There are aspects of a healthy Christian marriage that stand the test of time. First off, I don’t pretend to know everything about a successful and healthy marriage. My wife and I have gone through our ups and downs like everyone else, but here is what has worked for us:
The most essential aspect of our lasting marriage is that we both committed our lives to Christ. Without this, I am not sure where we would be.
We know most Christian marriages start with a three stranded, Christ centered strong, tight rope.
However, little by little, each spouse allows the cares of this world to seep in and loosen the strong commitment both made to God originally.
Usually, when I have witnessed discord in marriages, it’s because one of the spouses has walked away from Christ, and if they don’t renew their commitment to God and their spouse, it becomes detrimental to the marriage and family structure.
When I find myself starting to get distracted with life’s juggling, I quickly check my commitment to the LORD, so I don’t see myself drifting away…
If commitment to God is the most important of all aspects of a healthy marriage, prayer comes in second. There is no way for a healthy marriage to thrive without prayer. I have seen couples take nutrition classes, go to the gym, and keep up with all the great books out there.
Couples will prioritize taking care of their bodies, but lack commitment to healthy prayer life. How can God speak to either one, when they have not found time to pray together.
I am not speaking about just going through the motions of prayer where couples go through the mechanics of prayer and yet miss the mark on sitting still long enough to hear from the LORD. I have done this from time to time with my wife, and we both have missed the great blessing of answered prayer. Imagine going through the petitions where you know the Spirit has moved both of you to seek God humbly.
You have done the easy part, the hard part for us all, is to sit still, and then shut up long enough to hear God’s still small voice. Where His guidance would have been gladly taken, we miss the blessing because we were too tired or bored to wait for an answer.
How many marriages would still be together had both spouses sought time long enough to hear from God, who was gladly willing to speak to both of them, only to be cut off by the lack of time that both spouses should have made for Him…
The third aspect of a healthy marriage is knowing that being together is for a lifetime. There is no turning back to mommy and daddy because life gets tough or you found someone else whom you think listens better than your spouse!
What we tell couples who are struggling in their marriage and when they ask us how we do it is this—
Divorce is not an option. God doesn’t make mistakes.
The mistakes are made by two imperfect people coming into a relationship, thinking that marriage will solve all of life’s problems once they marry.
We explain that marriage is a commitment and a marriage contract between them and God.
When God brings two people together, it is because these two people have been mature enough to:
A. Seek Guidance from God before making any decisions for succesful courting. Yes, I said courting not dating. Dating is a fantasy made up by Hollywood.
B. Both people have fasted away from each other long enough to know that what they both feel was real, and not lustful. How do we know which is which Oscar? Um, go to step A.
C. Both people have received an answer from God saying that they are to be together.
If there are any doubts, ask people in your lives whom you trust to pray and fast with you and start the process over.
Is it this easy? Of course not. Is it worth it? Yes, it is.
I encourage you to try these and notice the blessings in waiting on the LORD for an answer….
Humbling ourselves is the fourth aspect of a healthy marriage. You see, without someone humbling themselves when times get tough, the marriage will be in constant friction. Many a time my wife has been the better person in a little spat that we may be having, yet, she backs off and allows for me to think that I have the right-away. Minutes or sometimes hours may pass before I realize how idiotic it was to have my way. In the rare moments where my wife is adamant about something, I allow her that right-away. It works both ways.
How has this giving the right-away been for us?
Since we both are prayed up and read up, it makes reconciling easy.
Being Read up means that we are always seeking instruction from the Bible. This is the fourth aspect but not the least in order. Opening up our Bible is like food to the stomach. The more we read, the better our marriage.
There is one caveat to this. It would be best if you practiced what you read.
It isn’t in the reading that we get the morsels of Heavenly food. It is in the seeking, finding, and refining our lives that the blessings come in. The more we open our Bibles to seek, we discover and then refine our lives.
You just can’t seek and find and then close up the Bible and stop there. You have to put your money where your mouth is so to speak. Practice what you preach or in most cases—Practice what you read from the Bible.
All these aspects are indispensable, but I can’t think of any other that can be done without this last one—Love. Without love, we can’t be called disciples of Jesus the Savior. Without love, we are but just loud noises which are speaking about the love of God and not having it. Love conquers all aspects of a healthy marriage. Love is a healthy marriage.
You can’t say that you love God and detest your spouse; it can’t be done. I have seen too many people say they have fallen out of love with their spouse, usually it’s the men.
When I hear a man say this, I smile as they are telling me. The more they speak about the new person whom they met, who loves them more and listens to them more, the more I smile. I know, it’s rude but I can’t stand a guy who is disrespectful to his wife by making her the villain.
When a man does this, I lose total respect for him. I would rather have him say. “I love being an adulterer more than I love my wife.” But of course they will not say this.
So instead of getting angry or upset, I just smile. Once, the guy in front of me got so nervous that he resold himself on loving his wife and not pursuing an extramarital relationship he was thinking about, without me saying a word. I just smiled and he knew what that meant…
Now getting back to love…it covers and conquers all. When you have doubts about your spouse, commit yourself to God, pray for them, make a long term choice to be with them, humble yourself to not always be right and be read up so that you can have the Love of Christ in your heart for them eternally.
Go and love one another!