Ten Ways to a Better Marriage

better marriage seoSeven times the Bible refers to the union of two people as becoming “one flesh.” When the marriage is healthy and strong, no human relationship is more rewarding and fulfilling. Yet the early years can be full of stress.

Consider a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. Now think of marriage in the same way, except it is more like two butterflies trying to squeeze back into one cocoon. How do two people manage such a feat?

Among Holy Ghost-filled couples, I believe there is one major marriage factor: communication (or the lack thereof) with God and between each other.

It is also a good idea that the last thing your partner hears before falling asleep is “I love you.” Click To Tweet

Here are ten ways to build a sure foundation in your marriage. Notice how many deal with communication.

1. A good foundation starts with your walk with God. Take care of your spiritual well-being, and you will have a better chance of being happy together. The first year of marriage is the best time to establish the tone of the rest of your lives together. God invented marriage, and it works best if He is in the middle.

2. Keep a sense of humor. It allows for creative solutions to otherwise challenging circumstances. It takes the crisis out of everyday situations. Learning how to laugh at yourself and learning not to take life too seriously are techniques people in challenged nations use to keep smiles on their faces in spite of terrible conditions. Do not cry over spilled milk, just giggle.

3. Agree that only one person can be nuts at a time and stick with that agreement. We all have bad days; just take turns. If Joe has a bad day at work, let him blow off steam and cool down before you jump in with your day.

4. Communicate, communicate, yea I say unto thee, communicate. The trick is to communicate without criticism. Your partner needs to know when he or she may have crossed over the line or hurt you. While you are saying your piece, make way for your partner to share the other side of the issue.

It is not about winning; it is about understanding.

It is not about winning; it is about understanding.

5. Do not air complaints about your spouse to friends, family, or in-laws. Remember, if you say, “Confidentially,” chances are that by sundown everyone you do not want to know will know. No greater harm will come to your relationship than knowing your spouse ran you down behind your back. There are people to whom you can talk, just be ever so careful to find someone who can actually help resolve the situation.

6. Acknowledge each other’s strengths in accomplishing everyday things. Work together on bill paying, household chores, or whatever needs to be done. Then outdo each other with gratitude.

7. Greet your partner with a kiss and an “I love you” at least once a day. It is also a good idea that the last thing your spouse hears before falling asleep is “I love you.”

8. Find something good about your partner and then tell him or her. “Thank you for tossing the trash.” “Your eyes and that blouse go well together.” Whatever you say, be sincere.

9. Read books on marriage. Believe it or not, other people have been in the same boat, so rather than reinventing the wheel, learn from others.

10. Find any reason to have an anniversary—celebrate your one-month anniversary, first date day, or whatever it may be. It is not so important what you celebrate, it is the actual celebration. It is an excuse to send cards, flowers, or go out for a special dinner. Use your imagination.

Marriage works if you work at it. After a while something rewarding begins to occur: the cocoon seems to fit the two of you.

Gordon Mallory is a retired minister who previously served as dean of missions and vice president of student affairs at Jackson College of Ministries. He also conducted weekend F.I.R.E. (Families Igniting Revival Everywhere) rallies to strengthen homes.


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