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 Melanie's Tips for a Happy Marriage

                  by Melanie Lankford

Countless times people put forth more effort in relationships they have with absolute strangers than they do within their own marriage. These life-shifting steps will help you recapture a healthy marriage. If you are just starting out in marriage you can embark on a healthy path. 

  1.    Discuss consistently and clearly your purpose and ambitions for your lives. Equal exertion should be placed on accomplishing those goals as a couple; often times too much emphasis is placed on achieving our goals individually. Marriage is a joint venture, therefore all goals should come about together.   
  2.    Make time with your spouse to harvest the companionship of your marriage. Reacquaint yourselves often with the reasons you took on the vows of marriage. Friendship is the key to a healthy relationship. If your companionship is meager your partnership will not be able to prosper, growing into an enduring relationship. 
  3.    Respect your spouse and embrace their integrity with uppermost regard. Speaking to your spouse in a loathsome manner both publicly and in private can be a great detriment to a marriage. By embracing our spouse with the highest regard, we create a union with them and a life long intimate bond. 
  4.    Cultivate your physical connection with your spouse. The physical aspect is vital to a healthy marriage,  and  goes outside the act of sex. The small touches, hand holding,  the hugs that keep us feeling bonded in our lives, these are the true keys and they are repeatedly overlooked and neglected. 
  5.    The healthiest step you can take for your marriage is to say the positive thoughts you think and believe about your spouse. We forget that our nature longs to hear accolades from our most important admirer. Many times we have no impression of what our spouse thinks or feels for us. Leave the negative small stuff unsaid; we are too quick to discuss the negative aspects of our spouse and not bring out the qualities that we fell in love with.

Just the Two of Us
by Carol Schram
   I've been married to my husband for 37 years. Having the love of my husband has made life easier when facing hard times.
   We lost our first baby 36 years ago. We got through it together with God's help. I had it rough but, with my husband's love and support, I made it.
   It took me another year to get pregnant. He was very comforting to me when I would get depressed each month when I wasn't pregnant.
   Praying and communication are most important for a good marriage. It still is after all these years. If I had to share his love, emotions, support, I couldn't imagine how much harder it would have been. I could never do it.
   It is not natural for any woman to want to share her husband's love with anyone except for their children. I feel very strongly that is never God's will for us.
   We raised our two children side by side daily. Facing the hard times with his aging parents and mine would have been extremely difficult if we weren't totally bonded in our thinking and love. A man with multiple wives can't possibly be available when needed for the bad times for each wife and their children.
   I thank God always for the great blessing he gave me in my husband.

Russ's  Biblical Perspective on Marriage For Christians

  By Russ Gardner

Marriage was ordained by God very early in history: Genesis 2:24. Much unlike other cultures where the family picked the bride and groom without either having any say in the matter, God’s plan for marriage is always with consent of both bride and groom: Genesis 57:58. Marriage is forever in God’s eyes Matthew 19:6.

When two truly born-again believers are united together through Christ in marriage, it is a covenant for life or until one of the partner’s dies.

We hear of the term unequally yoked in our time, meaning Christians are not to be married to unbelievers: 1 Corinthians 7. Likewise in biblical times, the same prohibition was declared to the Jewish community: Deut. 7:3-4. The covenant of marriage is second only to our personal relationships with Christ. Please read all of 1 Corinthians 7. Chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians is a most comprehensive discourse on marriage and divorce.

God’s parameters for divorce are very narrow; unrepentant adultery, abandonment, and physical abuse to the point of serious injury. God’s first desire for these circumstances is true repentance from the abuser, and reconciliation through a structured plan that over a long period of time will show the sincerity of the individuals repentance.

Remember, God hates divorce Malachi 2:16. God’s covenant of marriage is so sacred that He desires reconciliation not divorce.

The Jewish husbands abused divorce so badly they chose to send their spouse packing if they burnt their toast in the morning meal, or if they didn’t make the master’s bed just so, or if they didn’t take the garbage out at the specified time.

Just about anything was legal for divorce during biblical times. Get rid of the older woman so the husband could bring in a young one. We can see how this gross abuse brought God’s wrath down on the Jewish community.

We know the misery of divorce is so pervasive in our churches today. Sin and selfishness seem to rule the day. Christians today are so independent from what God calls us to, it is a terrible waste of our lives. We are saved to the Lordship of Christ. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price and what a price! 1 Corinthians 6:20.

Let’s just take some time to truly see how divorce can be eliminated and how true marital contentment can prevail. The key is in Ephesians 5:22-25. So here we go: (22) "wives be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. (23) For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church; he himself being the savior of the body. (24) But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (25) Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

Wow! What a mouthful. At first reading it sounds rather ouster. Seems to be somewhat controlling. However if we examine the true intent it is just the opposite. The word "head" has no connotation as ruler or lording over one’s spouse. The true meaning of the word is "protector."

So let’s try this: "Wives be subject to your own husbands as unto the Lord." Do we not agree that both husband and wife if truly born-again have surrendered to Christ as Lord and Savior? And in this we do submit our wills and our lives to Him. Therefore the wife, trusting Christ first, should be willing to joyfully submit herself to her husband in all things. Now the husband must follow the same procedure "Christ first." The husband is the "protector" of the wife as Christ is also the "protector" of the church. As the Church is subject to Christ so also the wife ought to be subject to her husband in all things.

It seems here that the husband is holding all the cards still. I believe what is forthcoming will change your mind. Verse 25 "Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself up for her." Wow! What a calling. Don’t we know what Christ went through to save us? Complete sacrifice of Himself for the salvation of us all. Well guess what husbands? You don’t have any cards now. This means that he must deny himself and meet the needs of his wife. His wife’s needs come before his in all things except protection and sanctification. He is to be lowly and loving as Christ was to all people while He was on earth.

Let me ask you something ladies. Would you have any problem submitting to a husband like this? One who would make every sacrifice necessary to ensure your happiness and well being and cherish you as Christ cherishes the church? So you see it is possible to have a happy marriage full of God given joy for being obedient. Two people living in perfect harmony because they are living a full and complete marriage just as God intended.


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