If you have been hanging out with me for a while, you may remember the “10 Secrets”. This has a special meaning to me this week though. Our grandson got married last week and I gave them a framed copy of this.
How I wish I would have had a copy of this many years ago. Maybe I would have made more mature decisions through my adult life. The other thing that I never remember hearing, in all of my years growing up in church, is that marriage vows aren’t just a vow you repeat to each other. Marriage vows also are a covenant that you are making with God. While everyone’s situation is different, I believe if everyone had a copy of this and referred to it often, there would be less anger, abuse and divorce. That being said, abusive situations have to be dealt with.
When I first read that you should love God more than your spouse, I did a double take. How can that be was my first reaction. But when you think about it, if you always put God first, everything else in your life will fall into place according to His plan.
There was a time in my life that I didn’t understand the “His plan” thing either. All that time I wasted trying to figure out what “my” plan was supposed to be.
The rest is pretty simple, clear and basically, the only cost is your puffed up pride… I probably had an abundance of that too. I still find myself struggling with that one now and then. I have been a work in progress all of my life and I am comfortable with that. I will never be as good as I should be in my eyes but it is such a comfort knowing I am His daughter and I am good enough for Him and He loves me.
Elizabeth Baxter’s 10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage (When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury)
Keep God first – By loving God more than your spouse, you will always be humble enough to love your spouse more than humanly possible. This makes for a beautiful marriage.
Matthew 6:33 – But first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Divorce is not an option – From the beginning, remove the word “divorce” from your vocabulary. People do not look for a door where one does not exist.
Mark 10:9 – Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.
Marriage is not 50/50 – There will be days when one of you falls short. Make it your goal to give 100 percent every day. That way you are covered. Every day, forever!
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.
Know your spouse’s love language – People speak love in different ways. Gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation,
physical touch, intentional time. Figure out how to speak to each other so that the love between you will grow.
Romans 12:9 – Love must be sincere.
Expect the best of each other, be patient, and forgive easily. Attitude is everything in marriage. Look for ways to humbly be kind to your spouse. Keep short accounts. Don’t worry about being right.
Ephesians 4:2 – Be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive one another… forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Keep dating – Your marriage must be a priority. Seek God first, then your spouse. Each other. Every day. Never stop dating and pursuing each other. Value and celebrate your love.
Song of Solomon 3:2 – I must seek the one my soul loves.
Build each other up – Kind words are free. Look for ways to encourage each other. Every day.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.
Laugh often – Find reasons to be silly. Smile and be light-hearted. You’ll laugh about it later, so make up your mind to laugh about it today.
Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Live within your means – Couples who get in debt stay stressed. Living within your means can be great fun. Take walks. Play board games. Visit your park, clip coupons.
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
Fix yourself, not your spouse – Work to be kinder and gentler. Be the person your spouse married. Listen well. Be intentional.
Matthew 7:3 – Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?