Even the best advise in the world won’t help you if you don’t put it into practice. That holds true for the biblical guidelines for a successful marriage.
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Yes, there are two partners in a marriage, making it challenging to follow counsel if your spouse won’t cooperate. But more often than not, the problem is that we don’t WANT to put in the necessary effort. Or perhaps we believe that we are the exception to the “rules.”
Another possibility is that we put off making decisions until they become incredibly difficult to resolve. Or we only want to do it if our spouse agrees to follow our opinion of what they ought to do. All of those arguments have a lot of merit, it is true. The question is, however, “How’s that working for you?”
It would be a good idea to try following their suggestions if your marriage isn’t doing well. Though a smart man listens to counsel, a fool thinks his way is right. Proverbs 12:15
We’re going to give you some excellent guidance. It is founded on biblical principles, which, if you abide by them, can strengthen your marriage. As with any “rule,” there are frequently permissible deviations. Unless they originate from God Himself, that is. Therefore, consider the context of each of these guidelines and ask God whether He is directing you to apply them to your married relationship by praying about it.
The following list of 10 Biblical Rules for Marriage was compiled by author and counselor Steve Arterburn from Newlife.com (a number of years ago). We also provide extra explanations in [brackets] following each one. According to Dr. Arterburn
Avoid referencing past errors.
Avoid attacking people at their expense. You won’t be judged if you don’t judge. If you don’t condemn, no one will condemn you. You’ll receive forgiveness if you forgive. (Luke 6:37)
Avoiding being “hysterical” and “historical” (bringing up previously forgotten issues) with one another is a good rule to follow when trying to resolve disagreements. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouths, but only such as is useful for edifying others in accordance with their needs, that it may profit those who hear.” Philippians 4:29
Before you say something, consider whether it will help or hinder your marriage. Although saying it could make YOU feel better, at what cost? “Be careful not to antagonize the Holy Spirit of God, who sealed you for the day of redemption. Get rid of all resentment, rage, anger, fighting, slander, and other types of malice. Be empathetic and nice to one another. Similar to how Christ God forgiven you, forgive one another. (Eph. 4:31–32)]
Focus on ourselves instead of the rest of the world
[We might believe that our partner can tolerate our neglect for “good reasons.” Don’t be too certain though. Such instances are prevalent in the divorce courts. Consider this. What is gained if you do all or the most of your “to do list” but your marriage connection suffers due to neglect?]
“I encourage you to join me in renewing your commitment to regular prayer if you feel yourself burdened by a never-ending list of tasks. I’m asking the Lord for wisdom these days to distinguish between the significant and the urgent. (Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly)
Never let an argument go to bed unresolved
Also, refrain from sinning by allowing your anger to rule you. “Do not sin when you are angry. Don’t let the sun set while you’re still enraged because that would invite the devil in. (Eph. 4:26–27)
In the event that you are unable to address the issue right away, try again the following day. Don’t, though, let it consume you as you sleep. Agree to ignore the situation that evening. and then revisit it the next day with a new strategy. This has frequently been useful to us.
Make an effort to compliment your spouse at least once a day.
“Gentle words give life and health, but a lying tongue breaks the spirit,” the proverb says. (Psalms 15:4) “A word spoken aptly is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Prov. 25:11)
It’s crucial to:
“Congratulate your partner on qualities you value in them. Don’t assume that your remarks are unnecessary either. Saying things like, “You did a good job,” “I love the way you make people feel at home when they visit,” “I appreciate what a hard worker you are,” and “You’re so loving with the kids” is easy. Therefore, in addition to a daily chuckle, complement your spouse every day. (Robert and Jeannette Lauer)
Always start a meeting with a warm welcome
“Kiss me again and again, for your love is sweeter than wine.” Song of Solomon, verse one “Kiss each other in the name of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 13:12)
This guideline for a successful marriage is by far Steve’s favorite. Recall our suggestion for the 22 Minute Date that we frequently use? This one, though, is superior. It is known as the “10-second kiss.” It’s a fantastic method to leave the house in the morning and return home at night. Tomorrow or maybe today, try the 10-second kiss!]
Try to enjoy every moment that God has given you together, regardless of wealth
“A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with some people you hate.” (15:17 in Proverbs)
We are aware of numerous widows and widowers who constantly think about what they might have celebrated more. Instead of taking each moment for granted, they wish they could go back and cherish them. The present is what it’s called because today is a gift. Use it prudently!
If you have to choose between improving your appearance or that of your partner, go with your partner.
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 15:17) “Have the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus…”
Your partner will eventually offend you if they are breathing, therefore learn to forgive them.
“I’m telling you to correct a fellow Christian when they sin, and to forgive them when they turn around. Even if he wrongs you seven times per day and begs for forgiveness seven more times, you should still forgive him. (Luke 17:3-4)
The following is some wise counsel from Pastor Bill Hybels: “Two sinners are equal to one sinner plus another. Having two problems under one roof! God urges two self-willed sinners to unite in the marital bond and become one flesh, not just in the physical sense but also in the sense of spirit, attitude, communication, and love. It is a lifelong struggle. “Be patient with one another and make amends for any offenses you may have with one another. Remember to pardon as the Lord pardoned you (Colossians 3:13).
Avoid using the Bible, God, or your faith as a hammer.
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.“ (John 3:17)
Make Love Your Compass
“Love is compassionate and patient. It is not envious, arrogant, pompous, or unpleasant. Love does not insist on having its way. Love is not irritated and does not keep track of wrongdoings. (See 1 Corinthians 13:4–5)
We hope that these “rules” will enable your marriage to reach new levels of comprehension.