Try serving chopped fruit, granola and yogurt, or eggs and pancakes, while your spouse is still in their PJs. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more on a weekday morning than a special breakfast served in bed!” (Focus on the Family – Canada)
• “Christmas can be stress-free with careful thought and planning. You and your spouse need to decide on 2 or 3 Christmas activities that are important to you and then concentrate on them. These could include decorating, baking, family gatherings, gifts, caroling, Christmas plays, or anything that’s special to you. Put your energies into what you really want to do will be fun, exciting and stress-free.” (Woods, Hudson, Dall, Lackland)
• Marriage is a visible picture to the world, symbolizing Christ’s sacrificial love for His Church. It is a living message of the love of Christ seen by others, which may speak more to the hearts of those who witness it than anything else they’ll ever see, hear, or read. Please know that God has a loving message He wants to speak through our married lives to draw others, who don’t know Him or need to know Him better. (Cindy Wright)
Tips to Apply to Your Marriage:
• “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).
• “Write notes of thankfulness on a sticky note or sheet of paper, thank your spouse for something that he or she did recently, whether it was making dinner, fixing a leaky pipe or simply listening to your tales of an awful day. Slip the note into a place where they’ll find it unexpectedly during their day. Expressions of gratitude like these can do a lot to brighten their day.” (Tip from Focus on the Family, Canada)
• HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Here’s a Thanksgiving activity for you if you have a group of loved ones with you. The idea came from a Hallmark movie. You each have an empty bowl, a pen, and small pieces of blank paper —one paper for each person in your group (except for yourself). On the paper you each write something you’re thankful for about each person. Fold them up and put each one in that person’s cup. Then each goes around, taking turns, reading the papers in front of you –guessing who wrote each sentiment about you. Afterward, take turns telling other things you’re thankful for. End in prayer.
Great Marriage Tips:
• “Keep God at the center of your marriage. – Fight with your spouse, not against him (or her). – Forgive each other quickly. – Carve time out of your busy schedules to spend time together. – Put each other before your pride – Communicate with loving respect.” (Time Warp Wife ministry)
• “Do you want to keep from damaging your marriage by communicating how right you are and how wrong your spouse is? You can choose humility. How about the next time you ‘get into it’ with your spouse, instead, you start by saying, I may be wrong about this but, this is what I’m seeing . . . and choose to have a discussion instead of an argument? Because you MAY be wrong. Pride distorts our perception…. Unyielding certainty in disagreements about subjective matters will put distance between you and the heart of your spouse.” (Matthew L. Jacobson)
• “With advent about to begin, why not start the season off by committing to daily advent readings with your spouse? The hustle and bustle of the holidays can distract us from the true meaning of Christmas. Begin with reading together an advent devotional or relevant Scriptures set on a calendar. You’ll refresh your hearts and marriage by immersing yourselves in the Savior’s story!” (Focus on the Family, Canada)
• For the sake of your marriage: “Keep delving into God’s love and grace. Don’t stop delving into how much God loves and accepts you right where you are. Does he want you to grow and change—yes! He wants that because he wants the best for you. That often involves growing, changing and leaving behind old ways. Never stop diving into the sea of God’s grace!” (Kate, from Onefleshmarriage.com)
• “Sometimes schedules make it almost impossible to fit in family time and extended family time. Sometimes it’s not schedules, but personalities and it’s more of a stress than a rest to get everyone together. Discuss with your spouse when it makes sense for you to go see your family, or for him (her) to see his (her) without going together. But take care that this approach is the exception instead of the rule.” (Sara Horn)
