Keeping the marriage flame aglow | Faith | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 4, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: February 28, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Based on statistics on Psychology Today, the chances that a marriage will end in divorce is probably somewhere between 42 and 45 percent. Even though the research says that the divorce rate is declining, the percentage is still remarkably high.
It is my opinion that so many marriages end in divorce because some couples do not know the real meaning of marriage. Marriage is the “legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship,” based on the online dictionary’s definition. However, spiritually, as God intended, the meaning is that “marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated by sexual intercourse. Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a “one-flesh” union.”
Because marriage is a sacred bond, both husband and wife have a spiritual obligation to maintain that bond, “forsaking all others.” Genesis 2:24 (ESV) says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Proverbs 18:22 (ESV) goes on to affirm, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.”
When a couple marries, they must understand that it is a partnership. They must work together to keep the bond so that the flame in their marriage will remain aglow. It’s called “keeping that spark” in the marriage. There cannot be one partner pulling this way and the other partner pulling another way. If you want to keep that flame glowing in your marriage, respect for each other and the marriage itself is key. Every day in a marriage is not going “to be like Sunday,” but there most certainly are ways to keep it aglow. Let me share a few ideas:
• First of all, respect each other.
• Love each other as Christ loved the Church.
• It is nice to say, “I love you,” often, but make sure that you are showing it because “love” is an action word.
• Attend church together.
• Pray together every day.
• Read and study the Word together.
• Eat meals together daily.
• Communicate with each other.
• Keep third parties out of your marriage. (Third parties are unhealthy for a marriage.)
• Do not broadcast your business all over town, especially on social media.
• Go for walks and just talk about anything and everything.
• Take trips together when feasible.
• Watch television together often.
• Speak to each other when you get up in the morning.
• Hold fun-loving and intellectual conversations.
• Do “silly” things to make each other laugh.
• Have a “date night” at least once per week or once every other week.
• Reminisce about the days when you first met and dated.
• Create new ways of enjoying each other’s company.
• Exercise together.
• Hold hands.
• Give each other space when needed.
• Spend time with family and friends, but don’t overdo it.
• Participate in community service activities together.
• Build each other up, not tear each other down.
• Remember to say words such as “please” and “thank you.”
• Husbands, don’t take your wives as “short-order” cooks or your maids.
• Share the household chores.
• Wives, don’t say or do things to make your husband feel less than a man.
• Do special things for each other “Just because…”
• Do something nice for each other on special days.
• Don’t create a reason for your spouse not to trust you.
• Putdowns, derogatory statements and name-calling have no place in a marriage.
• Realize that we all have faults.
• Accentuate the positive in each other.
• Comfort each other in times of disappointment, sadness, failure, and mistakes.
• Be there for each other “…for better or worse.”
• Be honest with each other.
• Don’t take each other for granted because tomorrow is not promised.
• Lastly, remember that your husband is your “king,” and your wife is your “queen.” Treat each other that way.
Remember that marriage involves giving and taking, and it is not always going to be equal. However, your union can be a beautiful one if you work at it on a daily basis, but most of all, keep Christ at the center.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)