No wedding is perfect! For this reason, we think that some biblical advice on marriage could help to understand the complexity of marriage better.
It is the duty of spouses to make it perfect! As we tend to say, if he does not have a ready-to-wear wife or husband, then there is no ready-to-wear wedding. What makes us happy is not the marriage act that we signed, it’s more about living in a couple: the warmth, the harmony, the harmony, the complicity, the trust, the communication, the respect, love – when they remain in a couple of life – they produce happiness.
Jesus Christ said, “You will love your neighbor as yourself”. When you are married, your next closest neighbor is your spouse! If you are already married, do you obey this commandment of Christ? And if you are planning to get married, have you set the right goals and expectations?
When a man and a woman engage in marriage, it is often the occasion of a joyful gathering celebrating the foundation of a new family. A wedding is a joyous event, often accompanied by music and flowers, in the presence of family and friends. Marriage is one of the most important events in a person’s life. This new life begins with a solemn public commitment, where spouses make traditional vows such as “for the better and the worse, in wealth and poverty, in health and sickness, until let death separate us.
There Is 1 Divorce for 2,3 Marriages
Do we live by this promise, individually or as a nation? According to Eurostat, the marriage rate in 2010 in the European Union was 4.4 per thousand inhabitants – compared to 5.2 in the year 2000 – and that of divorces 1.9 per thousand. This means that there is 1 divorce for 2,3 marriages. The trend is confirmed in most French-speaking regions of the Western world, with a divorce rate of 47.4% in Quebec (StatCan, 2008), 52% in France (INSEE, 2010), 54.4% in Switzerland (FSO, 2010), and up to 67.1% in Belgium (StatBel, 2011).
What about you? Despite these national trends, be aware that you can apply strategies to make a successful marriage. These Bible strategies have been proven to maintain a successful marriage. It may not be easy, but your efforts will be rewarded and they will bring you a lasting relationship.
The old saying that marriage is 50-50 is completely wrong! True love is giving without expecting anything in return. When two people give 100%, then you have a strong bond, a strong union that provides flexibility, and an ability to cope with crises and problems. By cons, accepting a commitment to 50-50, your relationship will be weakened!
Does it seem too difficult? Consider the following verse, which is the basis of a happy relationship and the character we will need for eternity: “[Remember] the words of the Lord, who said himself: There is more happiness to give than to receive “(Acts 20:35).
The greatest gift you can give is your time! A few years ago, while I was doing a lot of sport, I was trying to compensate by spending time with my wife. I still remember the time when I decided to give him my time to do an activity that would please him. She wanted to go canoeing – it was not my favorite activity, but we left on a Sunday afternoon canoeing on a lake lined with pine trees, under a blue sky, and surrounded by freshwater birds, in a peaceful setting! While I thought I sacrificed my time, it helped us to improve our relationship – my wife appreciated this activity and my efforts. As Jesus said, “There is more happiness to give than to receive. ”
The divine way is to give – a mature approach both in everyday life and in marriage.
The Bible also teaches couples, husband and wife, to sexually give each other. In the first century, the Apostle Paul instructed non-Jewish converts to Christianity who lived in the city of Corinth full of sexual immorality: “However, to avoid debauchery, let everyone have his wife, and every woman has her husband. Let the husband give his wife what he owes her, and let the woman do the same to her husband. It’s not the woman who has her body, it’s her husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who disposes of his body, it is his wife. Do not deprive yourself of one another, except by common consent for a time, to go to prayer; then return together, lest Satan tempts you because of your lack of mastery “(1 Corinthians 7: 2-5).
Are you willing to follow these instructions? Do you express your affection to your husband or wife? A hug or a simple kiss on leaving and returning from work are important gestures. A few years ago, a German insurance company published a report concluding that men kissing their wives every day were less prone to accidents than others, and they were generally more successful in their business. From then on, I took care to kiss my wife every morning before going to work. One day I had forgotten, I backed down with my car in a tree. Needless to say, I make sure to kiss him every morning!
Regarding the problem of selfishness, Dr. John A. Schindler wrote: “The only people who can show true affection are those who can put aside their immediate interests and their person to put welfare and health first. interests of another person. If both spouses do so, they will have no domestic or sexual problems “(How to Live 365 Days a Year, page 142).
How many men and women actually apply this principle? And how many Christian couples put it into practice?
The Second Biblical Advice on Marriage-Place Your Spouse First
Do you really appreciate your spouse? Note the divine instructions: “Do not do anything by party spirit or vainglory, but humility makes you look upon others as being above yourself” (Philippians 2: 3).
Yes, you must value – appreciate – your spouse more than yourself. Consider your spouse as a potential child of God. Look for and appreciate the positives you find in each other! And if you mistreated your spouse, physically or verbally, you must repent! You must humble yourself before God and ask for His forgiveness; you must also apologize to your spouse! I know it’s hard sometimes to say, “Excuse me. But apologizing is a great step to heal and restore a relationship!
How do you show esteem and respect to your spouse? There are many ways to do this, by giving her a special gift, listening to her carefully, expressing gratitude, showing kindness in the choice of words and tone of voice.
Are you patient?
