10 Things Important for Marriage (and Life)
Adapted from Advice Given by Ron and Marianne Snyder
1. Put God First – There are only 2 ways to live your life, with God and without God. Living life without God will not work. You are not God and you do not have all the answers. You have limited strength and resources and at some point they will run out. You need someone bigger, smarter, and stronger; and the only one who can do that is God.
2. Embrace your real identity and the fact that you have a perfect heavenly father – Your earthly father is likely to have failed you at some point—even if they were a good father, That’s because our earthly father is not designed to be everything for us. No one is—not your parents, friends, or your spouse. You may have an earthly father that you see as less than perfect, but remember you have a perfect heavenly father who loves you and is always there to provide for you. Remember who God says you are as His child, a Prince of the King of kings. Everything He has is yours. Seek to know Him better and those riches will be your blessings.
3. Love one another – From Ephesians 5, we learn: Man is the head of the marriage as Christ is the head of the church. Man is to love his wife, the way Christ loves you unconditionally—putting her first in all things. Loving your wife unconditionally, it is the greatest gift and lesson you could ever give your children.
Marriage is a covenant, in Hebrew that covenant is called a berit. It means fused together like superglue. When you get married, you and your wife become one—together forever. You are the same in that you have 3 basic, God-given needs: love, acceptance, and worth. But keep this in mind: even though you together, you are still different and have different needs. A man’s #1 need is respect. A woman’s #1 need is security. Men tend to see things in black and white. Women see everything in the middle. Those are just a couple of differences that are important to recognize.
One more thing: You don’t need to solve everything. Sometimes, just be a good listener. But if you do need to say something—as Ephesians 4:15 says—speak the truth in love.
4. Never go to bed mad – Ephesians 4:26, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Women (and men) can be difficult when they’re upset. They can say things they don’t really mean. Words are weapons, especially for someone who feels helpless. There will be many times you’ll have to take the high road and overlook the emotions that are going on and not play into them. Being the one that stays calm and reassures that everything is ok can go a long way in keeping the peace.
5. Put away the past – Make sure your baggage stays as empty as possible. Learn to forgive. You know they say “harboring forgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person t die.” Address any issues you may have and heal them before you start out together. You have heard it said, “Time heals all wounds…” Not so. Time only heals clean wounds.
6. Divorce is not an option – Pledge that to each other from the beginning. It’s important. God’s desire is for husband and wife to stay married for life. And accept for extreme circumstances—such as adultery and abuse—a couple should do everything possible to keep the marriage together. There will be times that are tough, but the grass is never greener and someday you’ll look back and see that it was the storms you conquered in uor marriage that made it stronger.
7. Live within your means – This is big! Money problems are the biggest reason for divorce. If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it.
8. Guard your heart – Satan will always be after you and your marriage. He will work hard to tear you apart. One fo the ways he does it is by getting you to compare yourself to others. Your marriage will be unique to you. Don’t compare yourself or your marriage to anyone else. Guys, guarding your heart also means don’t look at other women or pornography.
9. Compliment and show each other love – There are 5 main love languages. They are: words of affirmation, spending time together, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts. Know what yours are and those of the people you care about (including your kids). That way you’ll know how to speak love to them. If you concentrate on giving gifts but your spouse’s language is acts of service, you will miscommunicate and they might not hear you telling them how much you love them. Make sure you know and are speaking their love language.
10. Have fun – Your spouse should also be your best friend. Spend time together going to concerts, hiking and traveling, the movies, bowling, cooking together, whatever…