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Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: 5 Tips to Strengthen Your Marriage
By Ashley Rowland
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I’m convinced marriage really doesn’t take as much “work” as most people claim.
Marriage needs a foundation. Your house probably has a strong foundation made of concrete. You wouldn’t dream of moving into it without it. You also wouldn’t dream of doing anything to damage it, right?
Marriages are the same. We either reinforce the foundation or fracture it.
Here are 5 things that help my husband and me reinforce our marriage.
1. Surrender to God and His will.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “And if you can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Give it ALL to Him. Our vision is shortsighted. What’s going to happen tomorrow? Who knows? Well… God does and He’s a prayer away.
What happens when both of you pull in opposite directions? You pull apart. However, when you pull in the same direction, under God’s umbrella, you gain ground.
You also change together… for the better. I hear many times “S/he’s not the person I married.” Well, of course not. Who is the same person they were 10, 20, 30 years prior? The real issue is they have been pulling in opposite directions and God doesn’t have a true place in the marriage.
Surrender to Him. Chase Him and the change you see will be positive.
2. Lay down your “right” to be an individual.
The Bible says repeatedly that we become one flesh with our spouses. One flesh.
So why do so many of us go our separate ways each day?
Have some fun together. Don’t like all the same things? That’s okay. Surely you like some of the same things. Do those things together, and maybe even do something that only one of you likes. It means a lot to my husband when I go to a football game with him.
When you got married, it became about the two of you. Not just you.
3. Surrender your idea of how things should be.
Do you have preconceived notions of how you should act? Look? Cook?
What about your spouse? What box do try to fit your spouse into? Do you try to always put him in the button-up shirt he hates? Or maybe he has a different way of loading the dishwasher?
LAY THEM DOWN.
Whatever your notions are. Recognize them for what they are, and ask God to help you. Then don’t criticize yourself or your spouse.
4. Put down the punching bag.
Don’t raise your voice to your spouse. Say things in a kind manner.
Each time you speak to your spouse, you tell them what you think about them. “I’m smarter than you.” “You can’t do anything right.” You can say “I love you,” but it doesn’t mean much if you yelled all day.
Either say positive things about your spouse to others or say nothing at all. Nothing is more degrading than to have the person with whom you should be most intimate bad-mouth you in public.
Words either build up or break down. Lay down the words today that may tear down your spouse.
5. Surrender your bank account.
Whoa. Scary. But ask anyone the biggest stressor in a marriage. Money. One of the greatest causes for divorce? Money.
As I mentioned before, you became one flesh with your spouse. It may be hard to hear, but you don’t have money that is just yours anymore. It’s both of yours. To hold back creates division.
Allow me to assume that you’re in debt, as the majority of us are, which contributes to the angst. There can’t be any sticking your head in the sand for either one of you. You’re in this together and you’ll get out of it together. You can do it with God’s help.
You need to sit down and make a plan. Figure out your disposable income. Figure out your expenses. Chances are your expenses total more than your income.
Discuss with your spouse what is important to you both. Then cut your expenses until they are less than your income. AND STICK TO IT.
And that’s it. All summed up into 5 … simple…well, simple may not be the best word to describe some of these tips.
However, you should notice a difference if you reinforce the foundation of your marriage with these tips.
God bless you and your marriage.
Scripture references: All NASB
Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5-6, Ephesians 5:31 - “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Mark 10:7-8 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
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