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SOME SECRETS TO A HEALTHY AND HAPPY MARRIAGE...



Let's talk about building healthy marriage relationships. Those who have been married for many years may still find these helpful. Philippians 2:2 (Phillips) says, "Live together in harmony and love, as though you only had one mind and spirit between you."


I realize when we talk about marriage it often brings up many painful experiences for some. I trust you are mature enough to look beyond where you have been or what you have experienced in the past to allow others to be helped by this article. Be sensitive concerning others, but feel free to forward these to people you think might be helped or blessed by them.


God's ideal for all relationships, whether you are married or not, is harmony, love, and unity (one mind). The reality is that a lot of our relationships are in disharmony, conflict, and disappointment. A lot of people I have spoken with through the years have said, “I feel cheated by my marriage... I feel cheated by my relationships." One guy said, "When I got married, I started off with an idea; a few months later it turned into an ordeal. Now I'm looking for a new deal." What happened? Good marriages don't just happen. It takes energy, and effort to make a marriage work. Sad to say but most women work at their marriage more than men. So I hope you men who are reading this will take heart and pass this along. Paul writing to men and women said in Ephesians 4 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.”


Look, you don't have to change your whole life completely to make your marriage better. Small, minor changes will make major differences in your marriage. Just some minor changes in the way you relate to your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend will make major differences in your relationship.


We're going to look at some things that will help us have a satisfying Marriage. An occasional check-up is good to see how we are doing in our marriage and other relationships. To those who are married, "How are we doing in our marriage?"


Let me begin by listing the things we will look at in the future. This way you can begin to think about them. They are Communication, Consideration, Compromise, Courtship, Commitment, and Christ. First, let’s begin with:


1. COMMUNICATION


Proverbs 13:17 "Reliable communication permits progress." For progress to take place in your marriage, you've got to talk to each other. The problem is the average couple only talks to each other together, alone -- four minutes a day. In fact, as a couple, you will amass 46 hours of television watching in a week. But you will only spend 28 minutes talking, alone together in a typical week. You can't make any progress if you don't talk to each other.


Sometimes in your marriage, communication is difficult. But you must continue to work at communicating.


2. CONSIDERATION


Consideration means paying attention to what people say, and what people feel, not invalidating their feelings. You should never say, "You shouldn't feel that way!" It means showing common courtesy, treating people with respect, and helping them in any way you can. Ephesians 4:2 "Show your love by being helpful to each other."


Consideration means bringing in the groceries even when it's the fourth quarter. It means waiting until she has both legs in the car before you pull out of the driveway. It's the little things that count!

James 3:17 "Wisdom shows itself in being considerate." A mark of being wise is being considerate. When I'm being kind, I'm being wise. That also means when I'm being inconsiderate, I'm being stupid. This is true in any relationship. Wisdom shows itself in consideration, and caring about the needs of others.



3. COMPROMISE


1 Corinthians 13:5 "Love does not demand its own way." That is a mark of genuine love. It's unselfish. Do you demand your own way in your marriage? Either my way or the highway! Love it or leave it! You're constantly pushing for your way.


Having been a pastor for many years I know a lot of people stand at the wedding altar and they're saying, "I DO" when secretly inside they're going "After I marry him or her, I'll REDO them. I'll change them"


You need to know these facts.


1. Every marriage has conflicts.

No matter who you are, you're always going to have some things you disagree with, with your mate -- no matter how much you love them, or how long you live together -- there will be some things you never agree on. There are two of you and you are different. When you eat, you eat with a knife and a fork, not two forks or two knives. God doesn't need two of you. The greater your differences are in a marriage, the greater your potential for spiritual growth and spiritual greatness. God wants to use your marriage as a school of maturity to help you grow up. Your mate doesn't even have to be a believer. God can still use them in your life to help you grow spiritually and emotionally and in relationships.


One of the things you have to learn in the school of marriage is how to compromise. You can't get your way all the time. I made a list of some of the things that usually require compromise in a marriage.


You're going to have to compromise on the way your kids are raised. On the way, your money is spent. How often do you make love and even when is the best time to make love? Some of you are morning people -- you're up and ready to go, including your hormones. Others are night people -- you don't believe in God before 11 in the morning. But at midnight you're still going strong. When it comes to sex one of you is saying, "Drop everything" and the other is saying, "Drop dead!" You will have to compromise on how often you see the in-laws. You'll have to compromise on how you spend your day off. It's not your day off anymore; it's the family's day off. Once you're married it's no longer what I want to do on my day off, it's what we are going to do on our day off. You have to compromise on those kinds of things.


More marriages die from inflexibility than from alcoholism, abuse, or adultery. Many marriages slowly die because either or both individuals are unwilling to change. We will continue our thoughts on this subject very soon.


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