A Happy Marriage 1 Cor. 11:11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Some Biblical principles for a happy marriage are conversion, commitment, compassion, communication and cooperation. We will examine these today in a little detail in hopes that they will prepare you for a happy marriage or that they will restore you to a happy marriage. A happy marriage is founded on:
Conversion – 1 Cor 11:11; 2 Cor 6:14 – you should both be saved. And being saved is not the only requirement. Both ought to be growing in spiritual maturity. The proper spiritual order in the home is found in 1 Cor 11:3. If the man is not submitted to the authority of Jesus Christ in his life, his wife is going to be in subjection to a man who is disobedient to the word of God [1 Pet 3:1-7]. Nine times out of ten, she won’t submit to a disobedient husband and the marriage will get off track spiritually right from the beginning.
You should seek the direction of the Lord in choosing your spouse. While the choice of spouse is clearly yours [Num 36:6], the Lord will definitely direct in the choice if you seek him [Prov 18:22, Prov 19:14]. Furthermore, your family and acquaintances can provide desirable counsel and confirmation in your choice [Ruth 2:20; 3:10-11; 4:11-12]. Remember that the person you are marrying has family and friends and so do you. You certainly want their support and blessing.
Commitment – Matt 19:6 – you are joined together by God. Therefore, it takes a strong commitment on the part of each spouse to stay together. This isn’t a relationship patterned after the world, where you divorce when you are no longer happy. You are committed to work through all of the difficulties of two different people under the same roof. When you are committed, dissolving the marriage is an option that is taken off the table. It’s much easier to say “I will” at the altar than it is to say “I will” in the midst of a marital storm.
Compassion – Eph 5:33 – people “fall in love” and decide that they should marry. That’s how the world does it but that is not how you ought to decide whom to marry. Love is something that comes from God. So, love God first and foremost [Matt 22:37-38]. Then abound in your love for him [Phil 1:9]. His love will be shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost [Rom 5:5]. And then that love will abound toward others, particularly toward your spouse [1 Thes 3:12]. Love, therefore, is not something you “fall in” but rather something in which you abound.
Communication – 1 Sam 25:39 – being able to communicate is vital to the success and happiness of your marriage. Husbands and wives don’t spend that much time talking with each other. You need to communicate. Good communication requires listening, understanding, trust, honesty, courage, patience and a good sense of humor. You have to talk about things that are important to each of you and you have to keep things from building up between you. By the way, these matters are private so don’t discuss them with anyone other than your spouse.
Cooperation – Matt 19:5 – the twain become one flesh. So, we do what we do together. When one of us rejoices it is “our” joy. When one of us grieves it is “our” sorrow. When one of us has a problem we work it out so that it doesn’t become “our” problem. You get married to share your lives together. So, don’t build walls of separation between you. Maintain safe boundaries [whereby you don’t get manipulated by a spouse’s anger, for instance]; but build no walls. Build and strengthen your relationship together.
Conclusion: I suppose you could call these the 5 C’s of a happy marriage. However you want to remember these points is fine with me. Just don’t leave these 5 things out of your marriage and don’t get married if these 5 things aren’t in your relationship. Either wait till you see them present in your relationship or don’t go forward with plans to marry.