Top Ten List of What You Can Do to Build a Marriage that Lasts
- Forgive Quickly. The Bible speaks of keeping “short accounts.” In other words, don’t hold on to anger. Keep your marriage “current” instead of bottling up past issues, only to release them one day in an angry volley.
“… be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- Commit Freely. Live up to your vows. Be committed to each other and to the Lord. And be committed to working through any issues that arise—even if you need to get help. Eliminate the thought of divorce as an option.
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:5 (NLT))
- Share Values. It’s important to be on the same page with the things that are really important, especially in your spiritual lives. Pray together. Serve together. Be active in church together. Pull on the “same end of the rope.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV))
- Grow Up. You’re not at Mom’s or Dad’s anymore. You are committed to the grown up relationship of marriage, so act like it! Be responsible with your money and time and work and each other. This includes the critical need to be self-less with your spouse. It’s a matter of personal maturity.
“Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT))
- Live the “Love Passage” of 1 Corinthians 13.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT))
- Practice Healthy Communication. Speak to each other. Share your feelings. Intimacy will grow as you develop the habits and skills of healthy communications. If you don’t know how, then learn how. Read a book. Watch a teaching video on how to communicate. Take a look at our “inTENtionals for Marriage Communication”.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT))
- Hold Realistic Expectations. Anytime Expectations are greater than Reality, Disappointment is the result. Mathematically illustrated: E > R = D. Keep your expectations realistic. Maybe you can’t change reality, but you can change your expectations.
“Always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed. My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.” (Proverbs 27:17-19 (NLT))
- Have Fun. You live with enough stressors in your life. Be sure you enjoy one another in playful, fun ways. Find shared interests and make time to share in those activities.
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Proverbs 5:18 (NLT))
- Anticipate something Together. Have something to look forward to: maybe an upcoming church event, a date night or a day trip. Perhaps a vacation or simply a movie and popcorn at home.
“And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” (Philemon 1:6 (NLT))
- Leave and Cleave. You are in this marriage TOGETHER. The TWO of you have become ONE. Depend on each other, as you depend on God to hold you together. As you each grow closer to Jesus, you will also grow closer to each other.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 (KJV)