Key Strengths for Marriage (Part Two)

Although every marriage is different, there are four concepts that add immense strength to any marriage.  Last week, we looked at the strengths of honor and attentiveness (HERE). Today, we examine two more of these core strengths.


3. Commitment. Many people think that the most important “C” in marriage is communication. Communication is important, certainly, but I think that commitment is even more essential.
When you and your spouse are committed to one another, you gain a firm platform under your feet that allows you then to work on your communication or any other issue. Being committed to your marriage means that nothing on earth is more important than your relationship. Of course, you want your obedience to God to be your highest commitment, but your obedience to God motivates and strengthens your commitment to your marriage.
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Even after exchanging vows on your wedding day, there are times when it is important to verbalize that commitment. When you and your spouse do not agree on the color of the carpet, it can be helpful to say, “I like the green, but I value you more than the carpet.”  Or when you are dealing with something more serious, it can be very stabilizing to say, “This is tough, but I am absolutely committed to you and to our marriage.” Speaking your commitment out loud reminds you both of what you truly value. (Continue reading HERE.)

Today, I am honored to be guest writing again for my talented friend Kristen Hogrefe. Continue reading HERE to learn the essential strengths for any successful marriage (Part Two). You can read about the first two core strengths in Part One HERE.
Blessings to you,
Tami

Key Strengths for Marriage

Every marriage is unique with its own blend of personality styles, family backgrounds, and life circumstances. Even the “secrets to success” can vary from couple to couple.

However, there are four concepts that add immense strength to any marriage. Relationships that build on these four principles will be resilient and healthy. However, couples who fail to establish these qualities in their homes can expect pain and crisis.

Developing these core strengths will make all the difference in your marriage: honor, attentiveness, commitment, and kindness.

1. Honor. Learn to maintain an inner posture of honor toward your spouse. In your spirit, keep saluting your husband. In your spirit, keep bowing to your wife.

Work on developing this discipline until it becomes your default position. There are no “days off” and no “time out” when it comes to honor. It is the oxygen in your marriage.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:10, NLT)

Your spouse is created in the image of God. That was true on your wedding day, and regardless of how long you’ve been married, it is true today. And it will still be true on your most difficult days. Your spouse will always be worthy of honor because of the eternal spirit that God created him or her to be. (Continue reading HERE.)


I am honored to be guest writing today and next week for my talented friend Kristen Hogrefe. Continue reading HERE to learn the four core strengths for any successful marriage (Part One).


 

The Love Chapter

1 Corinthians 13 (Adapted)

If I speak to my spouse using tactful “I feel” messages and skillful conflict-resolution strategies, but I do not love, I am like a clanging cymbal or a car alarm that won’t shut off.

And even if I have an advanced degree in marriage counseling and understand the mysteries of why people do what they do and have all knowledge of psychology, and even though I read a mountain of books on relationships, if I do not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my good efforts to fulfill my duties, and though I burn up every drop of energy in being a great spouse, if I do not love, I gain nothing.

hearts of love

Love is patient even when a spouse does not change. Love is kind even when a spouse is thoughtless. Love does not envy someone else’s marriage. Love is not impressed with its own marriage skills.

Love does not save its best manners for company but instead uses its “fine china” manners with a spouse, treating him or her with honor every day. Love does not insist on getting its own way but works to see things from another’s perspective. Love is not irritable or exasperated. (You cannot get its goat!)

Love keeps no record of wrongs because love does not take offense. Love does not see a spouse’s failures or sins as personal affronts. Love knows that a spouse sins against God and against God alone (Psalm 51:4). Love forgives and refuses victim mentality (Proverbs 12:16Ephesians 4:32).

Love refuses to think resentful thoughts about a husband or wife; instead, love insists on seeing what is good and giving thanks. Love does not delight in any threat to the relationship, but rejoices in what heals and strengthens the marriage.

couple in love

Love always protects a spouse (his or her ultimate good), always believes that a spouse is priceless and made in the image of God, always trusts the promises of God, and always is confident that God’s grace is deeper than any need. Love never shuts its heart, never forsakes its covenant commitment, and never rejects a spouse.

couple in love

Love never fails. But prophecies that “you should move on with your life” will fail; the tongues that call your spouse “a jerk” will cease; and the knowledge that “you deserve better than this” will vanish away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became married, I had to put away childish things, such as name-calling and pouting and choosing what feels easy.

For now we see through a hazy glass, and there is much that we do not understand about our spouses, about ourselves, or about God’s ways; but then, face to face with God, we will know fully what glorious things He has been doing through our marriages, just as He knows fully how to love us well now.

Scrabble letters spell L-O-V-E

And now faith, hope, and love remain; but the greatest of these is love.


**adapted from various translations of 1 Corinthians 13, including the KJV, AMP, AMPC, NLT, and NIV