“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
I. Keys to a Successful Marriage
A. Christ at the Center – Stay spiritual, not carnal!
1. Individually make Jesus Lord of your lives. Now pray, read the Bible, go to church every time the doors are open.
2. Pray together, share spiritual insights and experiences, become comfortable together with Jesus.
3. Establish goals and directions upon the Word of God.
B. Always Build Each Other Up
Never allow criticism, anger and frustration to dominate your communication. Prince Charming can quickly become a frog. “Let all bitterness, wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31
C. Accept Your Complement
Fully accept your marriage partner as your complement. The Lord uses the opposite characteristics in our mates to complement, shape and enlarge us. Men, appreciate your wife’s intelligence and the thoughts she brings to the table as your helpmeet from God. Ladies, appreciate your husband in his creation and in all he does to hold things together. You are one and you complete each other.
D. Willingness to Change
Always be willing to make adjustments in attitudes and habits that offend or hurt your spouse. What’s more important, having things your way all of the time or having a great relationship?
E. Maintain Good Communication
1. Without good communication there will be no companionship or true intimacy. Below we will share barriers to communication and the following enhancement to that particular barrier.
A. Barriers and Enhancements to Communications
i. Exploding – Reactions of anger and frustration. Inability to hear reason or to communicate effectively without inducing fear.
Love should be easy to entreat. Love is patient and kind. Issues should be able to be discussed without fear of reproach.
ii.Withdrawal – You are so sensitive, that anything that is perceived as a threat or attack, you withdraw within yourself and hide your feelings. It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on with you.
Sometimes people who have dealt with a lot of rejection in their lives are super sensitive. Those who are sensitive must seek God for healing and recognize when they are being unreasonable. Those who are not plagued by this, need to use patience, wisdom and nonthreatening tactics when confronting issues.
iii.Verbal Jabs – When hurt, you react quick to inflict pain.
Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Instead of making a verbal assault on your partner, why don’t you just try to be honest by saying, “Hey, that really hurt me” or “You really just offended me by what you did.” Get everything on the table.
iv.Silent Treatment – Will not talk in order to work things out. You pout and withdraw instead of trying to pursue resolution.
Love is not rude or self-seeking. It is immature to give someone the Silent Treatment. Seek instead to open lines of communication. Hear them out instead of shutting them out. Value what your partner has to say. If they fear repercussion, chances are you’ll never move to the friendship stage of marriage.
v.Lack of Interest – Will not share common interest. There must be areas you are willing to share with your spouse in order to build your relationship, even if they are not your interest.
“…but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3. So what if you don’t like to go shopping or maybe you don’t care for fishing, if it’s what your spouse is interested in, try to do it with them sometime. Even though it’s not your idea of a great time, it shows them that you do care about what they enjoy. It says, “Hey, you are important to me!” Maybe you could even develop a hobby or pursue a project that means a lot to both of you.
E. Creating Romance
“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her and likewise also the wife to the husband.” I Corinthians 7:3
If the man will inject romance, the woman will respond. She needs times of warmth, affection and nonsexual touch, the tender touch, the sense of being desired. Get away alone, as often as you can. Be understanding of circumstances, physical differences and desires. Know that your partner may not be as romantically inclined as often as you. Find your balance.
Ladies, let your mind wander back to when you first fell in love. See him in that light. Know that your husband has some definite physical needs. He’s not possessed, he’s just obsessed with everything about you. You are his highlight. What an honor. Being with you relieves his stress and completes him as a man. This fulfills the oneness of your relationship. Look to your private moments together as exciting, an adventure and not as a duty that you must perform. If he perceives that this is just another job or burden to you, then he may get physically fulfilled but will still be emotionally lacking. He in turn will want you more to ensure that he is fulfilling your needs.
Remember – what it took to get your spouse is what it will take to keep them!