For those of you who like “lists” as a way to succeed in life, you’ll like this weeks Marriage Message. Men especially like lists because we equate success with being able to check off each item. This list in particular centers on things you can do for marriage success.
We truly believe that each of these principles, if followed, could help you build your marriage so it is the best it can be.
Principles for Marriage Success
As you read through them ask yourself each time, “Am I following this principle?” Then, secondly, if you’re not following them, ask yourself, “How can I implement this principle into my daily way of living with my spouse?”
These first quotes come from Mark Brandenburg who is a Certified Personal Coach and author. Additional quotes for this list are included below these. We added the additional comments that appear in (parenthesis). Mark wrote:
• Forget about getting your needs met.
Focus on your spouse and what you can do for them. This is the best way to bring out the best in both of you.
(“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.“ Philippians 2:3-4)
• Keep some meaningful rituals in your relationship.
Whether it’s having a dinner conversation after work every night or taking a long walk, have something in place that allows you to stay in touch with each others’ lives.
(And don’t forget to schedule in date times regularly with each other. You dated your spouse before marriage. That’s what helped you to fall in love with each other in the first place. Don’t neglect dating each other after the wedding. This can help your love to stay alive and grow to continue to be vital.)
• Have a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.
There should be 5 hugs, compliments, or squeezes of the arm for every roll of the eyes, every criticism, or every episode of blaming.
(Better yet —don’t roll the eyes or do anything that’s disrespectful to each other. It causes an erosion to the relationship that doesn’t glorify God.
(“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Colossians 3:12-15)
• Focus on being kind and not on being right.
It’s easy to spend time showing your spouse that you’re right. Focus on being kind instead and you’ll argue less and enjoy each other more.
(“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.“ Ephesians 4:29)
• When things do get heated, commit to a plan that works.
Don’t say things in the heat of the moment that may do damage to your relationship. Have a plan in place that may include: walking away, continuing the discussion at a later date, or some sort of relaxation response.
(Please re-read this advice. It’s excellent! “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.“ Ephesians 4:32 – Ephesians 5:2)
From Steven Covey:
“When you really love someone, you need to care enough to confront—but in ways that have positive energy and show respect.”
(“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-8 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21)
Two Quotes In Closing:
Here are two quotes from Dave Willis that can help you to succeed in growing a healthy, happy marriage:
• “Connect into a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and your family.”
(Both within your church and outside of it, choose your close friends wisely. Make sure you surround yourself with those who are encouragers in your marriage, not discouragers.)
(“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. But let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25)
• “Learn from other people. But don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique!”
Please prayerfully consider this quote to help you in your marriage success, and the others in the above list. As you do this is our prayer for you:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Romans 15:5-6
We pray God’s greatest blessings on your marriage this upcoming. Don’t forget to treat each other with the love and respect God would have you give. Treat each other as more important than yourself. Focus on Christ as your example of sacrificial love.
Steve and Cindy Wright
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