TIPS FOR A
A happy marriage takes work. Here are 10 tips to maintain and strengthen your marriage.
Read the Bible and pray over your wife daily.
“Read the Bible with and pray over your wife daily.” According to God. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).” In 32 years of Pastoral Counseling struggling married couples I have asked :
(1) Are you reading the Bible together? (2) Are you praying over and praising God for your wife daily? Resoundingly, the answer has been “no.” If you are not already practicing these spiritual disciplines, I encourage you dear husband to begin leading today. God will bless and prosper your marriage!
Swallow your pride.
Kiss her in the morning; kiss her goodbye; kiss her hello; kiss her good night; and “do not let the sun go down upon your wrath (Ephesians 4:26).”
Swallow your pride, kiss, and make-up
P.S. Post-kiss pic smiles!
STAY CRAZY IN LOVE.
”STAY CRAZY in L--V-E!”
It’s a decision! Laugh, smile, have fun, be happy, be sweet, flirt with and “look at THE ONLY ONE!”
“A merry heart does good like a medicine”
Talk, talk, talk.
“ Priorities on my “to do”( privilege) list:
*Talk, talk, talk to my wife daily; and
*Take, take my wife out on a date weekly.” The love can and will be rekindled!
Song of Solomon 8:6 encourages, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame.”
P.S. Speaking from experience, if you haven’t been talking daily and dating weekly and you “decide” to start again, like when you were dating, you’ll ask yourself “why in the world did I ever stop?” Notice, I said “I” not “we” because my wife is waiting for me to ask.
Back up your words
“I love you”; “ thank you”;“I’m sorry”; “ I forgive you”; and “please” are needful words backed up with actions for a couple to avoid a barely surviving marriage and enjoy a breathtaking marriage. During marriage counselling and weddings, I ask couples to hold hands and look into one another’s eyes and say “I love you”;“thank you”; “I’m sorry”; “I forgive you”; and “please.” Yes, I’m purposely being repetitious to lead you back into the “heartfelt habit of communicating” less you emulate the husband who told his wife, “I said I love you on our wedding day and I’ll let you know if I ever change my mind.” You have done it before. Tell and show her, often hold her hands and look into her eyes and say, “I love you.” To many times I’ve heard, “he never says, ‘I’m sorry’ so why should I forgive him?” Ruth Graham said a “great marriage is made up of two great forgivers.” God says, “Be kind and passionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ (Ephesians 4:32).” A sure thing, I’ve personally￼ learned, is both the husband and the wife need to “own” their part in the marital strife/tension/frustration between them and say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” The Christlike response is always, “Yes, I forgive you!” Time and time again, I’ve also heard wives say I’m not doing what I do to hear “thank you,” but it sure would make me feel appreciated. Strive to regularly say “thank you” followed by a prayerful praise of thanks over your spouse once a day. Kindly request for things to be done. Multiple times I’ve listened to exasperated spouses mock the other spouse’s commands to “get me this”; “go there”; “do that”; without ever saying “please.” Please ask with a “please” and praise God for your helpmate’s help
P.S. If action follows the speaking of these words, your marriage will vigorously flourish!
Pray together, stay together.
Acknowledging our desperate daily need for His “divine assistance” and “favour,” we aim to “intentionally pray:”
(1) Search us o God and reveal our sin (Psalm 139:23-24) and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9);
(2) Please fill us with your Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) and the fruits of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) empowering us to live victoriously for Your glory (1 Cor. 10:31);
(3) Help us God to love You with all our heart, mind,soul, and strength (Matthew 22:37) enabling us to love one another with agape love (Ephesians 5:25);
4) Interceding for our children to walk in truth (3 John 4) in accordance to God’s plans for their lives(Jeremiah 29:11;
1 Tim. 4:12);
(5) Please bring lost people across our path to share Jesus with and use us to help believers grow in their personal relationship with Jesus (Mt. 28:19-20)!
“WIFEY for LIFEY”
Please remove “divorce” from your vocabulary, threats, and thoughts. Why? Because, I am to “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer(Ps.19:14). Remain “devoted” like you lovingly promised on your wedding day. Echoing in my mind are the words I vowed on May 17, 1997:”I, Rodney, take thee Debbie to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's Holy Word.” I leave you with my dad’s challenge, “You’re making a lifelong decision, now be a man of your word!”
P.S. If you’ve already been divorced, “please” receive God’s forgiveness
(1 John 1:9), and follow the above advice in your next or current marriage.
Wait On God’s Timing.
