Guidelines for a Healthy God-Centered Union
This post is a continuation of Wednesday’s post dealing with twelve steps to a healthy marriage. You can find the first six here: Twelve Steps to a Healthy Marriage Pt-1.
G. Co-parent. With the break-up of family units there will be many times when two families blend into one. When this happens the kids cannot become “his kids” and “my kids”. You must, as a couple set up the guidelines of parenting together. Do not get into the habit of thinking your child is getting the short end of the deal. Work together when it comes to discipline and rewards. You should have a working relationship where all the children are dealt with in the same manner. Never let a child, of any age, disrespect your spouse. Always stand alongside your spouse in support. If discussion needs to be done about how a child is disciplined or rewarded do it in private, out of earshot of all the children.
H. Spend Quality Time With One Another. You should spend time as a family unit as much as is possible. Don’t come up with excuses for not spending time as a family. However, husband and wife also need to spend together time away from the kids. Go on dates frequently. Spend alone time together on a walk or ride. If that means getting up earlier or changing your hectic schedules then do it. A good relationship takes hard work and actually spending time together. Spend a few minutes each day reading a devotional book and discussing it. Don’t forget to apply what you read in God’s Word (James 1:22:25). When you are in your weekly marriage meeting make sure to set aside some time together.
I. We Are to Leave Father and Mother and Cleave to One Another. (Genesis 2:23-24) Husband and wife become one and they must learn how to think and act as one. Do not treat your spouse as your child. We are not to become the new parent over them. We are to love and respect each other. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
J. Sexual Intimacy Is a Mutual Obligation. It has to be love-making not simply a sex act. What this entails is the desire to pleasure our partner both physically and emotionally over our own pleasure. Actually, our pleasure should derive from the pleasure we are able to give to our spouse. Spend some time reading in Song of Solomon. Both bride and bridegroom lavish the other with love. Never use the Bible as a tool to force your spouse into sex. Do not use sex as a manipulation tool to get your way. There should be mutual agreement in love making.
K. Get Godly Counsel When You Need It. Always be careful where you go to find your counsel involving your marriage relationship. Psalm 1:1-6 is crystal clear where the correct counsel comes from. The Word of God must be applied.
L. Stand Alongside Each Other Through Thick and Thin. Life happens and the circumstances of life skip no one. We will all face dreadful days and times. The married couple needs to go through these times together. This means stepping up to the plate when things go awry. Husbands may have to take up some slack in the home if the wife is sick or indisposed. The wife may have to give up some of her alone time to help out around the house in caring for the things usually left to the husband. As we age we will become weaker and frail. Things will change physically and we should be prepared understanding that we are in this for the long hall. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. This means there will be some things that will happen we do not like. There will be circumstance we did not expect.
My wife and I (we’ve been married 43 years) have been counseling married couples for over twenty years. Some of those counseling times have been a tremendous blessing as we see couples begin to change their outlook on their relationship. Some have been just the opposite as coupes refuse to put the things we discuss into action. We have seen couples divorce after 35 years of marriage for no legitimate reason. Neither spouse would break from their desire to have things their way. Marriage is, as is any worthwhile relationship, hard work. We need to give of ourselves to please our spouse. Since, we are selfish human beings it is hard to do. However, it is not impossible. Follow these twelve steps and you can have a great and happy marriage.
We are considering expanding this post into a book, covering each one of these twelve steps in detail. If you would consider using such a book for your marriage relationship please leave a comment. Make sure you share this and please leave a comment.