What is the secret to a happy marriage? I think this is a frequently asked question, considering the 42.7 million results when you Google it! There must be loads. I have a few to think about.
1. Put God first.
If both husband and wife put their relationship with God first, they both end up obeying Him first. Having a Christ-centred bond results in each of us wanting what God wants and that in turn will result in each of us humbling ourselves before Him. It certainly makes me more of a servant in my relationship with Mike and vice versa. By putting God first in our lives, we both want to serve each other in the best way we can.
2. Being Whole.
I believe one of the biggest mistakes a single person can make is to think that their long-awaited spouse will ‘complete them.’ It’s not the case. It’s best to fix any issues you have before you enter a relationship. God can fix broken parts. Be complete in Him – find your whole-ness in Jesus – your security and your confidence – your assurance and your peace. Once you are emotionally and spiritually complete in Christ, you won’t need another person to ‘complete you.’ They may enhance your life, but you are complete already. It is often a real mess when two broken people hope that by coming together they will be fixed. Work on yourself before getting into a relationship.
This is not a complicated dynamic. Simple kindness adds a loving simplicity to a relationship that often is missing. We may be kind to dozens of others in our lives, but find we have difficulty in offering the same compassion to those closest to us. Be kind to one another.
4. Be The Other’s Biggest Fan
Think about it. Once you are married, you’re a new family. You move away from the shelter, protection and adoring support of parents and you move in with your new spouse. The shelter, protection and adoring baton is taken up by you! You need to be the one that offers shelter, protection and a great deal of ‘fan support’ towards your spouse. If you don’t do it, no one will. Wives, you certainly don’t want his Mom to have to feed his ego with her support – that’s now your job. And husbands, I know that you don’t want too much interference from her Mother. Encourage, nurture, build up, compliment. Be the other’s biggest fan from the moment you say, “I do.”
5. Act Like a Dog and Not a Cat
There are some lessons you can learn from dogs. Most dogs love their owners. When you come home, they are at the front gate, wagging their tails, grinning up at you, slobbering on you, wanting to jump all over you. They are excited to see you and greet you with joyful enthusiasm.
Cats on the other hand express affection on their terms. On your arrival home, your cat may (or may not) raise a whisker to acknowledge your presence. Your enthusiastic calling to him/her usually results in them cleaning themselves a little faster. Feel very special if they look towards you. You are there to serve them, not them to serve you.
When your spouse arrives home, act like the dog – warm, loving enthusiasm, every single day.
That’s enough for today. There are loads more that have worked for us, but those are for another time.
Let marriage be held in honour among all..
Keep the smile going.
God bless you!
In His Grip,