Monday, February 8, 2010

Five Keys to a Successful Marriage

By Richard F. Ames


Are you finding joy and satisfaction in your marriage? Or are you experiencing pain and conflict? The world often counsels selfishness and quick divorce, but you can apply practical Christian keys to strengthen and enrich your marriage, and make it what God wants it to be!

The family is the foundation of society. A successful marriage brings joy to the extended family and the community—but marriage can also bring challenging problems. How can you improve your marriage?

When a man and a woman make the commitment to become husband and wife, there is often a joyous gathering to celebrate the establishment of the new family. A wedding is a joyous occasion, often accompanied with music, flowers, family and friends. Marriage is one of the most important events in a person’s life. A formal, public commitment begins a lifetime together, and the bride and groom may even say traditional words such as, "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."

If you are planning for marriage, are you thoroughly prepared? And if you are already married, how are you doing with your commitment?

You may wonder: how are marriages doing nationally? Are they stable? Are they successful? The divorce rate can give us an indication. In 2001, in the United States, there were 9.8 marriages and 4.5 divorces for every 1,000 people. Australia had 6.9 marriages and 2.52 divorces per thousand people. The United Kingdom had 6.8 marriages and 3.08 divorces per thousand people. That means there was about one divorce for every 2.2 marriages in the U.S. and the U.K., and about one divorce for every 2.7 marriages in Australia (United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, April 2001).

These statistics do not bode well for the stability of our society. But you can apply strategies for a successful marriage in your own life.

We in the Western world need to strengthen our families and our marriages. The stability and health of the nation is greatly dependent on the stability and health of the family. In many societies, biblical values are being thrown out the window. But you and I can make a difference in our own community, and in our own family. The Bible reveals the causes of as well as the solutions to our problems. It reveals our purpose and our destiny. The Creator God is the One who instituted marriage. When you understand His divine purpose and plan through our Savior, Jesus Christ, you will see the spiritual importance and significance of marriage. God’s plan is to expand His spiritual, immortal family. He created the human family to prepare each and every one of us for a glorified future. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14–15).

God’s purpose is to create a spiritual family. That inspiring truth should motivate us to improve our family and marital relationships. When you acknowledge God in your marriage, when you apply the principles and strategies of successful family living, you can enrich, improve or even save your marriage!

There truly are proven, biblical keys for a successful marriage. You need to know them and apply them in your own marriage. Or you may want to share them with friends or relatives planning to marry in the near future. It may not be easy, but the effort can lead to great rewards and a loving relationship.

Join us tomorrow for Key #1. Be blessed

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