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MARRIAGE IS MEANT TO BE GREAT!
Keys to a happy marriage:
A happy, long-lasting marriage is the
dream of every couple. No one gets married
with the goal of living in a "stable state
of misery". Couples with good marriages
will tell you that it didn't happen
without effort. Several factors stand out
as important in having the marriage of
Couples with happy marriages
have mutual respect for one another.
There is respect in their attitudes and
how they treat each other in speech and
actions. These couples refuse to speak
degradingly of one another to others.
They also believe that God gave them a
spouse as a gift. In turn, the spouse is
prized above all others. Couples with
good marriages avoid what marriage
expert Dr. John Gottman calls the "Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse" namely:
These four toxic patterns of interaction
greatly undermine respect in a marriage.
In Ephesians 5:33, the Apostle Paul
writes concerning husband-wife
relations, "Each one of you also must
love his wife as he loves himself, and
the wife must respect her husband."
Respect is important to both spouses,
but it must be earned. A husband wants
the respect of his wife every bit as
much as he wants her love. On the other
hand, a man cannot expect to receive the
respect of his wife unless he treats her
in a loving, sacrificial manner
befitting a Christian.
Wives may be wondering how they can
demonstrate respect for their husbands?
Let me answer that by describing what
she should and shouldn't do. Her husband
needs her to respect him as a man for
who he is, not simply for what he says
or does. She chooses to respect him as
her provider, protector, lover and
leader. She speaks well of him to the
children. She demonstrates respect for
him by refusing to speak ill of him to
friends, refusing to compare him to
other men, not undermining his
discipline of the children, and refusing
to defy his authority. The Bible says
she is to respect him in a way similar
to how she respects the Lord (Ephesians
Secondly, couples with happy
marriages prioritize their relationship.
They love spending time with
each other. Yes, I know that children
can drain a couple of time, energy and
dollars, but couples with happy
marriages have figured out how to make
time for each other even with busy
schedules. For instance, they
consistently have a date night when they
leave the children with a parent or
trusted babysitter and spend time alone
together. This marks a prioritization in
their relationship which sows seeds for
the future when their children leave
Those with happy marriages have
learned to leave parents and cleave to
one another. As important as
building a home together is, leaving mom
and dad involves more than just leaving
the parents' home. It means emotional
separation, so that a couple no longer
looks to parents for affirmation and
validation. Further, leaving parents
involves spiritually embracing faith in
God as individuals and a couple, not
depending upon the faith of the parents.
Cleaving is another word for "bonding."
Good marriages are formed by partners
who have bonded physically, emotionally
and spiritually. Sexual intimacy,
emotional connectedness as best friends
and being rightly related to God through
faith in Jesus Christ all fall under the
term "cleaving." The most important
aspect is spiritual cleaving. God
blesses the couple that is spiritually
one, growing individually and together
in a relationship with God through faith
in Christ. These husbands and wives
encourage one another's faith journey.
Finally, happy, long-lasting
marriages involve learning not to "sweat
the small stuff." These
partners overlook minor irritations and
flaws. They have decided which issues
are "hills to die on" and which are not.
They also take the Scripture to heart
that says, "love covers a multitude of
sins" (1 Peter 4:8). By doing so, they
know the goal in working through
disagreements is not to win, but to
deepen their relationship. These couples
are open and honest, but because they
genuinely love and care for one another,
they aren't critical. They have learned
to laugh together and find best friends
in one another.