• “Choose one place in your home where you’ll deal with conflict. Make it a neutral place—not your bedroom or the place you sit together to talk. It could be an office, a spare bedroom, the back porch. This place is the only place you’ll talk through conflicts. Limiting your conflicts to this place will ensure that your conflicts won’t infect the special places in your home. It’s a psychological thing.” (Dr David Clarke)
• “Don’t allow a mistake to negate what has already been earned. …We all make mistakes. Every day. Not one of us is perfect. Not even you. There is never a good reason to act disrespectful towards your spouse. Yes, address the issue. Deal with the mistake. Don’t sweep it under the rug. But when addressing it, try to always do so with the utmost respect.” (Fawn Weaver)
• Here’s a definition of listening: “It’s a vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath is called the listener.” Yes, but actually: “The act of listening is a demonstration of what the Bible calls ‘dying to self.’ The acid test for understanding how ‘dead’ you are is in how well you listen, not how well you talk.” (Dallas and Nancy Demmitt) We’re told in Proverbs 1:5, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning…“
• “Kindness and decency SHOULD begin at home. Why should we be kinder to strangers than we are to those we claim to love? 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)
• In your marriage, “show gratitude for even small gestures; it’s a way of expressing your love. If you both show your appreciation and gratitude for the small acts of kindness, you’ll find yourselves falling in love over and over again. Happy couples say it’s important not only to show your kindness to the world, but also to each other.” (Lilo and Gerard Leeds)
• “Take good care of your baby, yes. Love the fact that your two-ness has blended into one fresh miracle-product. You’re a circle of three. Enjoy your baby together, caring for him, and playing with him together as often as you can. But now, it’s time to get a sitter and go out and have a date.” (Anne Ortlund) Enjoy yourselves as a twosome!
• “The best premarital advice we got was to avoid living off 2 incomes. If we got used to that lifestyle, we’d have a hard time scaling back if needed. We followed this counsel our 1st years of marriage—living off my husband’s salary and saving most of mine. When our child came along, we were already used to being a 1-income family. There was no pressure to hurry back to work.” (From: Marriage: Clues for the Clueless)
• “If more couples realized that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they’d be more willing to tough it out thru the downpour. The problem is, most people think that whatever stage they’re in, is where they’ll be forever. In marriage, there are lots of hard times, but it’s important to remember that nothing lasts forever. There are seasons to everything in life, including marriage.” (Michele Weiner-Davis)
• “Want greener grass? Think the grass is greener in your friend’s marriage? Rather than let discontentment rule, do something to water your marriage! Frequent compliments, kisses and courteous acts grow love between you and your spouse. So live the life and nurture the relationship you’ve been blessed with!” (Focus on the Family – Canada)
• “Select an appropriate time and place for your conversation where you won’t be rushed and/or interrupted. In the checkout line at Walmart [or anywhere that is public]? NOT a good place. In your home after the kids are asleep? Wise choice. Agree to stick to the issue at hand —no bringing up old, past events or failures.” (From: “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless”)
• “A single Christian can concentrate on how to please the Lord, but a married one has a double job: how to please the Lord and how to please his/her spouse (See 1 Corinthians 7:32-34)” (Anne Ortlund). Don’t neglect the ministry you now have towards your spouse. You made the vow; now live the vow by pleasing your spouse “as unto the Lord.”
