I’m going to give you my TOP TEN COUNTDOWN to a healthy marriage:
(Though a countdown is always done least to greatest…all are important!)
10. Have fun together.
Why would you ever want to have all business and no play? Work is hard. Responsibilities are hard. Life is hard. You have to have fun time to keep going. Derrick and I love to go rollerblading or biking with the kids! It’s fun, it releases stress, and it’s hobbies that we can enjoy together.
9. Create a safe haven.
Home needs to be a place where they can come home and relax. Not a place where they come in from a long day’s work and the nagging begins.
Proverbs 19:13 says, “A foolish son will ruin his father; and a quarreling wife is like dripping water.”
I think Solomon was trying to get his point across about a nagging wife. He says, “It is better to live in a corner on the roof than inside the house with a quarreling wife.” He didn’t only say this once, he said it twice. Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 25:24. Also, in the matter of a safe haven, for your sake and his try to get some organization to your home. Even if you are not a neat freak like I am, order can bring peace of mind.
8. Gentle answers.
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger.
Responding harshly does nothing but aggravate the whole situation. I know our flesh wants to respond madder and louder, but this is where Christ works through you. Let me rephrase that, this is where we have to LET Christ work through us!
Words are something you cannot take back. Weigh them carefully!
Just a side note: Those arguments that go on till all hours of the night…not wise. That’s where the mean, vicious talk starts coming out relentlessly. Try to find a middle ground that you can continue discussing the next morning and go to bed!
7. You are not his Holy Spirit.
First of all, for the teen-agers and singles that are looking or will be looking for the man of your dreams, I advise that you choose wisely. Hot looks and a good personality don’t get you very far in marriage. Marriage is wonderful, yet very hard at times. The tiny things that drive you crazy before you marry will only get worse when you are married. You don’t ever want to date or marry with the intent of changing that person!
Don’t get me wrong, even after you marry, you will discover new things that you want to change, but after many “disagreements”, I’ve discovered that I am actually not his Holy Spirit. I have learned to make those things I dislike a matter of prayer. Yes, I’m not going to lie, I do ask that God will open his eyes to the “right way” in the matter; but most importantly I pray for God to help me respond in a mature, loving way and find the correct way of communication that he relates to.
Some of you may have been praying for your husband to become a Christ-follower for many years. Do not give up hope and remember what I Peter 3:1 says, “In the same way, you wives should yield to your husbands. Then, if some husbands do not obey God’s teaching, they will be persuaded to believe without anyone’s saying a word to them. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live.”
6. Date Nights.
This is very important! Husbands can tend to totally get lost in the hustle and bustle of all of our motherly duties. Yes, we must take care of the kids, but if Mama and Daddy aren’t happy…ain’t nobody happy. It’s so important to keep up the romance. You have to continue just your one on one time at least twice a month! Even if you can’t afford a babysitter, movie, dinner…be creative. Walks on the beach are free! It’s also important for your kids to know that that relationship is important to you. When we put our kids to bed at 8 every night, they know not to come out of their room because it is now “Mommy/Daddy” time.
Even if you don’t have kids, or maybe you now have an empty nest, the romance still must be nurtured! Plan those romantic dates and keep the spice in your life!
And ladies, don’t wear your sweats out on your date. Let him know that he is important enough to you that you still want to impress him!
5. Encourage and Support.
Whether your husband lets on to it or not, they need to know that you are proud of them. They need to know that you are on their side no matter what. Encourage them throughout the day. Let them know you appreciate the things they do for you. I know you don’t want them looking elsewhere for this and that’s just the kind of door Satan looks for even if you think your husband would never do that.
4. Help Financial Burdens.
Proverbs 31:16-17 “She inspects a field and buys it. With money she earned, she plants a vineyard. She does her work with energy, and her arms are strong.”
Everything is so expensive these days. I feel so sorry for teens that are trying to have a nice date. We used to always do dinner and a movie. You do that these days, you need close to a hundred dollars. I know that’s stressful for these guys that are trying to impress you girls and I also know it’s stressful for a husband and father trying to keep up with all of the things we think we have to have!
Obviously, if you have young children it’s not always wise to go to work. You might be paying out more in childcare than you could bring in, but being wise with the money your husband brings in is a way you can take responsibility. Teach your kids, and yourself, that there is a huge difference between NEED and WANT; also that you don’t have to have all the name brand stuff. Make a monthly budget and stick to it! Do whatever you can to help with probably one of the largest burdens a man can have.
Derrick and I communicate very differently. I am the type that tries to avoid any kind of confrontation so I just flippantly say “Sorry.” to try to end any conflict. Derrick, on the other hand with his master’s in counseling, likes to get to the heart of the matter and resolve. We, over the years, are learning each other and we try to work both ways. I try to work through more instead of shutting down, and he tries to be more patient in waiting for me to come along. Learn how your mate communicates best and what he relates to and try to give and take a little.
2. Set Boundaries.
Proverbs 31:11-12 “Her husband trusts her completely. With her, he has everything he needs. She does him good and not harm for as long as she lives.”
We live in a day and age where it’s no big deal to dump and reload. Don’t like you anymore, I’ll find someone I like better. We have got to set boundaries before that temptation even move in. I have seen that with Christ-followers, Satan typically can’t come after you with the drug and alcohol factor, so where he moves in is to our marriages. I don’t care how happy you think your marriage is, Satan’s plan is to steel, kill and destroy. He will take the slightest open door and move in. That’s why it is so important to set healthy boundaries. Avoid riding alone or meeting alone with anyone of the opposite sex. I don’t care if they are your best friends, your business partner, your in-law or whatever – avoid meeting alone. Don’t ever get into conversations with the opposite sex about your struggling marriage, or anything to do with it. These are just a couple of examples, but you know things to avoid. Don’t let even the slightest thought go there.
1. Respect the Lord.
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.”
The virtuous wife first and foremost fears and worships God.
She is trusted completely, she’s a hard, energetic worker, she helps the poor and needy, she makes sure all of her family members have the clothes they need, she prepares for her families needs, she is respected in the community, she’s wise, she never wastes time and most importantly her husband and kids, the ones who live with her 24/7, who know her best, praise her.