A party was thrown in honor of a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. The husband wanted to honor his wife, who was hard of hearing. In the presence of all, he said, “My dear wife, after fifty years I’ve found you tried and true!”
Everyone clapped but his wife looked bothered. She loudly asked, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”
He spoke louder, “After fifty years of being married I’ve found you tried and true!”
The upset wife shouted back, “And after fifty years of marriage I’m tired of you, too!” Four things will keep you from getting tired of your spouse and will insure a happy marriage.
1. Commitment—holds your marriage together. A marriage is only as strong as the husband’s and wife’s commitment to the Lord. If your spouse is faithful to the Lord, he or she will also be faithful to you. A study on marriage revealed that the divorce rate for a married couple who attended church every week, regularly read the Bible, and prayed together at least once a day was 1 in 1,015.
2. Caring—keeps the love alive. If your marriage has lost its love, the Lord can resurrect it because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). He will show you what to do because we are “taught by God to love one another” (1 Thess. 4:9).
3. Compromise—minimizes your differences. Compromise doesn’t mean that you violate your integrity but that you negotiate your differences and come to an agreement. “Do not merely look out for your own interests but also for the interest of others” (Phil. 2:4). My wife and I used to argue about where to set the thermostat in the house. I like it 76 degrees and she wants it 72 degrees. We agreed to set the thermostat at 74 degrees. End of argument. If you are arguing about issues, figure out how to meet in the middle and quit fighting about it.
4. Communication—makes marriage run smoothly. Communication stops when yelling begins. If a husband and wife don’t enjoy talking to each other, they will drift apart and the marriage will slowly die. Learn to talk positively about what interests your spouse.
It will take both spouses doing these four things to make your marriage work, but change usually starts with one spouse taking the initiative. You make the first move and let God deal with your spouse.
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