Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keys to a Better Marriage

By Jim BurnsHomeWord

Whether you’ve been married six weeks or 26 years, you know that there’s more to making a great marriage than having “the ultimate wedding.”

Time was when society as a whole understood this fact. Wedding ceremonies were simple. Marriages weren’t always flashy or fancy, but they lasted. They weren’t subject to the emotional mood swings that so easily crush them today.

When you were growing up, divorce was a rarity. It only took place under the most dire of circumstances. (Think back to your childhood and adolescence. How many of your friends grew up in what were considered “broken homes?”)

Then, the sexual revolution took place. Men and women gave up on the “traditional family” in record numbers, both in society at large and in the Church as well. Soon the divorce rate in both areas had grown to a staggering high of around 55 percent.

These days, however, that rate is coming down. Folks are getting married again and staying married. They’re putting a bit more thought into what marriage means before walking down the aisle. (In fact, the average age for first-time brides is now 25; for first-time grooms, it’s 26.)

More than likely, these newlyweds grew up in divorced homes. They know the pain and frustration of having two sets of parents, of shuttling back and forth between two homes a couple times a week, of wondering if there was something they could have done to keep their parents together.

Well, in addition to putting a bit more thought into marriage than the generation before, this new wave of newlyweds is also doing what they can to stay together. As psychologist Dr. Gary Rosberg says, these folks are serious about wanting to make their unions “divorce-proof.”

If you’re the parent of a teenager, this revelation is good news on two different levels. First, with regards to your own marriage – who among us isn’t interested in strengthening the bonds of holy matrimony? Second, though, think of the impact this wave is having on your kids. You and I were never taught how to “divorce-proof” a marriage. We were simply told that marriage was forever and that is was wrong to divorce. (Talk about sound, if not overly simplistic, advice!)

Now, we have the opportunity to be the transitional generation -- to teach our kids what a “divorce-proof” marriage is all about. Dr. Gary Rosberg and his wife, Barbara, have identified a number of key biblical principles they feel are key if a marriage is to truly be “divorce proof.”
And following these guidelines will not only improve your relationship with your spouse today, doing so will also establish a pattern your children can follow for their relationship with their future spouse as well.

I call these principles, “6 Keys to a Better Marriage Today.” If you want to strengthen your union right away, start showing your spouse . . . .

1. Forgiving Love -- Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, all of our sins have been forgiven. The forgiving love He has shown to us is essential in a marriage. It offers a fresh start after one spouse hurts or offends another. Without forgiveness, no marriage will ever last.

2. Serving Love -- Do you know your spouse’s deepest needs? Loving him or her with a servant’s heart is the best and quickest way to find out. Serve one another in love (after all – the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve).

3. Persevering Love -- Marriage is a marathon – not a sprint. Are you in it for the long haul, or do you have the tendency to “bail out” when the going gets tough? Persevering love sustains us through the trials of life (and trials are what makes any marriage real).

4. Guarding Love -- In other words, let him or her know that you’ll do anything to keep the marriage together (as long as its legal and moral, of course). The modern culture isn’t all that keen on marriage -- even though it’s the backbone of society. Guarding love protects your heart and the heart of your spouse from the threats to your marriage, and believe me they’re out there!

5. Celebrating Love -- That’s right – celebrate your marriage! What a gift the two of you have been given. Celebrating love equips you to maintain a satisfying emotional, physical, and spiritual connection with your mate. Celebrate it!

6. Renewing Love -- No marriage will survive if either or both spouses constantly challenge its integrity by threatening to leave. The fact is, Renewing love enables both husband and wife to regard the marriage covenant as unbreakable (just like God does). So share this gift with your spouse every day. Rejoice in the fact that you’ll be together forever -- “for better or worse!”

These six vital expressions of love will make your marriage better. They’ll also help you teach your children how to understand what biblical love and marriage are all about.

Love takes time – any good relationship does. So stay the course , keep praying, and start “divorce-proofing” your marriage by loving your spouse!

(Information taken from the book, Divorce-Proof Your Marriage by Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Breaking Point

By: Brian L. Fucuals

If there were a word that would adequately describe some marriages today, it would be 'pressure-filled'. Everyone has demands on us and are asking of our time, but none more important than our spouses. Many times we are drawn away by all the other influences, cares and necessities of life that absolutely demand our attention. However, it’s crucial to remember we must always remember that Covenant Ordered Relationships Endure. The C.O.R.E. that is your marriage must stay intact at all times, otherwise everything else suffers.

Joe was a successful manager who absolutely tolerated no weakness. Not from his employees, not from himself, and certainly not from his wife Brenda. Joe pushed himself really hard and he pushed Brenda even harder. This went on for some years until one day Joe came home from work and saw Brenda with a Dear John letter in her hand and her luggage at the front door. He was completely shocked; he couldn’t believe what was happening. Joe was absolutely broken. They talked, they went to counseling and soon reconciled. Joe found out an important marriage lesson about control and transference, before it was too late.

In Matt. 11:28 Jesus said. “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Joe received promotions at work but those promotions came with a high-pressured, stress-filled price, which he in turn transmitted to his wife and marriage. Does that sound like anybody you know? If it does tell them this: 1) Take a deep breathe, slow down and think about what’s really important. 2) Recognize the need to disconnect from outside influences. 3) Make a commitment not to bring work and other high-pressure demands into your marriage.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

7 Foundational Stones that Make a Marriage Strong

By: Brian L. Fucuals

In over 20 years of marriage, here are a few suggestions for a strong marriage.

Stone 1:

Appreciate that your marriage is sacred (set apart) and special. There isn’t another like it on the planet!

Stone 2:

Try to remember, life is fleeting, so enjoy your time together in every way.

Stone 3:

Learn the art of communication through education, prayer, time and much love. No other should be close enough to hold the trusted and coveted role of your ‘Best Friend’ other than your spouse.

Stone 4:

I’ve met couples that hadn’t had a good laugh in weeks. So laugh much and laugh often!
Laughter is the joy of life.

Stone 5:

Being on the same road is good; being in the same car is even better, when you’re going to the same destination. Have common goals and dreams.

Stone 6:

There is such peace when trust reigns supreme in your marriage. Try to build a secure and settled life together. Real security is knowing that my spouse accepts me for who I am faults and all.

Stone 7:

With encouragement, forgiveness, mutual respect and commitment, 'Marriage Unity' is without question an achievable goal.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


By: Felicia Fucuals

Learning to communicate effectively in marriage,
can help prevent misunderstandings.

Scripture: AMOS 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Think of discussions in the marriage relationship as being team meeting discussions. Remembering that you are not enemies but teammates in life, whose objective is to work together to achieve common goals on common ground. -- While respecting one another’s ideas and input.

Eliminate the ‘guess work’ frustration that comes with poor communication. Don’t automatically assume the other person knows what you are thinking. I know you married your best friend. I know they’re your soul mate but quite frankly, regardless of the spiritual bond you have, they can’t read your mind.

Take time to have dialogue and share what you’re thinking and feeling. Be clear and concise while watching timing, tone of voice, and body language.

Work on listening skills by not tuning the other person out and rushing them to finish. Be patient if they are an extremely detailed communicator and you’re a bottom line communicator. Repeat what you understood them to say in order to receive clarity.

Work at being and staying on the same page. Practicing good communication techniques is worth your energy and will contribute to more peace and less frustration in your relationship.

Lord, help me when I get frustrated in communicating with my mate. Give me patience, help my attitude and teach me how to communicate effectively and value their input. I receive your wisdom so that our marriage will be more peaceful than ever before. In Jesus’ name. Amen.