5 Steps to a Happy Marriage

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