Could it be that the reason over 50% of all marriages end up in the drain is because we are trying to operate God's invention our way? Marriage was created and originated by God! So in order to be successful at it, we have to do it God's way. Genesis 2:22, “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. The scripture above clearly shows that marriage is God's creation. With growing pressures on marriages, here are some basic but significantly practical and Biblically-based tips that will help you to enjoy harmony with your spouse!
1. Cultivate Trust
Genesis 2:25, And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Nakedness is all about removing every mask and exposing every part about you, including the bad parts. If you are going to be successful in marriage God says be naked before one another. Come bare. No secrets. Nothing to hide. No judgment. Just nakedness. Trust is created by making a commitment to be 100% honest and transparent with each other.
2. Cultivate Friendship
Genesis 2:18-20, God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” Companionship (Friendship) is one of the core reasons why God created marriage. Friendship is one of every human’s core needs. God is clearly saying to us that without cultivating friendship with your spouse, you are simply not going to survive. Friendship is the glue that holds your marriage together. Do your marriage God's way: make your spouse your best friend (the person you most enjoy doing life with!).
3. Prioritize your Spouse
Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Before you get married, your father and mother are the most important people in your life. So God is establishing a powerful principle when He says you have to leave your father and mother (the most important people in your life) if you are going to be successful in marriage. In other words, God is saying, to succeed, your spouse has to become your priority now--the most important person in your life.
4. Cultivate Agreement
Amos 3:3, Can two walk together unless they agree? Many people divorce not because they don't love each other, but because they are not walking in agreement. Agreement is simply making a mutual decision that we will both sacrifice our personal interests to do what benefits our marriage the most. How willing are you to walk away from things you once considered important in order to pursue what unites you? Agreement is the glue that holds you together.
5. Say "it’s over" saying "it’s over"
Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Some of the most powerful words that you can say to your spouse are the words God said to us, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." This has to be a commitment you make to each other. Your spouse needs to know that no matter how much you fight or get on each others nerves, they have your commitment that you will stay till death do you part. That's doing marriage God's way.
6. Forgive quickly
Ephesians 4:26, In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. God expects you and me to forgive our spouses quickly. How do I know that? He set the standard high by saying do not allow the sun to go down while you are still angry. Releasing forgiveness quickly allows you to walk in great harmony with your spouse. Be quick to saying sorry with sincerity. It’s like pouring water onto a fire.
7. Laugh at your issues
Proverbs 17:22, A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Did you know that there is medicine for your marriage? Yes! Laughter is like medicine to your marriage. Learn to laugh with each other, at each other and at yourselves. Don't take life too seriously all the time. Laugh at your arguments. Laugh at the snot on your spouses face. Laugh when you are broke. After all, worrying and attacking each other does not fix the problems. You might as well laugh about it.
8. Lots of Sex
Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. A healthy sex life is vital to a healthy marriage because it’s a major part of the process of 2 people becoming one flesh. Sex fulfills a need for intimacy that He put in all of us. There are 4 reasons why God created sex: 1. Sex fulfills intimacy between a couple. 2. Sex brings much pleasure to a couple. 3. Sex allows us to procreate. 4. Sex protects us from temptation.
9. Get help
Proverbs 11:14, For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers (counselors). If you want to do marriage God's way, get a marriage counselor. The success of your marriage is connected to the strength of your advisers. And your failure is a result of the lack of guidance… We go to school to train for our careers and it should make sense to learn about marriage. There are many marriages which would have made it if they had only sought help. Don't be ashamed. Don't wait until trouble comes. Get help now.
10. Pray together daily
James 5:16, Therefore...pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Prayer is a powerful weapon that can strengthen, heal and protect your marriage. It’s because marriage is really not just a union between two parties, it’s a three party deal. God is the third party because you are connected by Him in marriage. So in order to succeed you have to include God in your marriage. Prayer includes God in your marriage. When God is included, your marriage will never sink, because God can never sink.
Zenzo Matoga, Pastor, Impact Church. www.impactpeople.org