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Even though my wife and I live in a society of choosing your own spouse, I realized now, years later, that I was part of an arranged marriage, GOD arranged it.
And for those who are still looking for a special someone, I understand that it can be lonely, All I can say is that if I met my spouse just 5 years earlier, neither she or I would have been good spouses and the marriage would have failed. The reason is that God had to groom me into a spouse that he would be proud enough to present to my wife. It may also be the same for my spouse too but to be honest, I know I was the one that needed the most training.
So you have found your special someone, now what. Honestly, it was not smooth sailing or riding off into the sunset as the movies show. This is when the true work began.
Wedding Tip#1. When we were married, We asked a very wise elderly minister in our church to conduct our ceremony. What was amazing to us, maybe not so much then, was that he was not a minister with the most poetic of wording laying empty – sound good- speeches and promises. He offered many blunt small tidbits of information that has carried us through the most difficult of times. Some may even come out later in this article, but he started the ceremony with one simple statement.
–How can two imperfect people create a perfect marriage without God–
A Godly and Healthy marriage is not a union of just two souls but a trifold union between God, your spouse, and you. The problem, when you combine 2 independent, set in their ways, raised differently, stubborn minded, imperfect individuals into one home, How can this work out for a lifetime if God is not present. This simple fact is easy to understand many years later, but I must admit, it was not always easy to see at the beginning
Wedding Tip#2: Pray for your spouse. Prayer is a very powerful way to show love. When we pray for someone, that is Love in action! Even more powerful is praying with your spouse. If you’re not praying together yet, ask the LORD to give you the timing and the words to approach your spouse about issues that are hurting your marriage. The right thing to say at the wrong time, still yields negative results. This doesn’t mean you walk around on eggshells afraid to express your feelings, but you trust through prayer that God will open up a window to discuss. Like mentioned before, I was not always perfect in this, and my marriage did suffer because I wanted it resolved when I wanted to resolve it, not when the time was right.
Wedding Tip#3: Watch your wedding video (or flip through the computer screenshots or the hard copy photo album) every six months, and try sometimes to repeat your vows to each other. I know I know. Your marriage is strong now, why do I need to do this? Trust me, Satan waits on the sideline, like a serpent, watching and patiently waiting until things are going good and you let your guard down, then he strikes with a vengeance from every angle he can. Create a short wedding video even if your wedding was 2 years – 7 years – or 19 years ago, it doesn’t matter. there is never the wrong time to do something simple to express your love
Wedding Tip#4: Listen to your spouse, with your full attention–even when you don’t feel like it. You want him or her to do the same for you, don’t you? When listening, do your best to refrain from giving advice. Just listen. If your mind wanders, refocus. Your spouse, and your marriage, is worth it. And you’ll know more of what’s going on with them.
Wedding Tip#5: Worship together–not just at church. We are all different, but find a worship song you both like and sing together–with the music, or, if you are comfortable enough, a capella without music. God inhabits the praises of His people. It may seem awkward at first, but keep doing it and it will become very enjoyable. Yes we also worship in prayer, Reading scripture together, discussing what we read in the bible, and making spiritual decisions of faith together, and if that works better in your marriage, do it. Just don’t stop worshiping God together.
Wedding Tip #6: Laugh together often. If you don’t already have private jokes, develop some! Not every story in your life is for the world to know. Keep some that is just between you and your spouse.
Wedding Tip #7: Try new fun foods and activities. They don’t have to be expensive. I once heard a famous worship leader share on a national Christian station that he and his wife go sample sweet snacks at various restaurants without really eating a full meal, just to have fun and be together. Another couple tries new exotic fruits together as an international foods store. It can be challenging sometimes, when I like sports, and my wife wants to drag me to some mushy –chick flick– that I will never enjoy watching. Marriage, is not to force your likes onto a spouse but to find activities that are enjoyed together
Wedding Tip #8: Thank the LORD every day for your spouse–especially if you are feeling upset at them at the moment. If you can’t think of anything good to say right then, ask the LORD to help you–and ask Him to help you not say things you don’t like! Also thank Him that He knows all, and acknowledge that neither of you are perfect.
Wedding Tip #9: Hold hands in church, at the restaurant, in the car, in front of your kids, as you pray together…You get the idea! I’ve also heard (or read) that it’s wise to hold hands while disagreeing, because the warmth of the contact serves as a reminder that you are linked to this person, and that it helps you stay more calm than if you are not touching or not near your beloved. We’ve tried it both ways, and believe that holding hands during disagreements is better. I know men, PDA (Public Displays of Affection) is not your cup of tea, but hand holding is like a wedding ring, a necessity for every marriage.
