KEYS TO A
SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE


Unless the Lord builds the house,
they labor in vain who build it.
Psalm 127:1



Murray and Pat married in 1989 after meeting through an organization called Christian Widows and Widowers. He had been a widower for two years after a 40 year marriage, and she had been a widow for seven years after a 28 year marriage. The following article is the result of an accumulation of many years of marital experiences.

1989 wedding photo

After several years it became apparent that Murray was suffering memory loss. He began taking medication for it in 2006. He gradually declined, but Pat cared for him at home. He needed help with dressing and bathing and used a walker in the house and a wheelchair when they went to church or to the doctor's office. In 2011 he was moved to a small group home where he was cared for along with 3 other Alzheimer's patients. He was in hospice care for the last six months of his life.

Murray passed away on June 15, 2012. See a Memorial page here.



If these thoughts
can help some young person
to build a foundation for a strong marriage,
or help to heal a broken marriage,
our prayers
will have been answered.



Key 1

COMMITMENT

One of the foundations of a lasting marriage is commitment to each other and to making the marriage work. A generation or two ago, marriages were stable and divorce was not as widespread as it is today. We believe this was due to the commitment of people entering into the marriage relationship. Divorce should not be an option. There are situations, of course, where there is abuse and infidelity which cannot, and should not be tolerated. Not in every case, but in most cases, if discernment is used in Key 2, this type of abuse will not be found.

Key 2

CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATE

2 Corinthians 6:14-16

One of the most important keys to a successful marriage is to carefully and prayerfully choose the person you will spend the rest of your life with. Young people get caught up in the romance and the physical attraction, and they don't consider whether the object of their attraction will help or hinder them in their spiritual development. Of course, the foundation for choice should have been laid years before. Just because a person falls in "love", doesn't necessarily mean that person you "love" would make a good spouse. Hormones need to be governed by reason. God made us creatures of choice. In fact, our lives are a product of the choices we make.

Galatians 6:7-8

Key 3

REMAIN SEXUALLY PURE UNTIL MARRIAGE

This is an admonition for young people. Your marriage will have a greater chance of success if you do. Young people today who are taking a stand against pre-marital sex are to be applauded.

Ephesians 5:3-5

Aim for Success non-profit organization that promotes sexual abstinence until marriage

True Love Waits

Lifeway Biblical solutions

Courtship and Marriage

Laura and Paul the story of a courtship ending in marriage

Key 4

ACCEPT GOD'S PLAN FOR THE FAMILY

Early in the marriage a young couple needs to seriously consider each of their roles in the family in light of God's word. Let Christ be the head of the family, and let the husband be the spiritual leader in the family. A loving husband will not be overbearing.

Ephesians 5:22-23

Key 5

DON'T WITHHOLD LOVE AND AFFECTION

Don't use your love and affection as a weapon to get your own way. God has given specific instructions about the physical relationship between husband and wife.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

Key 6

LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER.

Keep the lines of communication open. Few things can be more detrimental to a marriage than the refusal of one of the partners to discuss problems. Work it out together if you can, but don't hesitate to get outside help in the form of Christian counseling if it is required.

Key 7

DON'T NEGLECT YOUR SPOUSE

It is easy especially for a mother to become so involved in raising the children that she neglects her husband. Long after the children have left home, you will need each other. A loving relationship must be built while the children are growing up.

Key 8

COME TO AN AGREEMENT ABOUT THE HANDLING OF FINANCES.

The handling of money is the root of many problems in a marriage. There needs to be transparency in the handling of money and the way it is spent. Sometimes managing the money is a joint effort, but sometimes one partner is better equipped to handle the family finances. The other partner needs to defer to the one with this gift.

Key 9

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

You want to be able to enjoy your relationship with one another for many years.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Key 10

GIVE EACH OTHER ROOM FOR INDIVIDUAL GROWTH

Each partner will have personal likes and dislikes. One may be a sports fan, the other may not. Not all things have to be shared.

Key 11

BE WILLING TO SAY, "I'M SORRY"

Be willing to admit it when you are wrong. Truly mean it, and try to make improvements.

Key 12

BE WILLING TO FORGIVE

Sometimes it's hard to forgive when you have been wronged by your mate. Even though you won't forget the wrong, try to forgive in your heart and rebuild your relationship.

Matthew 6:14-15

Key 13

IF POSSIBLE ARRANGE FOR THE WIFE AND MOTHER TO BE IN THE HOME

Make every effort to have the mother available in the home during the years when the children are growing up. A working mother with young children is actually holding down two full time jobs. She has little time nor energy left for her husband at the end of the day.

Titus 2:4-5

Key 14

SUPPORT EACH OTHER IN THE DISCIPLINING OF THE CHILDREN.

As parents you need to present a united front for your children. Failure to do so will cause the marriage and the children to suffer.

Key 15

MAKE POSITIVE REMARKS ABOUT YOUR MATE TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

Hold your spouse in high esteem and let your family and friends know how much you value the love of your life.



We honor those who have been faithful for 50 years of marriage

GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES


A TRIBUTE TO OUR PARENTS




Thanks to Bible Gateway for the scriptures.
We have referenced them in the NIV version.
You may want to explore other translations also.






The Marriage Tool Box

Family Life.com



Page Comments

Most Recent Comments   ( See more comments on this page )
2011-12-11
I love being married and i love my husdand but at time we get mad with each other.we dont talk to see where we went wrong.I no that only pray and god love keeping are marriage.I thank God.
fay ferguson
2011-11-10
What space does this Key allow for in marriage??

Must I allow my partner to go out with his friends alone sometimes? How do I know what room to allow? Can this be good for a marriage? young people to go have some fun time apart with their friends?
GIVE EACH OTHER ROOM FOR INDIVIDUAL GROWTH


Each partner will have personal likes and dislikes. One may be a sports fan, the other may not. Not all things have to be shared.
JacquHumaneline
2011-11-08
Am very happy to know this just to help me make the right choice in life and to who i will marry God bless you and i hope to enjoy my too.
Samuel Inkoom (HCI)
2011-09-13
am about getting maried and i need what will make my home a happy place. thank you for the advice. really appreciate.
blessing
2011-07-15
thanks for the reminder of how to treat your husband
charmaine
2011-07-14
Its refreshing to see God at work through you. We have to keep making the tools avaiable for marriages to grow.

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9/12/02