Elements That Will Make Your Marriage Work
He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. - Proverbs 10:17 (amp.)
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom. - Proverbs 4:7 (Amp.)
The following are random thoughts gathered from more than 35 years of marriage and from 30 years of counseling couples.
I hope learning these principles now, rather than painfully discovering them through unwanted experiences, will make your marital journey easier and more fulfilling.
When you marry, each of you will be assuming two different roles. At times you will become a teacher to your partner, instructing information and experience the person is lacking.
Remember that a wise teacher doesn’t force or always tell, but leads a student to discover things personally, which enhances the desire to learn.
At times you will assume the role of a student and your life will be enhanced by what you learn from your partner.
Remember that a real learner is one who is open to consider different views, is not resistant and admits a need to learn. When both of you can do this, watch your relationship grow!
We live in a competitive society. Sometimes competing is necessary, but never compete with one another. There is no place for competition in marriage.
You will at times disagree. That’s normal and healthy, but behaving disagreeably isn’t necessary. When differences appear in your relationship, your goal is reconciliation, not blame. Learn from each disagreement so it is resolved rather than repeated.
Your partner will say or do some things that will bother you. Be sure to tell your partner what you would like him or her to do, rather than to concentrate on what you don’t like.
This will likely cause your partner to respond as you desire the next time.
Remember how you fell in love? You talked, you listened and you did loving acts. You will stay in love by not only continuing to do those very things, but also by doing them with a higher level of frequency and intensity than you did before. Don’t let these acts diminish or be extinguished.
Always be supportive and loyal to one another. Put into practice 1 Corinthians 13:7: “If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him” (TLB). Give one another the benefit of the doubt.
When conflicts arise, don’t avoid them. If you do, you will just bury the problem and you’ll have buried it alive. Eventually it will rise from its grave and confront you.
If you want to get rid of your conflicts, look them squarely in the face, talk about them and discover creative ways to resolve them. Learn from them. Use them as growth experiences.
A gentle hug or holding one another in silence is an act of love that conveys the message, You’re special. I love you. I understand. It’s a daily act. It’s like God’s message to us of His love; it’s continuous.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books