Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is Your Marriage a "Trial Marriage"? How to Make It Last

There’s a trend toward considering your first marriage as a “trial marriage,” and you’ll do better the second time around. I even attended a wedding recently where the bride and groom vowed to love each other “for as long as possible.” About 51% of all American marriages end in divorce.

Want your first marriage to be the only one, and a lasting one? Take some advice from someone who turned an upside down marriage into 25 years of happiness:

Love God first. This is the first commandment in both the Old and New Testament: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Mark 12:30). You may be thinking, but some marriages among churchgoers end in divorce, too…so how does this work?

Going to church has nothing to do with really having faith in God. This famous commandment is just not being considered these days, because it’s not “PC” to believe in God. If more people - within and outside the church - would put God first, we'd follow more of His advice and our marriages would be healthier.

Compromise and Sacrifice. The “Me Generation” and Generations X and Y have been taught to just look out for “Number One.” In marriage, we have another person to care about. Don’t expect the other person to make you ecstatically happy every day. Try doing some of that yourself, for them. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). But remember, no human can make another person happy all the time.

Listen. Beyoncé sings a heart-wrenching song in the movie version of “Dreamgirls” called “Listen.” She lets all her frustrations out about how her husband doesn’t take her feelings and desires into consideration. Listen to each other and discuss things openly. Try being best friends (Mark 10:8 – “And the two shall become one flesh; no longer two, but one”).

Submit to each other. Submission – what an awful, politically incorrect word. Many people take one Bible verse, Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, submit to your husbands” – and make it sound horrible. But from 5:21-33, there is actually more about the husband serving his wife. “Love your wife as yourself,” it says. Did you ever know a man who loved himself who beat himself up?

Be honest. One little white lie can turn into another, and another. The truth won’t change the more you lie. Honesty pays in the end.

This post is taken from a longer piece at Associated Content. Click here to see the whole version.


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