Noah’s Ark Marriage Guidelines – Pt. 2

Noah's Ark Marriage GuidelinesLast time we shared with you the poem about Noah’s Ark (from an unknown author) with marriage guidelines that we gleaned from the life lessons that are given. (Here’s a LINK to that Marriage Insight to so you can read it if you missed it.) Then after the poem, we talked about the first four Noah’s Ark marriage guidelines.

So, we’re picking up where we left off in this Insight. First, we’ll give the poem again. And then we’ll highlight several marriage guidelines, starting with #5.

Noah’s Ark Marriage Guidelines

Once again, here’s the poem for you to read:

What I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark.

1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Don’t forget we’re all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something really big.
5. Don’t listen to critics—just get on with what has to be done.
6. Travel in pairs. Two heads are better than one.
7. Build your future on high ground.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. After all, the snails were on the same ark as the cheetahs.
9. When you’re stressed, float for a while.
10. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
11. Remember that the woodpeckers inside are a larger threat than the storm outside.
12. No matter what the storm—when God is with you, there’s a rainbow waiting.

Noah’s Ark marriage guideline #5:

The following is the 5th life lesson that is given above:

5. Don’t listen to critics—just get on with what has to be done.

How does this apply to marriage? It involves those who are giving out “bad” advice.

So many “friends,” counselors, and even “good Christians” are advising troubled spouses to get divorced. We hear about this constantly! This really angers us! How dare they! That is a decision that spouses must land upon with God—not other human beings. People who advise this don’t have to live with the direct consequences in the same way the spouse does. So it’s easy to give advice like that. It makes them feel better. But in the end, does it really help the divorcing spouse?

Also, sometimes they overlook the many marriages that eventually come to a place of miraculous redemption. We’ve seen horrible marriages turn completely around. We’ve also seen some spouses have an “ah-ha moment” and totally change the way they approach their marriage and their spouse. They do a 180 and start making wise, healthy choices from that day forward. It doesn’t always turn out this way. But we can’t dismiss the possibility that this can happen.

That’s why we advise people to consult with God on this issue. People often leave God out of their “advice” to get divorced. Or they manipulate what God would want, which is contrary to what God tells us to do in the Bible. Sadly, we live in a divorce-pushing world today. We need to be careful and prayerful in how we approach this issue. No one should attack those who divorce. They don’t know all of the circumstances behind it. But neither should they be divorce-pushers.


Concerning this point—be careful of the friends you choose. They may be “good” for your marriage or they may be toxic. Just because you’ve been friends with them for years, it doesn’t mean that you should continue to grow that friendship. If you’re having problems in your marriage and you’re looking to others to help you realize:

“There are a number of ‘standing for your marriage’ type groups out there. Some of them are great. And some of them tend more towards blame shifting pity parties. Be discerning about those you open yourself up to, and those with whom you share intimate details. If you want to restore your marriage, people who talk your ex down are not helping, no matter how much you like to hear it. This is also true for consolers and pastoral ministry. If the person who is ‘helping’ you is not all about seeing your marriage restored, they are not helping you. (Paul Byerly)

Above all:

“When choosing what kind of people to allow into your lives, consider whether or not they’re living lives that you want to emulate. Consider whether or not their marriages are marked by love and respect and whether or not they influence your own marriage for good. Surround yourselves with people you admire and who are committed to encouraging and supporting you and your spouse in your marriage.” (Whitney Hopler)

Again, choose your friends and advisors carefully. And if you get advice that you can’t or don’t believe you should live with, do it yours and God’s way instead.

Next, here’s a good life lesson and the Noah’s Ark marriage guideline to follow:

6. For safety’s sake travel in pairs. Two heads are better than one.

“Marital love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other. They know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.” (Barbara Cage)

As we’re told in the Bible:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work …Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.(Ecclesiastes 4:9,12)

You might think, “But we don’t often agree on the way things should go.” To that we tell people… then work on it. Sometimes you have to work it through to the point that you can come to an agreement. Ask God to help you to come to a place of agreement. And then go at it accordingly. Respectfully listen to each other’s vantage point, and then see how you can work through your differences.

Keep in mind:

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” (Robert C. Dodds)

Do what you can to find a way to “think together” in your marriage so you precede as partners, not adversaries. Keep in mind what we’re told in the Bible:

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?(Amos 3:3)If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.(Galatians 5:15)

We agree with Gil Stieglitz on this point of working through our disagreements:

“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 win. There will always be things that you’d 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.”

