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This past Sunday, my church had a special guest speaker come to talk at our marriage conference. He preached several messages that day and even did a question and answer session, but the notes from his “divorce-proofing” message were my favorite. As someone who comes from a divorced home, I love these very vital tips. And that’s why I wanted to share them with you!
Divorce-Proofing Your Marriage
1. You need a life-long commitment to an enduring relationship. The speaker talked about back in the olden days how people never got divorced because back then a commitment meant that you kept your word. It’s sad that not many people keep their commitments these days. Marriage is hard and keeping a commitment like marriage is HARD work!
The speaker mentioned never letting the “D-word” (divorce) come out in your house. He asked all of us when we went home that day, to tell our spouse that we are in this marriage for life. Until death do us part. I don’t know about you, but this has always been something that was important to me in my marriage. Coming from a divorced home, I told my husband before we got married that no matter how mad we got at each other let’s agree to never bring up that word.
2. You need a passionate dedication to spiritual growth. The speaker told us that without God at the center of our marriage we would not make it. We need to pray together as a couple even if it’s just for 2 minutes a day. He said there are four areas where we can practice Godliness:
- As a person.
- As a partner.
- As a parent.
- In our profession.
So much good stuff here! Imagine what we can do as a person, parent and in our families if we are practicing Godliness and always striving for spiritual growth.
3. You need humble confession of personal failure. This brought back to remembrance the answer my grandmother gave when I asked her: What qualities do you have that has helped keep your marriage strong? She said, “Being humble.” She has been married 67 years and counting and I think she knew the secret to a good marriage! (You can read the rest of her post and interview here: 67 Years of Marriage).
It’s hard to have humility. We are human and we want to make ourselves known and we want to be the center of attention. The speaker gave us 9 words to help with that though. He said, “Here are 9 words to save your marriage when conflict comes.” (Keep in mind he was not talking about abuse here, but rather arguments that can happen in marriage).
- I am sorry.
- I was wrong.
- Please forgive me.
Whew! When I heard that I was so convicted. How many times could an argument have been diffused if I had just said “I’m sorry.”?
4. You need joyful service in meeting needs. This is another one I loved because it’s one that I am working on and one that I definitely needed to hear. He said, “Marriage is a ministry.” How true! There are so many opportunities to serve our spouse, we just have to open our eyes to see them.
He also said something that has stuck with me ever since… “People go into marriage for what they are going to get, not what they are going to give.” Wow. Read that again. Let it sink in. People marry for love, for money, and so they don’t have to be alone. All those reasons are for what they are going to get not give.
We marry because we feel loved and we want that love to continue. We think if we don’t see it every single day or if our spouse messes up even once, that’s it, I’m outta here! But that’s not the point of marriage. We get married so we can give to our spouse, so we can serve them, and be there for them. We are here to make their lives better. What better marriages we could have today if everyone lived and believed that way!
He ended the point on this note: “Lust can’t wait to get. Love can’t wait to give.” Something to think about.
5. You need genuine communication in daily experience. Here, he talked about the importance of communication. He even touched on being away from your spouse (deployment, business trips, etc) and how just writing your spouse an email, sending them a text, or whatever means of communication you can do, can go a long way. You have to work on your communication daily to build your marriage up.
This is one of those areas that I believe is always a work in progress. My husband and I used to not be very good communicators with each other, especially when we were dating. We would argue a lot about silly little things that didn’t even matter. Now that we have known each other about 7 years it has gotten A LOT better. But I know we have not arrived. We still have a long way to go when it comes to communication and I can bet you do too!
The text to this messages was I Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” The speaker highlighted the words “heirs together of the grace of life.” He spoke about how being “heirs together” is an amazing thing! Marriage does not have to be something you dread, but something that is fun and exciting! You are “heirs together” for the wonderfulness in life! Live it today!