Love is also expressed through patience, as we see in 1 Corinthians 13, sometimes called the “chapter of love.” We read: “Love is patient, it is full of kindness; love is not envious; love does not boast, it does not swell with pride, it does not do anything dishonest, it does not seek his interest, he does not irritate himself, he does not suspect evil, he does not rejoice point of injustice, but he rejoices at the truth; he excuses everything, he believes everything, he hopes everything, he bears everything. Love never perishes “(verses 4-8). Read the entire chapter. Pray to God that He gives you the ability to develop and live according to these qualities.
You can improve your marriage by listening to each other, understanding yourself, and leaving space for each other. You can improve your marriage by honoring and respecting your spouse! Note this essential instruction given by God: “Husbands, show your wisdom in your relationship with your wife, as with weaker sex; honor it, as also to inherit with you the grace of life. May it be so that nothing may stand in the way of your prayers “(1 Peter 3: 7).
God teaches husbands to honor their wives. Keep in mind that she will “also inherit with you the grace of life”. Understand that every human being on earth is a potential child of God, called to be born in the divine family with an immortal and glorified body. The Apostle Paul recalls the divine plan for each one of us: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,” said the Lord Almighty “(2 Corinthians 6:18).
3 – The Third Biblical Advice on Marriage-Be a Positive Example
The Apostle Paul instructed Christians to be good examples, even to their unconverted spouses: “Women, let everyone be likewise subject to her husband, that if a few do not obey the word, they may be earned without words by the conduct of their wives, seeing your way of living chaste and respectful “(1 Peter 3: 1-2).
Remember that you cannot change a person against their will, but you can change!
God has given us different responsibilities within our marriage and our family. He said to men, “Husbands, let every man love his wife, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). As a husband, do you fulfill your responsibilities? Some people, male or female, spend their time judging the conduct of their spouse in order to excuse their own shortcomings. Remember that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10). Be sure to carry out the responsibilities that God has given you as a husband or wife!
Tite’s book outlines the responsibilities of Christian women, explaining that older women should “give good instruction, in order to teach young women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2: 3-4). As a mother and wife, do you carry out the responsibilities God has given you? If you do, you will be a positive example for your husband. God will bless your efforts if you recognize Him in your marriage and ask Jesus Christ to live His life in you. With God’s help, try to be the best husband or wife possible.
4 – Communicate with Love
How often do conversations within a couple become a “dialogue of the deaf”? Effective communication involves listening and speaking effectively. We should listen to understand – trying to understand each other’s point of view. Try to understand the feelings and needs of the other person! Show respect by paying all your attention.
The Apostle Paul gives us a fundamental principle for effective communication. “But in professing the truth in love, we will grow in all things in him who is the head, the Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Some people tell the truth with hatred. But Christians who grow in Christ take care not to offend those who listen to them by their words.
When speaking with your spouse, do you show interest and attention? Do you communicate with respect? We must be patient with each other. “Love is patient, it is full of goodness” (1 Corinthians 13: 4). Make sure to always tell the truth with love!
In our hyperactive lives, the man and the woman sometimes go in different directions and find it difficult to talk together.
Several studies have shown that a large number of couples spent on average less than 20 minutes a week to converse! The authors, Leonard and Natalie Zunin, proposed the “four-minute rule” to make the time you spend together profitable. They show that the success or failure of your marriage “may depend on what happens between a husband and wife for just eight minutes, on the whole day: four in the morning on waking and four when you end up after the day “(Contact: The First Four Minutes, page 133).
They rightly point out that your language, your attitude, or your expression at the beginning of the day can affect your whole relationship. Learn to show a positive and loving attitude from the first four minutes you spend together early in the day. If you make this effort, you will avoid random arguments and you will not keep animosity unnecessarily all day long. In the same way, be particularly attentive when you end up at the end of the day. Even if you are tired, a positive word of encouragement or appreciation, a hug or a kiss can make a big difference in your relationship for the rest of the evening.
5 – Pray Together
Many of you who read this article may be married to someone who does not believe. If so, you may not be able to pray with your spouse – but you can pray for your spouse and for the success of your marriage! As I already mentioned, be a Christian example for your spouse. The scriptures give specific instructions to women who have unconverted husbands. “Women, let every man be likewise subject to his husband, so that if some do not obey the word, they may be won without words by the conduct of their wives” (1 Peter 3: 1). Your Christian example of love and sharing can positively influence your spouse. Note that the focus is on your conduct, not on trying to argue with your spouse about your religion!
Of course, if you and your spouse are already praying, you can pray together. When my wife and I pray together, I usually start the prayer and then hand it over. When she is finished, I conclude our common prayer. It’s amazing how intimate and personal thoughts can come out in these shared prayers. We thus share things between ourselves and with our God.
One of my wife’s favorite expressions is, “Let’s pray about it.” I appreciate his willingness to involve God in our marriage and in our life together. We all need to recognize God and our Savior in every aspect of our lives. The scriptures exhort us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your wisdom; acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight “(Proverbs 3: 5-6).
A successful marriage requires work and constant effort.
You must give all you can to carry out the responsibilities that God has entrusted to you as husband or wife. There will be obstacles, divergences, and even conflicts. But with the help of God, you can improve your marriage!
Ask God to help you practice these principles in your life. Remember, you cannot force your spouse to change – but you can change. Your example of love and service can have a significant influence on your spouse. Remember, you cannot do anything on your own. You need the help of the Savior of your life. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “I can do all things through Christ [who] strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13). May God bless you, bless your marriage and your family as you strive to live by His word!