5 Steps to a Happy Marriage

August 28, 2017

5 Steps to a Happy Marriage

By Glen Copple

I Corinthians 13:1-13

10 couples will be celebrating 50 years at Highland Fairways (in 2014).

What makes a happy marriage?  It’s an age-old question that all couples grapple with, especially when bliss evaporates.

 

Shaunti Feldhahn researched for years and noticed numerous patterns among happy couples.  She reported the following simple steps to a happy marriage:

 

Proverbs 12:15, 18 – The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

 

1.      Believe the BEST in One Another

I Corinthians 13:7­ – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

 

Believe the best in one another’s intentions. – Even when emotionally hurt by the other.  You can defuse a lot of arguments if you believe the best in one another.

Genesis 2:23-24 – The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Philippians 4:6-8 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

When something hurtful happens, remember, “That hurt, but I know he or she loves me.” (Exception being to physical abuse!)

 

Listen to each other. Most comments are made in reaction, not proactive.

I Corinthians 13:8a – Love never fails.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

 

2.      Change your ATTITUDE

I Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Remember why you first fell in love and married your mate.

 

Your spouse isn’t perfect, neither are you! Don’t demand what you can’t deliver.  Are your words to your spouse edifying?  If not, you need to change your language.  Don’t demand they change.  Change yourself and watch how they change on their own.

 

Proverbs 18:21 – The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Matthew 7:3-5 – “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?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

 

Ephesians 4:29-32 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

You are on the same team.  You are on the same side.  Work together, not against each other.

 

John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Proverbs 15:13-15 – A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

 

Talk yourself out of being mad. 

 

3.      Little THINGS Matter

I Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

I John 4:11-12 – Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 

Little things do matter.  Conscious or not, find the little things that please your spouse – Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages is a good place to start.

 

A touch, spending time, helping around the house, saying “I love you”, a small gift can communicate volumes. 

 

4.      Reconnect After CONFLICT

I Corinthians 13:5 – It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Develop the ability to snap out of your frustrations with one another. Change your attitude when you are upset.  Glen’s Rules #1 – “I am the only one responsible for how I feel.  I can’t get into the other person’s head to do their thinking for them.  Everything I do has a purpose.

 

Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Matthew 5:43-45 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Proverbs 28:13 – He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

James 1:19-20 – My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Ephesians 4:26-27 – “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

 

Some people need more time to process their emotions than others.  Some get over it quickly, others need some time.  It isn’t necessary that you always get it resolved before going to bed as long as you understand how each of you process conflict and do get it resolved. 

 

Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

Proverbs 17:3 – The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

 

Notice when most conflict occurs – when you are tired, stressed or worried about something else.  Talk about your fatigue, stress or worry and alert yourself (and your spouse) to the danger of potential conflict before it happens.  This can help you be aware of each other’s feelings and avoid the conflict. Coming home from a big trip or getting ready for church.

 

5.      Be COMMITTED

I Corinthians 13:7-8a – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I Corinthians 14:1 – Follow the way of love…

Mark 10:44-45 – “…and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I John 3:16 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

I John 4:9-11 – This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I Corinthians 12:12 – The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

 

Commitment to your spouse and to the marriage is extremely important.  Breed marital security, not insecurity.  We risk getting our hearts hurt when we commit to marriage.  When fully committed, fully trusted, even in risky situations, the marriage will hold true through the crisis and be stronger on the other end.

 

DIVORCE is not an option. 

Divorce should NEVER be brought up in any conversation.  The mere talk of divorce can be destructive to an other-wise salvageable marriage. 

Matthew 19:4-6 - “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Ruth 1:16-17 – But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Ephesians 5:2 – and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:28 – In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Malachi 2:15 – Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

 

This is how you get to your 50th Wedding Anniversary! - 

One day at a time.

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