Doing Marriage the Right Way … With Love and Respect

Doing Marriage the Right Way … With Love and Respect

By: Michael Fuchs

It is important to know what to do to have a better marriage and it is equally important to know how to do what you need to do to have a better marriage.

Many times couples go through the motions of doing the right things but do them all wrong.  We will take the top five areas that will build a better marriage and explain why couples fail at them: ‘Communication’, ‘Time Together’, ‘Asking Questions’, ‘Humility’, and ‘Building Value in Your Marriage’.

We will look at each of these areas of the marriage relationship in two ways.  First we will see what instructions are given and the damage caused by simply going through the motions.  Secondly we will be given correct means of applying these instructions and the benefits of doing it right.

Understand that men and women are different.  They have two very different needs in the marriage relationship.

  • Husbands do not understand the wife’s basic need for unconditional love.
  • Wives do not understand the husband’s basic need for respect.

Instructions for Marriages

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church… Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. Ephesians 5:28 (NIV)

33“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Ephesians 5:21-22 (NIV)

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)

We are called to Love, Respect and Submit to each other so that we may be blessed by God.  When we fail to apply these things in our marriage it is called pride, and God opposes the proud.

How to Apply These Truths to Our Marriage Relationship

“Practice, Practice, Practice … Discipline, Discipline, Discipline”

It takes practice and it takes the discipline to get this right. We need to continue to practice when we don’t get to right.  When you get this right it fills the relationship with Joy and Peace.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. Galations 5:13

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galations 5:14

If we are to love our neighbors, how much more should we love our spouse?

22 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:22-23

Let’s look at the top 5 ways to make your marriage relationship better and the practices you can apply to achieve this.

The top 5 Keys to Having a Better Marriage for YOU & YOUR Spouse

1 – Communication is Key

One of the most important ways you can make your marriage special between you and your spouse is to communicate as much as possible. Sometimes couples think they communicate, but they don’t! It’s so important to make sure you make communicating a priority.

Learn to listen without judging or finding fault.  Learn to listen so you will understand what they are saying, not to reply to what is being said.  When you cut your spouse off, by starting to talk while they are talking, is disrespect to a man and an unloving act to a woman.

There is a practice we call ‘Spot Lighting’.  Each spouse takes a turn at talking, (for about 3 to 5 minutes), about their day or about whatever they want to talk about, (no bashing or criticizing our spouse).  While the other spouse practices listening to them, with no interruptions.

When you practice this exercise you find ways to share your dreams, fears, wants and desires in a healthy way.  Remember that it takes practice and determination to get this right.  Apply love, gentleness and kindness and you will be able to talk about anything.

2 – Spend Time Together

Going into different rooms after the kids have gone to bed is not spending time together. Sadly, life is so busy for most couples that they don’t get to spend that time together like they should. One way around this is to schedule that time in. Make your spouse a priority!

Try to plan meaningful time together.  Going to a movie is a way of spending time together but loose the intimacy of connecting on a heart level.  Look for things you both enjoy doing.

Sometimes we need to do things your spouse enjoys even if we don’t enjoy it.  This will build value in our relationship.  It is way of saying “you are important to me … Let’s do what you want to do.”

3 – Ask Questions

Don’t go through life without asking your spouse questions. Let them know you care and that they are important. Asking questions and making your spouse feel special is one way to have a better marriage. Many people ask their spouse “How are you?” or “How was your day?”, but they forget to ask, “How can I make your day more better?”

Remember that communication is 8% words and 92% is tone, voice fluctuation, and non verbal.  We must ask questions in a loving way, with gentleness and kindness.  Most of the time conflicts start because of how you say something, not what you say.

22 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:22-23

4 – Go Out of Your Way

Some people think that just because they are married that they don’t have to go out of the way for their spouse. Your spouse is the one person you should be going out of your way for. Maybe the secret to having the better marriage for you and your spouse is finding out what makes them feel special and doing that. So simple, and so important!

When Sherry and first met I would open her car door, (and any door she was using).  We have been married for over 20 years and I still open the door for her.  Humble yourself and practice doing thing for your spouse that will show them that you value them.

I have a friend that once told me that they appreciated my friendship.  I said that I appreciated their friendship too.  They said, “You don’t understand.  Your friendship means more to me today than it did yesterday or last week.  Your friendship has appreciated; it has increased in value for me.

Do things that show your spouse know that their value has increased for you?

5 – Know Your Marriage is Valuable

When it comes to your marriage, know that it is valuable. It matters! Marriages are not something that should be forgotten about or pushed to the side. Make sure you and your spouse both know that your marriage is valuable. Do anything and everything you can to fight for your marriage.

Position your marriage relationship at the top of your priorities.  Make it more important than your job, your parents, even your children.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church… Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)

The only thing that takes priority over Jesus Christ love for you is His love for Father God.  We are to model the type of relationship Jesus has with God.  We are to love the marriage relationship with spouse 2nd only to our relationship with God.  Everything else falls below those two relationships.

First – God

Second – Our Spouse

Then everything else

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