He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).
Today, Susan and I celebrate 36 wonderful years of marriage! It’s a milestone in this day where over half of all marriages end in divorce. Here are few ingredients in our relationship that have helped us over the years.
Accept your spouse the way they are without trying to change them. Susan and I are so different! And that’s a good thing! If both of us were like me, we’d explode! Years ago, the Father dealt with me about comparing Susan to this image of a perfect wife I had in my mind (men will sometimes even compare their expectations of their wife with their mother’s example). I learned to accept Susan for who she is, and just lover her. That changed me!
Walk in agape love, which is the love of God that the Holy Spirit pours into us at the new birth. While phileo love (friendship) is the reason you marry someone, agape is the oil that keeps your relationship running smoothly. Agape doesn’t take account of the evil done to it, doesn’t pay attention to a suffered wrong. All of us will fail at times. And this agape will cover the multitude of sins (mistakes)! Agape treats the other person as if they had never done anything wrong! It doesn’t bring up the past.
Date each other. Susan and I usually take a night a week to “date.” We’ll go out to eat, see a movie, go to the mall, etc. And we’ll just talk about whatever.
Verbalize your love. You can’t wear I love you out! We tell each other several time a day. And we hug and kiss and show affection every day! Keep the flame alive!
Give each other some space. Susan needs her time for her woman stuff! I need my space for my man stuff! Give each other some liberty to take time for person hobbies and friendships.
Allow differences without anger. Two people living in the same house coming from different families are at times going to disagree! That’s not a bad thing unless you let uncontrolled anger enter the picture. I think that if you never disagree, you’re not being honest about issues! Allow for differences in views.
Don’t go to bed angry. Each day, clear the air of the day’s conversations and differences. Love forgives, accepts, and forgets. Ephesians 4:26 reveals, Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.
Keep your physical relationship strong. Sexuality is a part of human life. God’s answer to the physical desires He places in us is marriage! Hebrews 13:4 reads,
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Keep this area of life private. It should never be discussed with others. As your marriages ages, and children and busy careers enter the picture, it’s important to make private time with each other happen.
Pray for your spouse daily. Instead of praying, Lord change my spouse, pray Lord, help me be the best spouse my mate could possibly have. He me be what (he or she) needs.
Above all, just be a good Christian! IF you do, you’ll honor your mate, you’ll be responsible for your actions and words, and you’ll humble yourself and admit when you’re wrong! And you’ll love and respect your spouse.