Marriage is a learning process. No matter how long you’ve been married, or how great a marriage you have, there is always something new to learn. Some area that needs improvement, or things to forgive.
Hubby and I are celebrating 41 years today. And to us, it’s a celebration of God’s faithfulness. He has helped us stick together and increased our love. And through all these years of trials and blessings, he has taught us much. And we would not be here today if it were not for these lessons!
7 key foundations for a Christlike foundation:
One: Your kids are really only welcome, temporary guests.
Love your kids and cherish them. But remember they’re really only welcome, temporary guests. They’ll be moving on. Your spouse is here to stay. So work on keeping your marriage strong and vibrant. Unity is the pivotal foundation.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, (Genesis 2:24).
Two: Everyday there will be things to forgive, large or small.
If unity is the foundation, forgiveness is the cement holding it in place. With lack of forgiveness, the foundation begins crumbling little by little, and often over little things. A certain look, a word blurted out without thinking. Why ruin a lifetime of happiness together over small things? And the big things? With Christ’s help, we can forgive even those, just as we want to be forgiven.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Three: Don’t try to change your spouse. (That’s God’s job.)
Ours is to love them unconditionally, while inspiring them to grow in Christ. The Word of God transforms hearts and minds, and is far more effectual than all the nagging in the world! Remember: You loved your spouse enough to marry him or her, just as they were. If you wanted someone different, you should have thought of that beforehand!
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, (Ephesians 5:25-28).
Four: Be sure to spend time together.
Do things together. Find common interests that you can share. Happiness is being marriage to your best friend. So take time to just be friends and talk. Especially while children are still in the home, when so many responsibilities eat way at time.
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun, (Ecclesiastes 9:9).
Five: Take time to pray together, and read God’s Word.
Prayer and the Word are the two main things that will draw us closer to Christ and make us like him. And the thankful heart this cultivates, will also make us ever more grateful for gift we have in our spouse.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving, (Colossians 4:2).
Six: Be a giver and not a taker.
Rather than falling into the temptation of thinking about what we want or don’t have. Become the one who gives and keeps on giving. Really care about your spouse’s happiness, and do everything possible to care for and build them up.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others, (Philippians 2:3-4).
Seven: Be careful with finances.
Financial difficulties can bring much stress. Make a commitment to keeping (or getting) out of debt. Don’t spend money you don’t have.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it, (Proverbs 21:20).
MARRIAGE IS FOR KEEPS. IT’S WORK KEEPING AND WORTH THE WORK IT TAKES.
What Scriptures do you keep in mind to help you toward a strong, Christlike marriage?
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