Constitution - Pixabay - agree-1728448_1920 jpgThe following is the Marriage Constitution that marriage experts Gary and Norma Smalley put together to follow within their own marriage.

They offer it to you to view as a template. It’s something that you could use for your marriage, if you desire to do so. Please feel free to pray, read, glean, and adapt to use to help your marriage:


Both Norma and I, wishing to form a more loving union, hereby document our best attempt at forming the most fulfilling and satisfying lifetime relationship. The following articles constitute our commitment to this love journey during sicknesses or in health, in prosperity or in poorer times, in conflict or in harmony and we will allow nothing to separate OUR love and devotion for each other.

Therefore, we agree to:

1. Honor each other above all others and things.

Our highest devotion is to honor the Lord, receive his grace and follow his will. Below our relationship with God, we will honor each other as more important than relatives, children, friends, and others. We will establish honor as a way of life and maintain it everyday. We will honor each other in three ways: deciding it, updating a list of positive qualities of each other, and expressing honor either in written or verbal forms as often as we each need. Both of us will use emotional word pictures to explain how much we adore each other.

We also understand that the most important aspect of our relationship will always involve communication. By communication we mean to listen and understand each other as thoroughly as possible and accept each other’s uniqueness and greatly value our differences. Each article of our constitution has communication as its foundation.

2. Live in oneness.

We agree that oneness means to blend our two selves together into one loving relationship. Our unity candle display in our home clearly reminds us of our lifetime desire for oneness. We will accomplish this by entering into LUV talk whenever we disagree about anything touching our lives, marriage, family, or work. Our goal is to so understand each other’s feelings and needs that our solutions to any disagreements will be enjoyed and agreed upon by each other.

Our main areas for oneness are:

Finances, children, in-laws, sexual, spiritual, SRC, and health. Issues for oneness: How to maintain harmony and oneness during the changes taking place in SRC over the next several months.

3. Nurture each other’s needs on a daily basis.

We both understand that a minimum of time to spend nurturing each other is around 20 minutes per day. This will not always be possible, but we can ask each other if our needs are being nurtured adequately. We have already discovered that …

• Norma’s main needs are as follows: tenderness from Gary, acceptance and valuing her uniqueness and living in an environment that is safe, orderly, and honest.

• Gary’s main needs are as follows: sharing spontaneous fun times with Norma, having Norma share in Gary’s dreams as a co-laborer, and praying together daily.

Just a reminder to us: the general needs of most people are:

Touch, Listening for understanding, Spiritual oneness, Praise, Acceptance of uniqueness, Tenderness, Sharing fun activities.

4. Repair any damage to our relationship “before the sun goes down.”

Normal life will include some actions or statements that are misunderstood or exaggerated from time to time. Anger may occur and it will be reflected by fear, frustration, or hurt feelings within one or both of us. We agree to find our best methods to repair and renew an honoring and harmonious relationship daily.

Our main Methods up to date are:

• We will admit our wrongs and seek forgiveness from each other when needed as soon as possible.

• We will each express our forgiveness when needed from the other.

• Both of us agree to take 100% responsibility for maintaining harmony between us and keeping our anger levels toward each other to the lowest possible levels each day.

• If deadlocked, we agree to meet with our 911 group after praying together and waiting upon God’s grace to solve our unresolved situations. We agree that either of us can call our “911” group. We will then schedule a meeting on or before 48 hours of deadlock.

Per agreement with this Marriage Constitution we sign:

Gary Smalley


Norma Smalley



This marriage constitution is posted because of the generous permission of the Smalley Relationship Center.