Unfortunately, many weddings have more planning than the marriages they represent. A marriage, which is ordained by God, takes a lot of work, love and prayer.
The month of June is usually denoted as the “wedding month”. Most marriages occur in June, mainly because school and colleges are out for the summer as well as for the fact that June is a beautiful time of flowers and sunshine.
But, if you talk to any bride about their wedding and future, most of the conversation is all about the actual wedding. We don’t hear that much about the upcoming marriage.
Weddings and marriage are two distinct happenings. The wedding takes a long time to prepare, usually, and is over in a matter of hours. A marriage on the other hand starts immediately and lasts, hopefully, a very long time.
We need to remember to pray for those in the process of getting married: that they will have Christ as their foundation in their family, that they will study and learn about how to be a better spouse, and that we can be available whenever they may need help.
Marriage can be wonderful and it can be hard. But so is life! The key is how we handle each day, remembering to trust the Lord and follow His teaching. Below are some tips for you to use as well as to share with that future new wife or husband.
1. Understand from the beginning that you are two very different people with two different thought patterns. There will be disagreements! Begin now to communicate on these typical problem areas: money, household chores, children and parenting, family and sex.
2. Understand that both of you have a sin nature. Each day you will need to confess your sins to God and to one another, forgiving each other.
3. Touch, even a “high five” can say much more than words. “Touch is its own complicated, highly accurate, highly effective signaling system” (New York Times).
4. Remember to laugh! Laughter is as intimate as you can get without touching someone. And humor in a marriage will cover so many blind spots. I remember one time wanting to fuss at Scott but when I looked at him, I started laughing and said, “You’re too cute to fuss at!” I still can’t fuss at him! And whenever something breaks or we get lost or some, typical modern-day problem happens, we try to just laugh about it. It’s so much better not to get upset.
5. Remember that everyone needs alone time as well as couple time.
6. Respect each other. And show that respect by the way you talk to each other, the way you talk about your spouse to other people and that you don’t argue around others. Respect is also revealed by our actions. If we begin to roll our eyes at our spouse or worse, behind their backs, we are showing a huge amount of disrespect.
7. Respect also flows into so many other areas: take care of yourself so you will be healthy, take time to look nice for him, support each other always, put the other person first in your life (after the Lord), nurture them in sickness or sadness, build them up.
8. If you need to have a disagreement or fight, take a walk together to discuss.
9. Be involved with each other’s day-to-day routine. Ask about their work, what they had for lunch, etc.
10. Be intimate. Wives, you and I will never fully understand how a man thinks so we better understand that after 36-48 hours, a man’s sexual desire has peaked – again. We are called by God to give our husbands our body.
For many couples, especially after having children, they keep waiting until they feel less busy or less tired before they have sex, but finding that time is not going to happen very often. Sex is a crucial ingredient in the success or happiness of a marriage. So you will have to plan for it.
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:24-25
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
We all get irritated at other people. I guess it’s just the human condition. So when I read an article that said we should treat our spouse “like a dog”, I got interested!
If you think about your pet, they wreak havoc, and we still love them! Do we tolerate our spouses in the same way? We ought to, says clinical psychologist Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips on psychcentral.com. “Most pets are loved in a way that makes us minimize their demands.” Any animal behaviorist will tell us that when we shower our pets with positivity, we get back unconditional love. So, if we want a more loving marriage here are some tips:
1. Remember to lighten up. Whatever your mood, you will likely give your pet an animated hello and a display of affection when you walk in the door. Your spouse should get the same.
2. Don’t hold a grudge. When our pets eat the furniture, destroy our favorite shoes or get mud on the carpet we may scold them and be upset, but we usually forgive them quickly and resume loving them. Our spouses deserve the same treatment.
3. Care more for your spouse then what other people think. Few pet owners fear their image will be tarnished by their pets’ behavior. If your spouse ate with his arm on the table at dinner or told a corny joke, just smile and forget it.
Statistics say that those who stay in a healthy marriage will live longer. But what about those of you who are in an unhealthy marriage? Please look into couple counseling as well as individual counseling. If your spouse won’t go, you should continue.
If there is any type of abuse towards you, please contact someone you trust at your church or a friend and get help.
God created marriage for our good! To have a life that is shared with a loved one, to have children and to see the fruits of our labor in our golden years. But, since we are sinful people there will be those marriages that are not good. My hope is that you will get some help through others and prayer for your marriage.