Departing from the church with bird seed still in our hair posing for one last picture, we simultaneously said, “I can’t believe we just got married!” At 32 and 25 (of course I am the elder, not that I have to tell you), we dedicated our first night to the Lord, I preached the next day, and then we were off for a 13 day honeymoon. First, we attended a 2day Gary Smalley Marriage Conference at FBC Fort Lauderdale, FL and then to “The Keys” and “Disney.” To this day, I have gargantuan gratitude for Deb’s dad’s wedding gift! I met Debbie 7 months earlier at a Providence Baptist Church single’s event. In the midst of a 40 day fast asking God to bring His special someone into my lonely life, I was sitting at the end of a long table listening to a young lady give her testimony and she shared that she was dating Jesus. The night seemed spiritually surreal and I thought she’s the one. What blew me away was a gorgeous girl who had only been a Christian for 8 months and had experienced what I perceived and labeled “super warp speed sanctification “ as she was filled with the Spirit and discipled by a godly woman named Peggy Whipple. She was hungry for the things of God, and He grew her heart toward me after much begging Him and her. I am so, so, so thankful that God intervened and broke up former relationships and blessed me with a Proverbs 31 beautiful woman of God way beyond what I deserve. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).” Isaiah 60:22 “ When the time is right, I , the Lord will make it happen.” The Lord our God is Faithful and True always. Still “under construction” He was (and still is) sanctifying areas in our lives to prepare us to commit to each other “for life!” He makes all things Beautiful “in His time!” Rest in the fact, He loves you and has your best interest at heart!
Rest in the lord.
Are you “Super Tired,” worn out, and fatigued? Dr. Jesus says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Mt.11:28).” The busy, chaotic world we live in makes it difficult to get the proper amount of rest necessary to live full productive lives for His glory. While striving to be a “Super Mom” and a “Super Wife” with excellence unto the Lord, “rest is a must” to recover, be re-energized and strengthened. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day instituting a Sabbath Day Rest—which is a needed natural rhythm in our lives. When dependant upon the Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) and not our might and power, we find “His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mt. 11:28).” Jesus wants us to be yoked to Him and let Him do the work He has called us to, in and through us, and it will not be overly burdensome. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him(Psalm 37:7)” means a spiritual rest from worry, stress, confusion, and internal/external pressures. In this sense, rest means to “be still before the Lord”; “surrender to the Lord”; or “be silent before the Lord.” Spiritual rest is found in the “presence of the Lord.” There are times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord! The Psalmist realized the importance of resting in the Sovereignty of God when explaining, “In peace, I will lie down and sleep for you alone,Lord, make me dwell in safety(Ps. 4:8).” Physical and spiritual rest are absolute essentials if we are going to accomplish His plan for our life especially in the context of marriage. I wouldn’t and couldn’t trade roles with my wife for anything in this world! I sooo appreciate her making our “Home Sweet Home!” The last thing she needs for me to do is put more and more on her to-do list. Instead, when I see a need, I try to be a “helpmate for her” doing “whatever it takes!” As for us and our house, we are going to serve the Lord and one another! We’re in this together /! Not to much to ask for when the Bible says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her( Eph.5:25).” Jesus died, was buried, and hallelujah rose again to give us abundant life found only in relationship with Jesus!
LIVE A TRUSTWORTHY LIFE!
World renowned evangelist Billy Graham made a wise promise to his wife, Ruth, that he would not be alone with another woman. He lived above reproach avoiding the appearance of evil. I have made and recommend that you make this same commitment to your spouse. Trust is earned and can be quickly lost! Many people laughingly dismiss this practice. Nevertheless, I warn you Satan is seeking to destroy your life, marriage, and children’s lives. Hear this 911 Biblical command from God to “See then that you “walk circumspectly”( look carefully at how you live and behave) not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). Be aware of Satan’s subtle strategy to trip you up and injure your life. “Broken trust” is often expressed in marriage counseling over flirting, taking double takes, inappropriate comments on the looks of other women, infidelity, and at an all-time, horrific, pandemic level—pornography. It is an addictive, disastrous relationship destroyer that should be either repented of or avoided at at all costs! If you are in bondage, I pray in Jesus healing name for you to be set free, Amen! If not, I pray for a hedge of protection and the Spirit’s fruit of self control around your mind and actions when tempted in Jesus name, Amen! I pause to intercede because porn sites have nearly 40 million regular visitors with 55% of married men and 25% of married women saying they watch it at least once a month. Pornography increases the infidelity rate by 300% and 56% of divorces have at least one partner with an obsessive interest in porn. The Bible commands a believer to flee sexual immorality. Jesus teaches, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). If you have fallen, come clean, stop living a secret double life, confess your sins and He will forgive you of your sins (1John 1:9). Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit, specifically for the spirit of self control(Luke 11:13), and walk in His deliverance in the power of His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). Jesus says, Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:1-4). When tempted to commit any sin, REMEMBER the words of Jesus when He was tempted three times by Satan after fasting for forty days. Each time He said “IT IS WRITTEN.” Jesus, The Word made flesh overcame temptation by quoting the Word. He overcame the first temptation by saying, “It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Follow Jesus’ example of claiming the Word the Holy Spirit brings to your remembrance (John 14:26). That’s why it is so important we practice Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against God.” We must know His word for the Holy Spirit to bring it to our remembrance!
P.S. The hardest verse I have ever memorized and the scripture the Spirit brings up most when I’m tempted is “No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Claim “IT IS WRITTEN” and live in victory for His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)! “If you will walk-in the Spirit you will not fulfill the lust of the the flesh”(Galatians 5:16). The Holy Spirit will break any addiction and divinely assist you to adhere to the plea of Paul “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).