The other day, I was thinking about marriage and I started jotting down a few things. I am certainly not perfect and our marriage is not perfect, but there are some things that I try to focus on that God has taught me. I wrote these down to remind myself each day, but I thought that something in this list might help you or someone you know.
First, I have written down some scriptures. I rely on these each day. Without them, our marriage could not last. Second, I have written a list of points about marriage, in no particular order. Read each prayerfully, asking God to show you where you need help.
Marriage amplifies and exposes our weaknesses and imperfections. Own your faults. Pray that your failings will not cause you or others to stumble.
Marriage teaches us to care for others. Put your spouse’s needs above yours. Pray. Ask God to show you how to do this and to give you the strength to follow through.
God has given you a treasure in your spouse. You may not see it now but ask God to show you the treasure that He has placed in your spouse and how to nurture and protect it.
Pray always for your spouse, not that God will “fix” them, but that He will bless them.
Reject the Lies:
Truth is, you need that person in your life. Don’t turn off the oven until you’re done.
Marriage is difficult because we are difficult, selfish, and stubborn.
Be slow to speak, slow to anger. Give grace before judgment.
Speak gently. Speak words of life. Speak the promises of God and testimonies of His faithfulness.
Anticipate the needs of your spouse. Follow love.
Prefer your spouse above yourself: He/she must increase, and I must decrease.
Seek to please God first and above all else.
Forget the bad, the hurts, and the disappointments, and remember the good.
Don’t let your past define your present or your future, including your past as an individual and as a couple.
Learn to laugh. Laugh together. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Be grateful. Appreciate the things your spouse does for you and tell them so. Thank them for even the little things they do for you. Don’t take even the smallest thing for granted or as deserved. Don't keep score.
Own and bear the faults of your spouse. Don’t try to distance yourself from his/her faults. Pray like their faults are yours; They are!
Love and forgiveness are freely given; Trust is earned. You are not a monster if you have trouble trusting your spouse after faith has been broken. It is OK to humbly require accountability and a consistent pattern of behavior before trust is fully restored. Start small and work slowly up to bigger things.
Don’t accept railing accusations, guilt, shame, or manipulation from anyone, including your spouse. You have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. Don’t accept lies from the devil, no matter which vessel may be used to convey them. You belong to Jesus, first and above all else. You are washed and cleansed and holy, even with all our faults.
Accept truth, even when it hurts, even when the vessel speaking it is not pure.
Accept that we are flawed and weak, but trust in God’s love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. Pray that our faults will not cause another to stumble.
Don’t jump to conclusions or assume the worst. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, you have only part of the story.
Before you say too much, consider this: You were wrong at least once in your life. Your spouse may be right, and you may be wrong.
Don’t make important decisions when you are angry or emotional. All decisions are important.
Don’t avoid the difficult discussions, but make sure you pray first and your heart is not bitter or angry.
Don’t give up without fighting for your marriage.
Love your spouse and forgive them like Jesus forgave you.
Believe the promises of God for your spouse ... and for yourself.
Don’t expose your spouses’ faults to the world. Praise his/her virtues and believe that God will take care of the rest.
Don’t allow hurts to fester. Go to God and be healed. Remember the overriding principles.
Seek God first, above all other things.
Don’t seek fulfilment in anyone other than Jesus.
Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Trust God for grace for the long-haul.
Make up your mind to serve and seek God as the supreme and sole focus of your life. You should never allow your spouse or anyone else deter you from pursuing God with all your heart and soul.
Even when you are only trying to serve or help, your motives may be misconstrued and maligned, serve anyway.
Your actions, even with the best intentions, will not be appreciated. Keep serving anyway.
God is responsible for you and for your marriage. Let Him have control. Put it all in His hands EACH DAY, EACH MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.
Note: Some of these ideas may seem to conflict with other of these statements. This is true because love is complicated. There is also a tension between some areas we need to keep in balance. This is not a law book, but a love letter. This is not something you need to do, but a checklist for prayer. When you have trouble in an area, pray. Ask for God’s help. We need a miracle to be the husbands and wives we should be. It won’t come from self-effort, but through brokenness and prayer of faith, believing that God can and will transform you into His image. God is changing you. He will complete the work he started.
Author: William Bell
Date: Feb. 17, 2021, 2:35 a.m.