Maintaining harmony in marriage has been difficult since Adam and Eve. Two people beginning their marriage together and trying to go their own selfish, separate ways can never hope to experience the oneness of marriage as God intended. We are all self-centered; we all instinctively look out for number one, and this leads directly to conflict. Marriage offers a tremendous opportunity to do something about selfishness. We have not changed each other; God has changed both of us. The answer for ending selfishness is found in Jesus and His teachings. He showed us that instead of wanting to be first, we must be willing to be last.
Instead of wanting to be served, we must serve. Instead of trying to save our lives, we must lose them. We must love our neighbors our spouses as much as we love ourselves. As Philippians tells us:. Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. To experience oneness, you must give up your will for the will of another. But to do this, you must first give up your will to Christ, and then you will find it possible to give up your will for that of your spouse. Living peaceably means pursuing peace.
It means taking the initiative to resolve a difficult conflict rather than waiting for the other person to take the first step. To pursue the resolution of a conflict means setting aside your own hurt, anger, and bitterness.
It means not losing heart. To do this well takes loving confrontation. Confronting your spouse with grace and tactfulness requires wisdom, patience, and humility. No matter how hard two people try to love and please each other, they will fail. With failure comes hurt. And the only ultimate relief for hurt is the soothing salve of forgiveness.
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The key to maintaining an open, intimate, and happy marriage is to ask for and grant forgiveness quickly. The instruction is clear: God insists that we are to be forgivers, and marriage—probably more than any other relationship—presents frequent opportunities to practice.
Forgiving means giving up resentment and the desire to punish. By an act of your will, you let the other person off the hook. And as a Christian you do not do this under duress, scratching and screaming in protest.
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Husbands and wives can become extremely proficient at trading insults—about the way he looks, the way she cooks, or the way he drives and the way she cleans house. What does it mean to return a blessing for an insult? To give a blessing first means stepping aside or simply refusing to retaliate if your spouse gets angry. Changing your natural tendency to lash out, fight back, or tell your spouse off is just about as easy as changing the course of the Mississippi River.
It also means doing good.
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Sometimes doing good simply takes a few words spoken gently and kindly, or perhaps a touch, a hug, or a pat on the shoulder. It might mean making a special effort to please your spouse by performing a special act of kindness. Finally, being a blessing means seeking peace, actually pursuing it. When you eagerly seek to forgive, you are pursuing oneness, not isolation. Not only does God bless our efforts based on His Word, but He also tells us He has an ultimate purpose for our trials.
First Peter tells us,. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the hope He gives us—that we can actually approach our conflicts as an opportunity to strengthen our faith and to glorify God.
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13 books you should read before you get married - Business Insider
Published in , "Passionate Marriage" explores the necessary ingredients for sexual and emotional fulfillment, even later in life. Schnarch, who is a sex therapist and psychologist, offers practical advice and insight from his clinical work and international workshops. Money is often a source of marital tension, so it's good to have a game plan for your finances going into your marriage. The book offers simple steps and easy-to-use tools to help couples get on the same page to make smart financial decisions together. Bach covers topics ranging from retirement funds and investments to credit card management and household budgeting.
From to , best-selling author Cheryl Strayed anonymously doled out advice via the "Dear Sugar" column in "The Rumpus" online magazine. Her true identity has since been revealed, and Strayed presents the best of her columns, as well as some never-before-published essays, in 's "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.
The result is a touching mix of memoir and essay. Gottman, an early advocate of relationship counseling, outlines his seven key points — such as "nurture your love and admiration" and "solve your solvable problems" — and offers a questionnaire and exercises. Via dictionary entries, which define words like "blemish" and "perfunctory" in unorthodox ways, the book tells the story of a man and a woman who meet online, move in together, and face infidelity.
In the book, she tackles topics such as marriage, parenthood, body, and time. Sex can be a difficult thing for couples to talk about — especially if it has lost its luster over time. Couples therapist Esther Perel shares all her evidence-based secrets for keeping the flame alive in "Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence.
13 books you should read before you get married
Throughout "Pride and Prejudice," Jane Austen explores the complexities of courtship, romance, and marriage. The classic novel follows protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters who must marry a wealthy man to support the family. Along the way, she learns that she must look below the surface when it comes to judging a suitor's character.
After covering more than weddings, "Washington Post" reporter Ellen McCarthy put pen to paper to record her observations and insights about dating, marriage, breakups, and more in 's "The Real Thing: Lessons on Love from a Wedding Reporter's Notebook. Can you increase your ability to love another person? Psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm argues that you can — and should — in his book, "The Art of Loving. The groundbreaking best-seller examines every form of love, including romantic, brotherly, erotic, parental, and self-love, and how people can become better at "the art of loving" through practice, maturity, and courage.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and daughter Mpho teamed up to write 's "The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World" to explore the nature of forgiveness and how it can lead to positive transformation in four basic steps. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Search icon A magnifying glass. It indicates, "Click to perform a search".