If you are getting married at First Baptist Church or by a minister from First Baptist we ask–that is, require–that you have premarital counseling.
During this time of premarital counseling, we give people the basics of successful marriages. We discuss these five areas–communication, religion, sex, money, and in-laws. All of these are basics for marriages. Get these areas right and you will have a successful marriage.
If you don’t deal with these areas, you will experience a lot of conflict.
Whether I do pre-marital counseling or marital counseling, I talk about the basic of any marriage–understanding how God designed male and female.
To have a successful marriage, here are the two areas you must get right.
First, the husband must love his wife. I’m not a mushy guy–I’m just not, but I love my wife. I love to be with her. I feel that when I have her, I have everything I need.
Love in the Bible is a manly word. It’s not how you feel; it’s what you do. God made men to be doers and He commanded them to love their wives–to do for them.
Every wife needs to be loved. She needs to be cherished and adored. She needs to know her man loves her deeply and will do anything for her. Part of a man loving his wife is to treat her with tenderness. She is delicate and must handled delicately. For this reason, God explicitly says that the husband must not be harsh to his wife (Colossians 3:19).
For this reason, God commanded–commanded–the husband to love his wife (Ephesians 5:33). A marriage cannot be successful without this.
Second, the wife must respect her husband. God designed men to need respect and God commanded–commanded–wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Like love, respect is something you do. You have to choose to give respect. In the world, respect is earned. In the kingdom of God, respect is given out of reverence for Christ.
I’ve noticed that most men who do not love their wives aren’t respected. I’ve also noticed that most wives who don’t respect their husbands don’t receive love. It all works together. You can’t have one without the other. We were made to complement each other.
These are the basics. Let me tell how I think you should implement this.
The best way would be to sit down together, pray, and talk about these verses. Then each one would commit to do what they are supposed to do, that is, husbands to love and wives to respect. Then you pray for each other daily that you could carry out what God wants of you.
But your marriage may be beyond sitting and talking about serious issues. If that’s the case, this is what I recommend. Determine before God that you will do what He expects of you. If you are the wife, determine and commit to respect your husband under all circumstances. If you are the husband determine and commit to love your wife no matter what.
God saves and preserves marriages. He can do that for you. Follow His plan and do what He tells you to do. Don’t worry about whether or not your spouse is doing right. You do right and God will bless you. You will receive great joy in having obeyed your Heavenly Father.
May God bless marriages.