• “Think of the millions of husbands and wives who carefully monitor their mutual funds, frantically keep up their cars, and feverishly work on improving their home, golf swings, figures, etc. Question: Why do so few of these very same couples take the time or make even a minimal effort to keep their marriages alive and exciting?” (Book, “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless”)
• “Life happens. As the years pass, husbands and wives change and adapt with the years and the circumstances they bring. 20 years into marriage, your husband or wife might look and feel different than they used to. Instead of choosing despair or falling into the temptation of longing for the newlywed years, choose to commit once again —to welcome change. To remember the vows you made on your wedding day.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott)
• “Do you wish your spouse would help out around the house more often? When you catch them doing a small chore, such as chopping veggies, surprise them with a hug from behind and murmur, “Mmm, magnetic attraction!” [or something like that]. It’s possible that they’ll soon be looking for other ways to earn an appreciative snuggle.” (Focus on the Family – Canada)
• “God could randomly select any 5-minute slice from our lives and after evaluating our thoughts, motives, and deeds during this brief period, justly throw us into outer darkness to wander forever alone in agony and despair. When we begin to grasp this, our excuses appear weak and our selfishness deadly. We are then on our way to enjoying grace and to becoming more other-centered —more spouse centered.” (Dr. Larry Crabb)
• “God’s Word makes it clear that we’re not meant to be individual islands. He calls us to meet together, to encourage one another, and to confess to other believers our struggles. He designed us to be in community and understands the meaning of synergy, the benefit of combined effort.” (Meg Wilson)
• “Curiosity is one of the best sustainers of love.” It’s important to “have an attitude that a lifetime isn’t long enough to get to know her (or him). Stay current and updated… ask questions. Take moments when you’re driving in the car, take moments when you’re out on a date and just say, ‘Hey, update me. What’s going on in your life?’ Change happens; we need to “do everything we can to know our spouse.” (Greg Smalley)
• “Have you ever found yourself going over and over and over something negative about your spouse or marriage? Break the negative loop by listing the things that are good about your spouse and marriage (say them out loud or write out a list). When you go back to the ‘negative issue’ do so with all those good things in mind. Put a little balance in your thinking and a little sunshine in your day.” (Lori Byerly)
• “Learn to live with imperfections. Nobody’s perfect, but as long as your partner’s faults are not abusive to you or blatantly destructive, you can learn to live with them. Instead of harping on your partner’s shortcomings, focus on the qualities that make your partner shine. Maybe your partner isn’t ‘perfect’, but there’s a reason you two came together in the first place.” (Dr. Phil McGraw)
• “The Christian life doesn’t begin until we see that self-centeredness (and its assumptions of self-sufficiency) is fatal to our souls and is so advanced that efforts at self-cure are useless. Self-centeredness is as morally wrong for an image bearer of Christ, as cancer is physically abnormal in the human body.” (Dr. Larry Crabb) Keep this in mind in the ways you interact with your spouse. Are you caught up in selfism?
• “We have no guarantee of tomorrow. So if at all possible, compromise. Give up your right to be right all the time. Settle the issue and get to the making up! It’s better to walk away more in love than to regret your anger if tomorrow doesn’t come for the two of you.” (Bill and Pam Farrell)
• “It’s easy to get used to telling your kids what to do and how to do it; however, these modes of communication are to be reserved for your children and not your spouse. Likely, you won’t get very far with your spouse by speaking to him (her) as one of the kids. Be aware of your tone of voice, body language and the fact that your spouse has a specific role in the family with a say in how things could be done.” (Focus On The Family -Canada)
• “Conflict is not the problem. Combat is the problem. If I’m really upset and yelling or if I’m withdrawing —if I’m getting real critical, that’s the combat kind of stuff. That’s never good for a relationship. But when we disagree, when we see things differently, when we walk through that, we can learn something new, maybe a feeling or a need. That can be a very, very good thing for a relationship.” (Greg Smalley)
• We can attend every marriage seminar and Bible conference available. We can go on mission trips together, read our Bibles and memorize scripture. But if we don’t PERSONALLY put into practice what we’ve learned we’re like the clanging cymbal in 1 Corinthians 13:1… empty. Jesus had stronger words. He would call us “whitewashed tombs.” We’re told in James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (Cindy Wright)
