These days it seems the institution of matrimony is the most forgotten among many Christian churches. Sure there are churches that nurture marriages but many are neglecting to nurture marriages more intently. This goes hand in hand with our divorce rate of 40-50%. Right now, the institution of marriage is vulnerable to being downright demolished by a bulldozing secular society.
Speaking from experience, it is not enough to simply attend church. Rather we must apply the Bible to our everyday lives and intently to our marriage.
Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or whatever else you would like to think. The only difference is that in their everyday lives, they apply God’s word. Marriage, first and foremost, is a spiritual relationship. It works best when both spouses are connected individually to God, walking with Him not just walking physically into a church. We should:
- obey Him in the Scripture daily not just in the house of the Lord
- while praying as individuals AND as a couple not just at the altar but at home.
God is with us at all times and should not be ignored. Ignoring the very God who created marriage and the One who can help your marriage make it through anything requires implementing His word in our marriages to ensure longevity.
Christians and people alike are quick to quote Scripture, but somehow often times they conveniently manage to leave out parts that require you to take personal responsibility implementing the Word of God.
Below are three skills and respective scriptures that could save your marriage:
In any type of relationship fights are inevitable, especially after being married year after year. All married couples fight – don’t be fooled. And, you are no exception. The key here is to always fight fair. Don’t just fight to fight! Sure you can get all caught up in the heat of the moment, but what is it really going to solve? Often times, an argument is merely a problem seeking a solution. So fight with a strategy. Make sure that you are fighting for something and not nothing. Fights are sometimes unavoidable, but what is avoidable is keeping the fights going. Keep them short and sweet, not long and drawn out. Fighting for hours is overrated. Know and make your point(s) while keeping it moving not harboring or bottling up ill feelings to unleash later.
Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
Matthew 12:36-37 – “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Romans 12:17 – “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.”
One guaranteed epic fail of a marriage is entering a marriage with a “dating mentality” when a “married mentality” is required. Sure, back in the day when you were dating you didn’t necessarily have to forgive your boyfriend or girlfriend. You might have kicked him/her to the curb if they did something to upset you. However, in marriage you can’t just kick your spouse to the curb if you genuinely desire to be successful in your marriage.
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Forgiveness is a gift in marriage and should be treated as such. Some hurts are intentional but most are unintentional and require forgiveness for yourself, your spouse, and the marriage. He/she is not perfect and neither are you. Forgiveness is a learned skill that matures, so it is alright if you need assistance in learning exactly how to forgive. You may want to reach out to your church counselor for help in getting you and your spouse over marital hurdles. Don’t allow unforgiveness to poison your marriage, because the second you can’t forgive is the second your marriage dies. It may not die immediately but it will die slowly if you have unforgiveness in your heart and that of your spouses.
Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Mark 11:25 – “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Be intentional with focusing on all the positive characteristics in your spouse. There are some things that you absolutely love about him/her. There are some things that you may dislike too but the good outweighs the bad or you would not have married him/her.
Always remember when you point one finger at your spouse, you point four back at yourself. Focus on the things that brought the two of you together and the spiritual implementation where you identify spiritual growth in one another and your marriage.
1 Peter 3:7 – “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord”.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about what lessons we get from sitting in church, but whether or not we apply them to produce fruit in our marriages.