According to some studies, there is a divorce in America every 13 seconds. Which, if true, is a terrible and sad statistic. It might even make one wonder if marriage is even worth getting into or, for some, trying to save.
In western countries, about 90% of the population gets married by the age fifty, which is excellent news. It tells us that the overwhelming majority of couples believe in marriage. Moreover, they want a meaningful and loving marriage right from the start.
The question is, how do you have a marriage that works? What are the tools a husband and wife need to make their marriage lasting and loving? How can couples keep their marriage out of divorce court?
Whether your marriage is amazing or struggling, young or old, here are four things every marriage needs.
Every marriage needs unity.
It’s time to stop treating your marriage as a relationship between two separate individuals. Regarding marriage, the Bible says, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” (Ephesians 5:31)
The moment you got married, you became one with your spouse. That means you are united. Now you need to fight for that unity.
So, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Every marriage needs mutual submission.
Submission has nothing to do with being weak. It has to do with being less self-centered. The Bible says that we’re to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Marriages can get into trouble when each person wants their own way regardless of the needs of their spouse. Self-centeredness is a recipe for disaster in any marriage.
Every marriage needs love.
How does your spouse know that you love them? Is it because you did the dishes, took out the trash, or worked to get the bills paid? All of those are good, but they aren’t the actual definition of love in a marriage.
Love in a marriage, in any relationship, goes way deeper than that.
The Bible gives us the perfect definition of love when it says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice in evil but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Read that verse slowly. Meditate on it. Then ask yourself, “Am I loving my spouse this way?” Chances are, you have room to grow in this area. Do it! Your marriage needs it.
Every marriage needs respect.
You don’t have to be a Christian to have heard of the Golden Rule. You might not know that they are the very words of Jesus. He said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
What if you did that in your marriage? What if you started treating your spouse the way you wanted to be treated? Not because they deserve it but just because it’s right.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people with a spouse that is often extremely disrespectful and angry. They feel as though they can never do anything right because anything they do makes their spouse upset. So, they just prepare for another day of yelling and disrespect.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Start showing respect to your spouse. Honor them above yourself. This is God’s way of treating people, especially the person you’re married to.