Two keys to a successful marriage

By | April 3, 2017 7:11 am

By Macil Duncan, Gum Springs Baptist Church

Marriage was God’s idea we find in Genesis 2:18 “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The American Phycological Association tells us that over 90 percent of all people marry before the age of 50. They also share that nearly 50 percent will end in divorce. Fox News did a survey that supported this finding of half of American marriages end in divorce. Then CBN News did a deeper study finding that only 20 percent to 25 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. Divorce rates peaked in the late 1970’s when many states passed “no fault laws” to make divorce faster and more marketable for lawyers. Divorces of first time marriages is declining, but in second or third marriages is increasing to 67 percent of second, and 74 percent of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker, of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

Would you like to know two keys to a successful marriage? These two principles are 100 percent biblically proven and will help marriages not only survive but thrive. Ephesians 5 is the marriage chapter where Paul gives the one ingredient for the husband to “love” his wife as Jesus loves the church, His bride. Paul tells the wife to “respect” her husband. Now, in today’s world of mocking marriages and biblical principles, many will be offended by these two truths, but when practiced, marriages will last for a lifetime as God intended.

If you google “respect your husband” or “love your wife like Christ loved the church,” there are multiple articles and advice if you are struggling. The key to a successful marriage lasting means you will take the time to learn how to be selfless and not so focused on changing your spouse. Christian marriages are under attack, so the divorce rate is rising almost equal with the unchurched. We need to be honest with this critical situation and evaluate how we can help as a church. Counseling is not a dirty word. We have a couple at our church who offer biblical counseling, and they continue their training each year to be equipped to help others. Gum Springs Baptist offers counseling to non-members, also, who might not feel comfortable meeting with someone they know.

Men, love your wife in a sacrificial way that the world in which she lives has no doubt. Jesus showed His love by serving, healing and even sacrificing himself willingly on a cross so that we might live. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He GAVE …” Men be a love giver! Your wife should never feel a greater love from any other on this earth than yours.

Ladies, respect your husband. Pamela Rose Williams has a great article on Seven Helpful Hints to Respect your Husband. The key to respecting him, as Ephesians 5:22-24 tells us, is submission, which is not trendy today, but it is biblical. Ladies, to respect him and submit to him does not make you a doormat to be stepped on but rather the front door to his heart. Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for your husband – for his abilities, qualities, or achievements, and you find ways to express to him.

Work hard at your marriage, no matter what season you are facing this year. If you are divorced or going through one currently, then know we serve a God of grace and love that gives us all second chances. We offer a course called “Single Again” that is an eight-week mentor class to help with the pain of divorce and rebuilding your life again. Be wise in your decisions and prayerful for wounded hearts or vulnerable ones. God loves you! If you are wounded and need a hug from heaven, read Roman 8 today!

Marriage is not a sprint of infatuation and eye candy attraction; it is a marathon of commitment keeping your eyes on the prize/your spouse. Men are weak in the eyes of lust and ladies with the ears to deception. If you are married and are being tempted to commit adultery of the mind or body, repent Christian. If we are going to touch tomorrow today, then we must teach children that temptations come and go, but spouses are till death do you part. Be intentional to stay faithful and respect your home. “6 Many claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? 7 The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” (Proverbs 20:6-7)

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