Wedding Tip #10: There are times, however, if one or both partners are so upset that all of their energy is going to overcome the negative emotions that they are feeling, that it is best to not have a –discussion– until the emotions are under control. I have said –we need to talk about this, but I am not prepared or stable enough to talk now– (at least that is what I thought I said in my mind). The truth is, it is better to walk away to collect your thoughts than to let the angry ramblings of one escalate the situation even further. I can’t tell you how many times when the initial argument was miniscule to the one that was created when words were spoken out of anger or hurt feelings. Even though this helps calm the savage beast, come back to it. Problems do not just go away. Strongholds must be torn down to go forward, and that almost always involves the agreement of both spouses to be effective. Ask God to correct you and show you guidance, don’t rely on your own opinions or worse, force them on your spouse. There is an old Indian saying that translates,– A Man forced against his will is of the same opinion still– In marriage, the opinions, even if they are based on true facts, cannot be forced by you onto your spouse. You run the risk of trying to –play God– instead of asking your spouse to seek advise and teaching from the True God
Wedding Tip #11: Saying Sorry is not a sign of weakness. Now some of you may think I am a little crazy in this comment. I too in my life, remember times, where after saying –I’m Sorry– that I entered into a 4 hour lecture from my spouse on why I should be sorry. Trust me, I emotionally regretted it. But the truth is, And if we are truly honest, we have done the same thing to our spouse so-called –advising them– what they did so wrong. To express the feeling of hurt is not a bad thing, but to blame your spouse for their hurt and what they MUST DO to correct that hurt is in most cases very wrong. We are made strong when we humble ourselves before God, and admit our faults and weaknesses. Honestly, God also makes us stronger when we, humble ourselves before our spouse and our family, and admit we are not perfect. God has a desire to bless your marriage. He has a desire to be an intimate and important part of your marriage. But God will not force his presence into your live
Wedding Tip #12: Honor, respect, and promote your spouse. Other than the God the Father, Son, and Spirit, Your family is the most important thing in your life. We honor them by a) finding the good in them. b) telling our spouse about the good in them. c) sharing the good that our spouse has with others and d) relying on the good to bless your marriage. No one person is good in all phases of life. In almost every marriage, there are things that your spouse does very well, that you cannot do and vice versa. Now before the topic of Ego or taking out God comes into play, I will wuote scripture where –all good things come from God– We must however recognize tose good gifts that God has given our spouses, and when we honor our spouses we in turn Honor our Lord. It is like when we compliment a child and in turn, the parent is also complimented. When we compliment the good within our spouses, we also Honor God the true and Heavenly Father. Promote those good things and the bad things will not have room to grow
Wedding Tip #13: Find spiritual advisors and mentors– couples that have been married a long time. Talk with them as a couple and Man to man, woman to woman. If you come from broken households you are 500% more likely to also end in divorce, this is the only lifestyle you know, what did not work. In business, you surround yourself with successful business minded people so you in turn can find success. It is also true in marriage, surround yourself with successful, time tested, and spiritually tested, mentors that can show you a successful marriage. Trust me, this is better than trying to guess all the time what does and does not work.
Wedding Tip #14 Make time for your spouse and only your spouse. I am reminded of an old hymn called –take time to be holy–. Though I absolutely love this song, I also wish we correct the wording from –take time– to –make time–. We are in such a busy and crazy world that we have to say no to things to make time for our spouse and for our family. These no’s also have negative consequences. I get it and feel that pressure every day just like you and this pressure is 7 days a week from the time we get up until the time we sleep. It even haunts our dreams at night. Add kids to the equation, forget about it. to make time for marriage free from kids (not just for an emotionally unsatisfying –quickie–), is essential to our marriage, to our family, and yes, to our own mental sanity and stability.
Wedding Tip #15 Marriage and Sex – in order not to offend or hurt anyone I just would like to quote scripture from the message bible.
1 Corinthians 7 (MSG) –
1: Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations?
2-6: Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to –stand up for your rights.– Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.
Do we ask our spouse if they are sexually –satisfied–? If no, why not?
Do we strive –for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life–?
The –world of sexual disorder– is one of Satan’s most powerful tools using our basic emotional and physical need against us.
After these 15 tips on marriage, let me just say this thing. Be the first to do these things. Give completely to your spouse. Don’t give a little then –expect a return on your investment– God watches how you act and react and He will bless your efforts even if you feel like you are giving 99% and are only receiving 1% in return. Trust the Lord in this marathon of a marriage and He will see it through to a healthy and joyful life.
Produced and written by All Choral Works