In yesterday’s post we went over the first 12 habits of a healthy marriage. Among the ideas discussed were putting God first in your marriage, being humble and practicing self examination, and thinking good thoughts about your spouse, even when you don’t want particularly want to.
To view the first 12 habits of a healthy marriage, check out part one at the link below.
24 Habits Of A Healthy Marriage: Part 1
Habits Of Healthy Marriage
Today we’ll take a look at the second 12 of the 24 habits of a healthy marriage.
13. Acknowledge Wrongs. Readily Ask Forgiveness And Seek Correction
Far too often we end up in a place in our relationships where we are unwilling to accept that we’re wrong, and we end up with hurt feelings. We dig in our heels out of some false sense of pride. The devil can’t stand humility, and loves when we won’t admit we’re wrong and ask for forgiveness.
Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,but whoever heeds correction is honored. Proverbs 13:18
When asking forgiveness be specific and actually admit you were wrong.
14. Pray Often For Them And Thank God For Them
Always remember to be in prayer for your spouse, and thank God for them.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Ephesians 6 be persistent in prayers, praying for all, but starting with your spouse.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
15. Be Kind Thoughtful And Considerate. Go Out Of Your Way For Them
Do things because you love them not because what you’ll get. Go out of your way to do things that you know will make their life easier, or because they would enjoy it.
Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4
16. Smile Often.
We often underestimate the power of a simple smile. A smile can encourage and brighten someones day. It will make you and the other person feel better.
When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them Job 29:24
17. Pursue Excellence In Your God Given Marriage Roles
The man in the relationship must abhor passivity and take initiative, while being loving to his wife. Be a leader, in spiritual matters and otherwise, and don’t be complacent. One study found that if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. Father and husband plays a very important role.
Women must abhor stubbornness and respect and honor their husbands.
18. Make Love Often, Be Intimate
God wants us to be happy, and has given us wonderful things to do as married couples to express our love for one another. Sometimes the importance of the intimacy of making love in a marriage can be underplayed, and husbands and wives don’t make it a priority in their relationship. But they should.
We must figure out each other’s love languages, and do the best to fulfill each other’s needs, whether our love language is touch (like would be fulfilled by making love), quality time together, or words of affirmation.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
19. Listen, Listen, Listen. Empathetic listening.
This one can be a hard one for us guys, especially when we would prefer to just solve a problem, instead of just listening. Instead, we must listen to each other with a heart of empathy, much like how God listens to us.
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;he heard my cry for mercy. Psalm 116:1
We must be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to take our spouse’s words in the wrong way and become angry.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19
20. Be Understanding And Compassionate.
Your spouse may not always have good days, and will need your compassion and understanding when they’re going through a rough patch. Do your best with God’s help to have compassion for their situation.
21. Go Out On Dates Together.
It’s important for a couple to never be complacent and think that they’ve got it all figured out – and that they don’t need to reconnect. Make sure to make an effort to constantly be reconnecting with each other whether it’s through a regular date night, going out for coffee together, or playing games together. Make sure to get that alone time with each other.
22. Manage Your Money Well And Be Content With What You Have
Money is commonly cited as one of the greatest reasons for divorce in this country. Because of that it’s important to do your best to manage your money wisely, and even more importantly, to be content with what you have, no matter the circumstances.
But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 1 Timothy 6:6
Set up a family budget and be good stewards of what God has given you.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10-11
23. Keep Your Heart Soft And Revisit Memories Together
It’s important to look back, and share the good times and memories that you have built together. Reinforcing your shared sense of history, your love for each other and talking about memories that you’ll be creating in the future will help keep your heart soft for your spouse.
24. Put Them First And See Yourself As Their Servant
We need to put our spouse first in our marriages, and see ourselves as their servant. After all, God served us and didn’t cling to his rights as God, even though he could have. Love the lord by loving your spouse.
The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
As you can see from this list, working towards having a healthy marriage isn’t easy, and it isn’t going to be something you can do while sitting on the couch. It is an active pursuit that requires you to be humble, forgiving, loving, kind, patient, engaged, compassionate, and above all concerned about your partner’s needs before your own. Of course, most importantly, a healthy marriage needs Christ as the center. Without Him, it’s a losing battle, and one that I know I couldn’t win on my own.
So go out there and love your husbands, and love your wives. Give thanks to God for bringing them into your life.
Do you have your own habits of a healthy marriage that you’d like to share? Tell us what they are in the comments!
After being married for 33 years, I can say that # 23 is important. Remembering what you did in the past together helps to motivate you— to keep it going for the future.
Peter Anderson says
I haven’t been married quite as long, going on 9 years, but I still find that sharing your shared history is still very important. It helps to foster a sense of unity that is needed in marriage.
Peter, I think you hit the nail on the head with all 24. In a few months we’ll be celebrating our 20th Anniversary and I can’t wait to share this list with my husband. People always admire how we get along so well. You just put it in black and white. Thanks!
Great post! The difficulty with forgiving someone is so hard, but there seems to be peace. I really enjoy your insight on this. I’d love to read more on this topic.
I recently stumbled upon another blog like I stumbled upon yours and I really appreciated their insight. I thought you might enjoy it: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/forgiveness/
I’d love to see more like it. Thanks!
One thing we’ve found, especially if we’re at cross purposes, is to pray together. It seems when we see only two solutions, God has a third one. We’re grateful we see finances as something to be tackled together outside of ourselves, even though one is a spender and the other a saver. For us parenting styles is the area of conflict. The best thing is to see differences as an asset and try to learn from each other.
This probably fits your active listening point. Some times it’s the little things that wear on you. Be sensitive to the other person’s conscience and preferences. If a wife is crying don’t try to “fix it.” If a husband really doesn’t like beets, no matter how they’re made, don’t serve them.
You may have mentioned this, but nurture your friendship. Romantic love comes in waves, but having a best friend you can share everything with is a great foundation. One of the best premarital questions we got was, “Name ten things you like about the other person, that have nothing to do with how they treat you”.
Roseta Grey says
My husband and I have been married for 10+ years now. We have an amazing and adoreable baby boy.
I appreciate articles, like these ones, that teach us how to live better lives as modern christians. I have trouble with overspending. I can do pretty good on the weekdays. Then the weekend comes…money vanishes and new items appear. I’ve got to work on reducing or erasing that harmful flaw.
Thanks again for these educational articles.