We want to ask you an important question: are you strengthening other marriages of those within your influence? You might wonder:
With all the worthy causes in the world, why should you spend your time and talents to help in strengthening other marriages? Cicero gave a good answer some 2000 years ago. He said, ‘The first bond of society is marriage.’
We believe Cicero had it right. Marriage is the foundation of the family, and the family is the foundation of society. If we strengthen marriage, we strengthen the family, we strengthen the children and we strengthen the community. If your goal is to help improve the world, strengthening marriage is one of the best places to start. (From the booklet, “Strengthening Marriages in Your Community: 101 Ideas to Get Started.”)
We whole-heartedly agree! Marriage is portrayed throughout the Bible as a living picture of Christ’s love for the church. So, wouldn’t it please God to continually work to improve your marriage? We encourage you to do what you can to work on your marriage relationship, so it reflects the love of Christ; but then reach out to help others to improve theirs, as well.
Strengthening Other Marriages: What’s the Motivation?
Steve and I have been repeatedly asked the question, “Why do you spend so much of yourselves helping marriages?” And our answer is: It’s because the love of Christ compels us. If there is one less child crying him or herself to sleep tonight because God has used us to help their mom and dad get along better, it makes it worth every bit of time, energy, and money we’ve spent. We consider it a privilege to participate with God in this awesome ministry.
But there is so much more that needs to be and could be done. We need to improve our own marriages, yes, but we also need to be strengthening other marriages too. It’s like what Ugochi Oritsejolomisan says concerning this issue:
“Many times, we get burdened when we see other marriages struggle, nearly break up or get destroyed. But the time has come to stand and do something about it instead of staying aloof and shrugging our shoulders like there is nothing we can do about it. You have a role to play; you can place your marriage as a tool in God’s hands to help other marriages stand firm and gain victory over the attacks of the enemy.” Don’t feel like you can’t do this. “You do not have to be an ordained minister, marriage counselor or pastor to help other marriages succeed. There are so many ways God can use you to be a blessing to marriages and help them achieve success.”
To help you in this mission we’ll be sharing a few ideas from the booklet mentioned above. It was put together by the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education.
A few of their suggestions for strengthening other marriages:
- Celebrate the anniversaries of your family and friends with the same enthusiasm that you celebrate their birthdays. Give gifts, cards, parties, surprise parties —all the bells and whistles.
- Ask radio stations to hold a contest for the most creative and/or least expensive marriage date.
- Ask your congregation or daycare to sponsor a date night for married couples. Include childcare.
- Give marriage education books as wedding, anniversary, and baby shower gifts.
- Hold a Marriage Fest in your community [or church]. Have games, food, and marriage education booths.
- Set up an e-mail service that sends out marriage strengthening ideas on a weekly basis. [You can send ours to those on your list.]
Additional tips to help your marriage and to reach out to help others:
- Work to be a good role model for everyone to see (including those in your home). Show them through your loving actions what a difference Christ can make in a marriage.
- Make sure your church and community libraries have a good supply of marriage strengthening resources available.
- Make sure there are marriage strengthening classes taught at your church from time-to-time. You may even consider being a teacher.
- “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
- “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything, set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say.” (Titus 2:1-8)
- Consider mentoring another married couple with your spouse. Be an investment couple in the lives of others. (We have articles that could help posted on this web site in the “Marriage Counseling & Mentoring” topic.) If your spouse doesn’t want to do this, ask God to show you a younger (same sex) person you can mentor.
Additional Tips for Strengthening Other Marriages:
- Ask other married couples to get together with you and your spouse and go through a marriage Bible study or view a marriage movie. We even have an article on this web site titled, “Use Our Web Site for a Small Group Study“ that could give you some ideas.
- Write a marriage strengthening article to submit where God leads you. [Marriage Missions is always looking for additional articles and testimonies that can minister.] Or you can go onto a web site that has marriage blogging capabilities. Share some words of encouragement to help others in their marriage journey.
- Ask God to help you invest in marriages around you, that could use the encouragement.
- “Be a Positive Example in Your Conversations about Marriage. … We are surrounded in our media culture by what I call ‘deficiency models’ of marriage. We see couples on television or in other media who speak to each other with rudeness and sarcasm, treat one another with disrespect, and complain constantly about marriage. Most of us who are married, if we acted the same way as these media models, would find ourselves very unhappy and unable to resolve the resulting marital difficulties as easily as they do in a half hour on television. We can, however, in our own efforts provide positive examples in our conversation and efforts to encourage caring, support, patience and love in marriage relationships.” (Sean Brotherson, from his article, “Six Ways to Strengthen Somebody Else’s Marriage”)
- “Choose to care. We must not be selfish or care less about what is going on in our neighbours’, colleagues’, friends’ and relatives’ marriages. We must work the love in our hearts to a point where it breaks our heart to see other marriages suffering. This pain should then drive us to want to do something about it. ‘For Christ’s love compels us…’ (2 Corinthians 5: 14)” (Ugochi Oritsejolomisan, from her article, “How To Help Other Marriages”)
- “Don’t make the problem worse. Don’t allow your support to be seen as an encouragement to give up or get a divorce. Your job is to help steer them toward the proper help and reconciliation (If addiction or abuse is involved, make sure they get the professional help they need and are safe).” (Mitch Temple)
And lastly, and most importantly in strengthening other marriages:
- “Do you pray for the marriages of those around you? Do you pray for the marriages of your children or grandchildren? Also, do you pray for the marriages of those you know who are struggling? Do you pray for the marriages of friends who have recently married or have remarried? I am thinking of a relative I know and love. This relative has had marital struggles, and I have worried about this relative for years. But, until I recently learned this principle, I had not prayed for that relative’s marriage. I used to worry. Now I pray. Pray for the marriage relationships of others and in this way, you can certainly bless and strengthen their marriages.” (Sean Brotherson)
“Let us not become weary in doing good. For at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.“ (Galatians 6:9-10)
“Therefore encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.“ (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
We pray you will live out these scriptures in your marriage. May the Lord bless your marriage as you do and help you to pass the blessings on to others.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, 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:
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