Answers

By   •   June 28, 2010

Q:

My wife and I have only been married a few years, and we love each other more than ever. But we read about people getting divorced after 20 or 30 years of marriage, and it worries us. What does it take to make a marriage last?


A:

I’m thankful you have a strong relationship now — but I’m especially thankful you realize there could be dangers ahead, and you want to take steps to prevent them. A good marriage doesn’t just happen; it takes work — but it’s worth it.

I could say much about building a strong marriage — but I’ve sometimes summarized them in four simple points that might be easy to remember. Let me repeat them; each begins with the letter “C”.

First, Cherish. God gave you to each other; you are God’s gift to your spouse. Take time to express your love, both by your words and by little acts of thoughtfulness — a surprise gift, a special time away, a favorite dinner. Cherish your wife, and let her know she is important to you.

Second, Communicate. Let each other know what’s going on in your life at home or at work. Don’t clam up; don’t nag or only express yourself when you’re upset. The Bible says, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Third, Compromise. The greatest enemy of love is our selfishness, but in marriage you can’t always have your own way, so learn to compromise with grace. The Bible says, “Love does not demand its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5, The Living Bible).

Finally, Christ. Make Christ the center of your lives and your marriage every day, by committing yourself to Him and His will. He is the solid foundation we need — in our lives, and in our marriages.

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40 Comments

  1. Mia says:

    CATHY-be prayerful and ask God for guidance. Be honest with yourself about what you can and can not accept. Talk about your feelings and get things out in the open. If you can forgive, its in the past. You may need counseling to move past it.

  2. Charles says:

    This is great. The wise says it is better to be carried across on the shoulder of experienced ones than to learn by personal experience which might be devastating. Thanks

  3. Carolina says:

    It's good to hear compromise in this context. The world says that compromise means a 50/50 partner existence. Keep a check list and give in only if the other gives in. Love does not demand its own way is salve on marriages from God's perspective.

  4. Suzanne says:

    My husband and I have both been married before, this time Jesus lives in our home, though we struggle at times. I plan to put this sound Biblical advise into practice

  5. Joy says:

    Married 23 years to my High school sweetheart. Going thru a really stormy time righ now. Thank you for the encouragement.

  6. Larry says:

    My wife and I have been married 29 years, yes, good times and bad. Experience has taught me that the better the marriage, the harder the enemy works to break it! Keep satan out of your marriage, keep God as your center of everything!

  7. Sam. says:

    Those four simple points starting with letter 'C' are wonderful and will sustain good marriage and at same time restore shaky or troubled marriage if applied. For with God all things are possible. Remain blessed.

  8. Nellie says:

    Married twenty years and can see how these 4 principles might have helped during some stormy years. I hope to see twenty more years of marriage and will use this to help guide the future.

  9. Sandy says:

    My husband and I have been married 33 years.He's had sexual problems all his life,we are in counseling again w/a Christian doctor. I pray for our lives to be open so someone else will learn and come to Jesus too.Sexual problems need the blood of Jesus

  10. Loren says:

    As we approach our 30th, I know that marriage is a gift from God, something He bestows on every married couple. It is part of His plan, He provides the guidance and the support necessary to make it work. Go to Him for help, for encouragement.