Marriage is important to God and not just to those who are participating in it. It is very important to God so much that He said a lot about it in His Word. Christ uses marriage to describe our relationship with Him. Marriage is not a bed of roses like some would believe. It takes effort from those participating and also, acknowledging God and putting Him at the centre.
This is the only way you can enjoy marriage. Your love for God is paramount to loving your spouse. This is why your love for God must be adequate before you decide to love someone else. The love in you should overflow so much that there is enough to give another.
A successful marriage is not void of challenges but as long as those involved are not heady to apply these tips, they can overcome any challenge:
1) Have a plan. Luke 14:28
Marriage is a lifetime commitment. It requires thoughtful planning. You must plan for anything you want to commit to. Marriage is not an exception.Take time out to review your plans for your family’s future. Set goals. Start planning your future today. Don’t wait till later.
2) Quality time
This is one aspect that seems to be lacking because of the hustle and bustle of life but it is necessary. Couples need to take time out to enjoy each other’s company. Make this a regular or twice a month, fixed night every month. Make sure this date is “unmovable” and is a priority above all else. Start today!
If you are not ready to forgive, don’t think of marriage because you can not exhaust how many times you will forgive. Forgiveness is one of the foundations to building successful marriage. There will be times when your mate makes mistakes, causes hurt feelings and even frustration (and you will do the same!). JUST FORGIVE! Let go and let God.
Remember 1 Peter 3:7 says, “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.”
4) Listen to your partner
This is for us men mostly. We have a hard time listening to our partners sometimes. Make it a priority in your marriage to not just hear your partner, but listen to what your partner is saying in an effort to understand. If you can listen, you can communicate better. Listening to the needs of your partner will always keep communication open and will set the stage to help you both endure difficult times.
5) Be sensitive
One of the results that married couples achieve with greater intimacy is greater sensitivity to one another’s needs. Being sensitive and tuned to your partner helps to make you proactive about fulfilling their needs, which then increases intimacy. It’s a cyclical effect that yields tremendous results.
6) Don’t take each other for granted
Years of being in holy matrimony can sometimes make us comfortable. Still, it is important to never take your partner for granted. Even though you have both promised to remain with one another for better or for worse, it is necessary to understand that their presence is not guaranteed. Be respectful to one another both privately and publicly, cherish your partner and treat them well every day.
The Holy Spirit is your best ally in marriage and when you invite God into your union, you’re never alone! Remember, Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Don’t leave out the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit for help in your Marriage. Take it seriously. Pray together always.
8. Value Leadership
Leadership is important to a successful Marriage. Excellent leadership skills are required – from both partners! Whether you know it or not, your union is an example for so many others in the world. What is your family’s mission statement? It is surprising to know that most families don’t have one. Ask yourselves, “What are we here for?” A successful marriage always has a vision, dream, goals, and plans for the future. Lead by example with your spouse and children.
9) Avoid Comparison
Never compare your spouse to another. This breeds resentment, bitterness, insecurities and unhappiness. Understand your marriage is like a fingerprint. It is different from any other union your friends, family and acquaintances may share.
10) Know your partner’s love language
Understanding the primary ways your spouse feels loved is an incredibly powerful way to strengthen your marriage. Once you know your partner’s love language, you’re able to respond to them in a way that is positive and affirming. To learn more about Love Languages, check out the book “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
In Hebrews 3:4, the Bible says that “Marriage should be honored by all,” which is why it is so important to commit to working on your union every single day!
11) Grow and build each other up
One of the most basic human needs we have is affirmation. Your spouse is no different! Use words and affirmative phrases like:
“you are the best”
“I love you”
“I am always proud of you”
“let me help you with that”
When you build each other with positive words, you will increase intimacy, trust and confidence over time in your wife or husband.
Words are powerful; use them wisely in your marriage. Carry each other along and ensure that you are both headed in the same direction. The bible says in Amos 3:3, “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” The strength of your marriage depends on individual and collective growth.
These tips if followed, can help strengthen your marriage. Do not toy with your marriage. It is an ordained spiritual institution. Cherish the one who God has given you. Be blessed and have a successful marriage!!!