Marriage Thoughts About Making a Great Marriage
Most of us didn’t grow up in homes with great relationships. Nevertheless, God is ready to help us and teach us how to have great relationships.
One of my best teachings on marriage is about hardheartedness. I invite
you to consider going to that page because Jesus
tells us in Mark chapter 10, that hardheartedness is the root cause of
divorce. Every divorce has at least one hard heart.
Many marriages are on life support because one or both of the spouses won’t focus on their God-given duty to:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Too many people live in a way that misrepresents that verse.
That Bible verse doesn’t mean that:
You give people the
kind of gifts that you want or
the kind you think people SHOULD want for Christmas and birthdays.
It doesn't mean that you refuse to give to others
the kind of gifts that you don't want.
For example, it doesn’t mean that if you don’t like greeting cards, you never have to give one to your spouse.
That verse doesn't mean that you can rationalize that
what your spouse wants is ridiculous, so you can ignore
the needs and wants of your spouse.
Just the opposite is true.
It doesn’t mean that if you don’t like sports,
then you don't have to ever watch sports with your spouse.
Just the opposite is true.
That verse was not written to help us to rationalize self-centerness.
Just the opposite is true.
Moreover, that verse does not give someone an excuse to think,
"It is ok to be gruff and critical to my spouse
and then say, 'That is just the way I am
so you need to learn to live with it.'"
That verse is not giving us an excuse to ignore
the needs and wants of our spouse.
Do unto others as we would have them do unto us
we are to give to others what THEY truly want
because WE want others to give Us what we really want.
That Bible verse was written to inspire us to give.
God teaches us to love one another.
“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful
or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable and touchy.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 TLB
Love is a verb. Love is action. Love is about giving to others what they want and need.
Part of loving others is wanting to please them.
If you have gotten distracted from blessing your spouse and your family, this page is meant to inspire you.
When we humble ourselves to please others, we receive great rewards.
Marriage is NOT:
Marriage is not about getting your own way.
Marriage is about loving someone and making sure
their needs and wants are respected.
I Love You
The person who loves the most - reaches out first – to bless their spouse.
The one who loves the most reaches out first - to change – in order to help the marriage.
The one who loves the most - reaches out first - to apologize – to create an atmosphere of love.
The one who loves the most is the one who reaches out the most and tries the hardest.
If you want to have a contest in marriage, have a contest of who can bless the other one the most.
Note: If you are the spouse who has loved the most: I want to encourage you that God has noticed everything you have done. He is pleased that you are trying, and he encourages you to keep on pressing into becoming a great spouse.
Note: If you haven't been trying very hard, this is your chance to listen to wisdom and to decide to have a change of heart.
Reaching out in love includes things such as:
Seeking to understand your spouse
Praying for your marriage and
Praying for you to become a great spouse
Helping your Spouse
Be His or Her Best
If the truth be told, many spouses need some encouragement and uplifting words in order to do their best in their marriage.
There are five love languages, and if a spouse doesn’t
get love delivered in the way he or she is naturally wired, then that spouse
will not feel loved. The result is that that spouse will be weakened in his or
her ability to be a great marriage partner.
I encourage you to read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I have a link to a quick - one page - teaching on The Five Love Languages.
In order to have a good marriage, both people must be willing to admit to each other when they have been wrong.
They must resist the fear of being wrong.
Being wrong is not terrible but staying wrong is terrible because it steals from you the great relationship that God wants you to have.
It is courageous to admit that you are wrong.
When your spouse admits that he or she is wrong, be ready to give a wise response that will encourage your spouse to feel safe apologizing more often.
"Celebrate what you want more of."
Admitting when you are wrong and working to get it right
is a Heroic Choice.
Apologizing is very important
in maintaining good relationships.
You cannot create a really great marriage if you are not willing to apologize.
When you say to your spouse, "I am sorry for what I did" you are being courageous. You are showing strength and courage and love. You are defeating hard heartedness. And hard heartedness is the enemy of a marriage.
Your spouse’s heart is a precious thing. Treat it with tender care.
I want to also recommend another book by Gary Chapman. It
The Five Languages of Apology.
Gary Chapman not only gives lots and lots of wisdom in his book, but his book helps us to enter the world of healthy relationships. For those of us who didn’t grow up viewing what a healthy relationship looks like – Gary warmly shares many of the secrets with us.
One great tip that he gives in the book is that an apology
has more impact when it’s specific. If you are going to apologize, why not
get the most out of it for your relationship?
Gary Chapman has many great tips and a lot of wisdom packed into the book.
God has a great marriage planned for your destiny.
Will you cooperate with him or will you settle for an average marriage?
Will you risk one day finding yourself in a divorce, or will you be courageous, strong, and mighty?
Will you fight FOR an awesome marriage, or will you choose to only fight WITH your spouse?
After you finish reading this page,
I encourage you to visit our page Secrets to a Great Marriage.
Men - almost every woman wants her husband to understand her. She wants you to know her favorite colors, how she loves her coffee, what romantic words she loves to hear from you, and on and on.
Your wife secretly wants you to be her hero - a man who desires to please her heart.
And YOU, men, secretly want her to see you and treat you as a hero.
And God wants both of you to work to become a great spouse!
Consider becoming determined to become a great spouse.
Be more interested in becoming a great spouse than having a great spouse.
Be ready to ask for forgiveness when you need to and get ready to forgive.
Make a smart choice and lay down any hardheartedness you find
and show extravagant love to your spouse AND to your children.
For Closed Hearts
If you have hurt your family and you need to win back the closed heart of your spouse or your children, I urge you in the strongest terms to humble yourself and do it.
If you have really done a lot of damage to a relationship, it may take some time, but tell your family AND show your family that you ARE changing. Be patient with those family members that you have hurt.
A great book to read is The Gift of Honor by Gary Smalley and John Trent.
I encourage a hurt spouse or child to try to respond in a nice way when the person who has hurt you begins to change. Unless there has been abuse, and then it is important to take each situation separately.
I know many of you are in pain because of rejection and because of the meanness of family members. But staying mad only keeps you from what you really want – which is a good relationship.
Are you struggling?
Struggling in marriage is one of the hardest issues we can face. Seek to stay encouraged and stay close to the Lord.
We encourage you to consider getting the Fireproof book and watching the "Fireproof" movie.
Note that we have Prayer for a Troubled Marriage.
Note that we have more teaching about
Marriage, Spiritual Warfare, Forgiveness, and other issues
on our Bible Devotions page.
For a list of all our prayers see: Prayers for All Occasions
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