• To limit confusion and minimize conflicts, it works best if each of you is the primary spokesperson to your own parents when it comes to working out differences. One of the greatest hindrances to marriage is the failure to “leave” your mother and father —that includes emotionally. It’s important to realize that from the moment you say, ‘I do’, your 1st loyalty, under God, is to “cleave” to your spouse. (Cindy Wright)
• “According to the Bible, the marriage act is more than a physical act. It’s an act of sharing, and an act of communion. It’s an act of total self-giving wherein the husband gives himself completely to the wife, and the wife gives herself to the husband in such a way that the two actually become one flesh.” (Wayne Mack)
• “With your spouse, come up with a code word or acronym that’ll be your private way of expressing love to each other. For example, I.L.Y.M. could be an acronym for “I love you more.” Plant this code word in random spots for your spouse to find. Try writing it on sticky notes around the house, in the snow in the yard or forming the letters from toothpicks on your kitchen table!” (Tip from Focus on the Family Canada)
• “More than anything else, what gets in the way of getting along is self-centeredness that SEEMS reasonable. God does his deepest work in making us truly loving when we more clearly see how utterly ugly our selfishness is. Getting along with each other requires that we stop making excuses for the selfish things we do. Then self-justification can be weakened and perhaps then we’ll call it wrong.” (Dr. Larry Crabb)
• “Your marriage is not the least hopeful or most damaged marriage presented before God. Yours is not the one marriage that has God confounded, wondering how your marriage can possibly become edifying and strong. It’s possible. He does his greatest stuff with the least likely. The trick is to tackle circumstances without attacking the ones we love. God can help. He knows about love. Even in battle.” (Janelle Alberts)
• “Who is feeding you advice, especially if you’re married? Tell your auntie [or friend] who has been divorced 3X to respectfully keep her advice. How is it that she has all of this marriage advice for you but all of the word for you, aint working for her? [And don’t think it’s because she’s “learned from her mistakes” —research shows otherwise.] Guard your heart unless you want her results. Our example for marriage comes from Ephesians 5, not a human.” (Heather Lindsey)
• “We tend to view self-centeredness the way we look at eating a 2nd dessert: it may not be right, but it isn’t that big a problem. Most of us are occupied with more ‘serious’ problems—controlling our sexual appetites, trying to get along with our spouse, family and colleagues, making financial ends meet, keeping ourselves in decent health. Selfishness just doesn’t feel like a major concern. But IT IS!” (Dr. Larry Crabb)
• “There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.” (Ronald Reagan) The same is true for a woman approaching a door, knowing her husband is there, and is happy to have her home and finds ways to make sure she knows it.
• “Heavenly Father, Thank you for keeping us safe in Your hands and close to Your heart. We’re thankful for your Word. It reminds us how important it is to stand guard of our home, to watch over our marriage and to protect our hearts from the enemy. We can’t do this alone, Lord. We need Your help. Additionally, we need Your power, grace and strength. We need You to lead us in wisdom to safety. Help us to be watchmen who fiercely protect our marriage and guard it from harm. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.” (Darlene Schacht)
• “The ideal husband understands every word his wife doesn’t say.” (Alfred Hitchcock) But who is married to the ideal? Just SAY IT! Even if you think your husband or your wife SHOULD know something, give him or her grace… put words to what you want, and “speak the truth in love.”
• “Every marriage has bugs, viruses, challenges, inconsistencies, and shortcomings. As Dr. Henry Ironside is famous for saying, “Where there is light there are bugs.” Successful married couples learn to live with their eyes wide open to the challenges and assume they’ll have to remodel their relationship on a regular basis to counteract the natural process of decay. (Bill and Pam Farrell)
• “When you get married, you usually make vows that go something like this: ‘For richer or poorer, through sickness and health, ‘til death do us part.’ So when you get married, you make a commitment to stay together no matter what. But marriage is more than just a no-matter-what commitment. …Marriage IS a commitment, but it’s also a lifelong adventure and journey of love with each other.” (Aaron Anderson)
• “Do you know what hurts so much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world and when it’s blocked that means pain. There are 2 things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.” (Corrie ten Boom) “…The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)