Another Ark Marriage Guideline?

We believe the following marriage guideline will help you if you apply it to your life together:

7. Build your future on high ground.

“Marriage is more than sharing a life together. It’s building a life together. What you do after marrying is for both. And what is said is for both. What your purpose is, within marriage, is for the kingdom and giving glory to the image of God.” (Norman Wright)

Your first mission, after you say, “I do” is to grow your marriage healthy and strong. Also make sure that your love reveals and reflects the heart of Christ in how you interact with each other.

We work especially hard to make sure our marriage is healthy and loving—both behind closed doors, as well as out in public. We aren’t perfect in doing this. But we’re continually leaning in that direction. And we believe that what God expects of us.

And then as our marriage is leaning in a good direction, we work from strength, out. By that we mean that we make sure our marriage is strong first. And from that strength we are able to reach out to others in life-changing ways. We totally agree with Rev. Jay Tenney in what he wrote:

“A couple should have a ‘shared mission,’ which is something other than raising the kids and paying the mortgage. This can be a variety of different projects or dreams a couple works on shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s something about being in the trenches together working on a common project that tends to draw us together. It can be most anything… Just do it as a team.”

Ark Marriage Guideline Includes a Shared Mission

We know that in working together on a shared mission, our marriage is stronger than it would have been otherwise. The joy we give to others turns around and gives us joy and satisfaction.

“When you work together to assist or cheer up people whom God leads you to help, you double your impact for good. Plus, you make your marriage happier as you make others happier. As Christian spouses, God has ordained you to serve others as a team: Make a list of kind acts you can do together (include some you can do anonymously). Mentor others to help them have better marriages; sponsor an impoverished child together.” (Whitney Hopler)

Build your marriage, and help others build their lives on higher ground. Make sure you participate with God in all that you venture to do.

And then, another Noah’s Ark marriage guideline comes from this life lesson:

8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. After all, the snails were on the same ark as the cheetahs.

We come across a lot of people who are impatient when it comes to learning what they need to know to improve their marriages. They want the info to be quick, and sure, and not to “waste” too much of their time otherwise. It’s strange how most often they don’t apply this to other areas of life. But somehow, when it comes to marriage, they lose their patience in applying themselves to learn what they need to apply to their relationship.

We get it. We’re impatient too! But the Bible stresses the need to persevere in doing the right thing. And when you talk about persevering, speed in achieving it is not your top goal. We’re told (and then Gary Thomas adds onto that):

“‘Let us not become weary in doing good. For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up(Galatians 6:9). The ‘harvest’ results from continuing to do the right thing, working until the very end. You’re not just choosing to get married; you’re choosing to be married. That means feeding your marriage every day, ‘so long as you both shall live.’

“You’re promising not just to live together, but to grow toward each other. Your spouse will have a legitimate expectation that, after the ceremony, you will make your relationship a top priority in your life. On your wedding day, you’re not just saying, “I do.” You’re committing to, “I will… for the rest of my life.”

Perseverance VS Speed

And there’s nothing “speedy” about doing what you need to do for the “rest” of your life together. This is all about taking one day at a time, making one wise choice after another one time after another. You need to resolve yourself to the fact:

“Marriage can be wonderful. It can be deeply satisfying and mutually fulfilling. But if it becomes that, it is because both partners have paid a very high price over many years to make it that way. They will have died to selfishness a thousand times. They will have had countless difficult conversations. Additionally, they will have endured sleepless nights and strained days.

“They will have prayed hundreds of prayers for wisdom and patience and courage and understanding. And they will have said, ‘I’m sorry’ too many times to remember. They will have been stretched to the breaking point often enough to have learned that, unless Christ is at the center of both their lives, the odds for achieving marital satisfaction are very, very low.” (Bill and Lynne Hybels, from the book, “Fit to be Tied”)

In all of this we want to emphasize that as a married couple, you are to persevere in making your marriage “fit” and healthy. Persevere in doing what has to be done to grow your marriage. Do this in partnership. Persevere in building your marriage on higher ground, keeping in mind that speed isn’t always an advantage. These are our goals, as well.

This is our prayer for you:

May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.(2 Thessalonians 3:5)

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below to do so:



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