7 Good Rules To Keep Your Marriage Healthy
A good marriage doesn’t just happen because a couple wants it to happen. Rather a healthy marriage is due to the intentional efforts of two people. It takes time, courage, and unconditional love for a godly marriage to thrive especially when there’s much adversity to overcome in a lifetime. These seven good rules will keep your marriage strong enough to weather the storms of life:
Rule #1) Pray together regularly
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
In the busyness of life, it’s easy to skip praying together. However this simple act of faith demonstrates your dependency on God to keep the marriage healthy. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, rather it takes a determined and united spirit between a husband and a wife to make it work. Take turns leading in prayer or assign each other certain days in order to keep prayer from being neglected in your marriage.
Rule #2) Study the Bible or do devotions together
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Reading short passages together on a daily basis can build a strong foundation of faith in God for your marriage. Simply sharing one chapter of Proverbs for a month can bring enlightment and encouragement to a couple. The discipline of reading God’s word unites a couple in a deeper spiritual walk together.
Rule #3) Spend quality time together
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
Many couples spent more time together before marriage and kids than what they do afterwards. A healthy marriage is demonstrated by spending time and enjoying fun activities together. Make a lifetime bucket list to complete together, but also make time on a weekly basis to do smaller activities together.
Rule #4) Forgive quickly and often as needed
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
The best of Christian couples are still two imperfect people living out their faith. There will be times when you will intentionally or unintentionally offend each other. However, if you are both walking with the Lord, there can be an abundance of grace given to each other just as the Lord gives it individually.
Rule #5) Deal with unresolved issues
“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24).
Avoiding tough issues is unhealthy for any marriage. Just because there isn’t screaming and arguing doesn’t mean everything is good. In fact, bitterness can build up in the hearts of men and women for many years before it unleashes its wrath. It’s better to deal with it—get up early or stay up late—but love each enough to go the difficult mile so that your marriage will last a much longer distance in the future.
Rule #6) Seek godly counsel when necessary.
“It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5).
Being open to receiving godly counsel whether from a pastor, a therapist, or another godly couple can help your marriage thrive through the difficult days. The body of Christ is meant to support each other especially in helping couples remain true to their vows. Putting on a façade of a happy marriage can only last for a short time. Be truthful and willing for God to use another’s wisdom and experience to bless your marriage with wise counsel.
#7) Be open to the changing seasons of each other’s lives
“Show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9).
Every great marriage has had to deal with inward and outward struggles. A significant part of marriage is accepting each other especially during times of change. Being a new parent, an empty nester, gaining or losing employment, financial gain or loss, health issues—all of these can cause a husband or wife to become a different person. This shift in personality or preferences can bless or hurt a marriage based on the level of acceptance from each other.
Eat your spiritual veggies…
Just like great physical health comes out of eating right and exercising regularly, so it is with great marriages. The disciplines of a godly marriage don’t always feel great at the time, yet the trust and longevity of a Christian relationship lasts a lifetime. It’s worth the effort especially as a testimony of God’s goodness to the unbelievers in your life as well as hope for the next generation.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.