• “In the happiest of marriages, respect swings both ways. Your spouse gave up their most prized possession —their life and placed it in the palm of your hands the day they said, ‘Til’ death do us part.’ There are few phrases more powerful than that, and the person who said them to you and meant it, deserves your honor and respect.” (Fawn Weaver)
• We’re told in the Bible, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) “That’s why you don’t ‘follow your heart’ as the movie industry and the world tells us. It’s desperately deceitful and desperately wicked. … The only solution to the problems we see in marriage is genuine conversion to the Creator of the Universe within the heart.” (Kirk Cameron)
• “We are all imperfect people trying to love other imperfect people in an imperfect world. Therefore, we all have perfectly imperfect marriages. The greatest moment of your marriage is when you realize you don’t have all the answers, when I reckless abandon you throw your hands up in the air and say to God, ‘Okay, we’ll do it your way! Lead on.’” (Bill and Pam Farrell)
Think About It:
• “How do we change our marriage culture? – Speak up for your spouse when others are bashing theirs. – Read a marriage book and hand it off to a friend. – Ask a newlywed to coffee, just to listen, encourage and pray for them. – Gather friends to start a small group, a marriage encouraging community. – Be consistent in the baby steps of building your own marriage. – Share resources that have helped you.” (Lori Byerly)
• “In marriage do be wise: prefer the person before money, consider virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife [or a husband], a friend, a companion, and a second self.” (William Penn)
• “Our marriages are meant to be indwelled by Christ. His self-giving love ought to be exhibited between the spouses. When the world looks in on a marriage in which the love of Christ is being passed back and forth, where two selfless people are at least attempting to reflect Jesus Christ, it’s a gift to see a Christ-centered marriage.” (Tim Savage)
• “A leisurely day away or a lengthy evening date (over a nice dinner) serves the purpose of helping couples ‘check their course in the middle of the stream.’ The goal here is NOT to talk about the nitty-gritty urgencies at home or the office. Rather, this is where you discuss bigger issues (i.e., retirement, the kids’ spiritual condition, annual goals, etc.” (Book, “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless”)
• “When did phone calls, comments on a website and updates on sports scores become so important? We live a lot of life as though we’ll miss something important and will be scarred forever. The biggest scars, however, will be those left in children and spouses where a cell phone became more important than they were in the eyes of those they love. We hurt our families when we let the mundane take precedence over the eternal.” (Gary Sinclair)
• “I used to want the perfect marriage and it drove me to distraction. But marriage is never perfect. [We live in a fallen world.] The more I learned to find my satisfaction in God, the more satisfied I became with my spouse and my marriage.” (Barb Raveling)
• “The degree to which we forgive our spouse is the degree to which we can be open to the love of Jesus in our lives. Expect to have to be reconciled to each other over and over and over. Expect to realize you’re drifting apart; you’ve misunderstood each other, and make your way back together by conscious effort, time after time after time. Expect to be hurt and ‘let forgiveness, God’s style’ heal each hurt.” (Ann Ortlund)
• “Love isn’t something you feel at the beginning of your relationship that goes away after the honeymoon phase. Love is a decision you make when you wake up everyday and look at that person that you made a commitment to.” (Kimanzi Constable) Know that love is a noun AND a verb. Sometimes it takes work, but it’s absolutely worth it to press on and do what it takes to grow your love relationship.
Did You Know?
• “Re-falling in love after a painful experience in marriage is possible. But it can only happen if the couple resolves to elevate their marriage covenant beyond romance and affection. The covenant that God has ‘acted as a witness’ never changes, unlike romance and affection, which exists in one instance and fades in the next moment.” (Phillip Mwaura)
• “Couples [who reach mature love] have learned to appreciate each other’s uniqueness. But they don’t just sit back and bask in the beauty of love as if their work is done. They also recognize ‘weeds’ —petty arguments and attitudes that can creep up and choke the life out relationships. They tend the garden, pick weeds before they become major problems and spread the nourishment of respect and solid communication.” (Thomas Whiteman and Thomas Bartlett)
• “It’s one thing to understand the importance of commitment, trust, and communication in your marriage, but the rubber meets the road when these principles are tested by our circumstances and experiences.” (James and Betty Robison)
• “’Blessed are the merciful’… Forgive, forgive, forgive till it hurts. Why shouldn’t you? You’re no angel. None of us is. We’ve all done more wrong things than there are numbers to count them. When it comes to our proper relationship to our spouse and family members, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do,’ should be tattooed on our hearts.” (John Shore)
