What every married couple needs to know

Marriage includes a bit of everything: the greatest joys, the most aggravating frustrations, and everything in between. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can commit to making our marriages great.

If we want to celebrate Valentine’s Days and anniversaries for years to come, we’ll do well to keep a few things in mind.

We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can commit to making our marriages great.

Five Things Every Married Couple Needs To Know

1. Put your spouse second.

The most important member of your marriage is God. Before we were husbands or wives, we were children of God. When we get married, God’s place in our lives doesn’t change. He still comes first.

Marriage was God’s idea, so if we want to have dynamic, thriving relationships with our spouses, we have to be able to put God first (Matthew 19:4-6). He’s our first love, the first person we go to for advice, and the first person we ask for help.

2. Address your own problems before blaming each other.

A lot of arguments can be avoided if we look at our own selfishness instead of assuming our spouse is the one in the wrong.

God wants you to have an amazing marriage — not just for happiness, but also for holiness. Start by changing your own attitude and actions before trying to change your spouse’s.

3. Keep short accounts.

Your marriage will never be perfect and neither will either of you. Building a relationship over a long period of time means there will be plenty of pain, miscommunication, and conflicts. Practice forgiveness as often as you can. Don’t let resentment build up; address problems as soon as possible (Ephesians 4:31-32).

4. Spouses are more than roommates.

It’s one thing to be in proximity of each other, but it’s an entirely different thing to be present together. As spouses, we have an opportunity to go out of our way to serve one another, to look out for the interests of someone other than ourselves. This is how we show each other the kindness that God has given us and stay united in the joy that comes from knowing Jesus (Philippians 2:1-4).

5. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint.

At its best, marriage is a relationship in which two people grow deeper love the more they get to know each other. Emotions ebb and flow; some days aren’t as exciting and romantic as the honeymoon phase. But because marriage is a lifelong relationship, we can make the daily commitment to love our spouses—strengths, flaws, and all.

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Contracts end once they’re broken, but covenants are a pledge to continue together, no matter what. You committed yourselves to each other, before God, and before your community of friends and family on your wedding day and God celebrates that commitment (Proverbs 16:3, Mark 10:7-9).

As we choose to celebrate and keep that commitment, day after day, we’ll build a life of more love and trust than we could have hoped on our first days together.

It’s possible to be a better husband or wife. Learn from experienced couples by in a NewSpring Group, or learn more about navigating married life at www.newspring.cc/marriage.

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