• “Consistent, gentle touching is a powerful way to increase feelings of security, prime the pump for meaningful communication, and set the stage for emotionally bonding and romantic times. That’s because a gentle hug is a powerful non-verbal word picture of love.” (Gary and Norma Smalley)
• “As individuals who know and love Jesus Christ make it your goal to be a shining light in a dark culture. Once you’re settled and established in your marriage, throw open the doors of your home and share with others the hope and peace that God has given you. Let others see the love of Christ at work in you and through you.” (Book, “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless)
• “When people ask me to define love, I reply that when you reach the point where the happiness, security, and development of another person is as much a driving force to you as your own happiness, security and development, then you have a mature love. True love is spelled G-I-V-E. It’s not based on what you can get, but rooted in what you can give to the other person.” (Josh McDowell)
• “A lot of our behavior is influenced by scripts that were written long ago. If one or both of our parents abandoned us when we were kids, we’ll live today as if we expect those we love to abandon us. We need to look for the elements of our lives that are unresolved —physical, emotional, sexual abuse; or the effects of parental divorce and then deal with those losses and hurts in sound, biblical ways.” (Tim Clinton)
• “’I do.’ With those words, we choose to take a journey to learn how to give and care for another human as much as we do ourselves. ‘Marriage isn’t something we accomplished the day we said I do. It’s an ongoing action of marrying our individual lives—with all of our thoughts, responses, fears and strengths—together.’” (Tyler Ward)
• “An attorney who handles many divorce cases told us that the #1 reason two people split up is that they ‘refuse to accept the fact that they’re married to a human being.’ No human can fulfill our idealized dreams. A letdown is inevitable. But once you realize your marriage is not a source of constant romance, you can appreciate the moments of romance you do encounter and create.” (Les and Leslie Parrott)
• In your marriage, with your spouse: “be thankful. Thoughtful comments like, ‘Thanks for getting the bills paid,’ or ‘You did a great job cleaning up the car,’ carry a message of appreciation. A compliment can be like money in the bank, but sincerity is a must.” (Nancy B. Peterson) “In all things, give thanks”…
• “I hope that when people look at my marriage, they don’t think, ‘she has a great marriage because she chose the right guy’ or ‘he has a great marriage because he chose the right woman.’ I hope they realize, ‘they have a great marriage because they both chose God.’” (Sheila Wray Gregoire)
• “Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows, our hearts mature and our love [if we feed and continually tend to it] becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” (Joseph Addison) Feed your friendship with each other. Don’t let the fire die. And if it does, do what it takes to relight it… starting TODAY!!!
• Here’s a reminder to make it a point to “laugh together. It’s one of the best medicines! No matter where you are in your marriage. Whether you find yourself in the depths of despair, the best you’ve ever been or somewhere in between —find ways to connect with laughter. Find joy together —it’s a great place to start!” (Kate, from the Onefleshmarriage.com ministry)
• “Marriage is to resemble a pair of scissors. They are so joined together that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet punishing anyone who comes between them.” (Sydney Smith)
• “When God stands as witness to the covenant promises of a marriage it becomes more than a merely human agreement. God is not a passive bystander at a wedding ceremony. In effect he says, I have seen this, I confirm it and I record it in heaven. I bestow upon this covenant by My presence and My purpose the dignity of being an image of My own covenant with My wife, the church.” (John Piper)
• “Needs often bring 2 people together, with a sort of mystical chemistry. But expectations based on these needs often make it difficult for a couple to get past the infatuation stage. The greater the need, the stronger they hold onto the expectation for the spouse to meet that need. If expectations are not modified, couples tend to hold tenaciously to myths and assume they married the wrong person.” (Thomas A. Bartlett and Thomas G. Whiteman)
• What can help you in your marriage? “Saying ‘I love you’ regularly -Making long-range plans together -Cultivating a pattern of thoughtfulness -Valuing each other’s thoughts and feelings -Demonstrating a strong commitment to Christ and to the spiritual health of your marriage.” (Gary Smalley) SO TRUE! Thank you Jesus! The love we have for each other is amazing! We pray that for you in your marriage. (Steve and Cindy Wright)
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