I believe God puts people together but marriage is still serious business. My husband, Tom, and I have been married for almost 6 years. Now that doesn’t seem like a very long time but marriages have been ruined in less. Tom was a widower of about 2 years but I had been alone for many, many (16 to be exact) years and was a little (ahhh maybe more than a little !!!!!) set in my ways. I was used to doing things for myself and making all the decisions. This could have spelled disaster but we (oops, I mean me !!!) are working on this.
No one, that I know of, starts out wanting to ruin their marriage. But if the relationship survives past the first few years, after the endorphins have subsided, couples will have to work hard and lean on God to sustain a wonderful union of two separate and very different people. Don’t let the small stuff ruin the fulfilling side of being married to the love of your life !!!
Today I want to talk about some serious but subtle marriage killers……………….
1.) You will ruin your marriage if you are doing your own thing – The Bible says in the book of Judges that every man did that which was right in his own eyes. We’re not talking about people who chose to do wrong here. They chose to do right, the Bible says; but they chose for themselves what was right. These are sincere people who said,
“I want to do right, but I will decide what’s right.” Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” “Nothing is hid from the eyes of the Lord” (Hebrews 4:13). “God sees our very thoughts and pondereth our heart” (Psalms 139:1-7)
When I was single I didn’t have to run my plans past anyone or even include another person in my ventures if I didn’t want to do so. I decided when and where I went on vacation. The choice of furniture and decorating was mine. (case in point – my living room was a beautiful shade of soft PINK) I made the choice of what kind of new car to purchase. I decided what activities I wanted to engage in. But when you are married things change. Time is a precious commodity and where you spend that time tells where your priorities are. The decisions you make should now be mutual decisions. (my living room today is a soft green!!!!) Who is #1 in your life? If you answered anything other than your spouse (after God of course) then you’re not putting your marriage first. Who made the last decision in your marriage? Work is essential and gratifying. Children are the future. Friends are irreplaceable. And hobbies are certainly enjoyable but you made a commitment to your spouse and you have an obligation to make your husband a priority in the way you spend your time and the choices you make together.
2.) You will ruin your marriage if you hold grudges – There are things about Tom that drive my crazy – there I’ve said it !!! But wives, we need to be careful about how we are caring for our husbands and marriages. Don’t let the small stuff ruin the love that you share with your spouse. Yes, your spouse does things to annoy you. But you surely do things to annoy him too. And I don’t want to spend my time trying to change the little habits of Tom that bother me sooooo…… I forgive.
Eph 4:31& 32 (EVS) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Remember your spouse’s good qualities. Sometimes, we get so hung up on our spouses’ annoying habits – keeping his desk a mess, misplacing the keys, throwing the wet towels in with the rest of the laundry – that we forget about the things that made us fall in love with them. Focus on the things that drew you two together – the loving words your spouse gives you – the times he takes the burdens off your back – the unexpected hugs and pats during your busy day. This will help you keep those grievances about minor stuff in perspective. Assume the best about your mate and extend them grace and understanding. It will pay big benefits to both you and your wonderful husband !!
3.) You will ruin your marriage if you lose the physical connection – God made sex to be an important part of marriage. Sex should happen often in a marriage and it should be enjoyed unashamedly (I Cor 7:2-5 and Pro 5:18 & 19). Men crave and need physical affection with their wives. When you constantly decline intimacy, it wears on them. Sex should not be used as a tool to control your spouse; it should be viewed as a sacred tool to draw you closer to one another and to God. It is a great blessing to be wanted and needed by a loving, romantic husband who wants to share something so beautiful and important with you — and you only. Healthy marriages must have a physical component. If you want to ruin your marriage, ignore your spouse’s physical needs and desires.
4.) You will ruin your marriage if you stop talking – When we were dating I lived in Indiana and Tom lived in Utah. We did a lot of talking. In the beginning of our relationship we said that we would call each other once a week but that didn’t last long. Soon we were calling everyday. I would call Tom when I got up in the morning (5am Indiana time and 3am Utah time) and he would call me before he went to bed (maybe 10pm Utah time and 1am Indiana time) I don’t know how we did it !!!! But we learned to love the talking even at the cost of our sleep !! You’ve heard this a zillion times but it bears repeating – we can never stop talking to our spouse.
Now I don’t just mean what the weather is going to be or what day the garbage has to go out but the deep areas of life. How long has it been since you talked about your goals, dreams, fears, and desires with your husband? Issues shouldn’t be off limits either. I have yet to meet a human being who can read another’s mind. So foster a safe relationship so that you can talk about your needs too. Your loving husband really wants to make you happy so let him know what it takes to do that. And in turn listen to him when he talks about his dreams too. And go the extra mile to make them happen in his life too !!!
5.) You will ruin your marriage if you stop respecting your husband – Did you know that God knew all about relationships from the beginning? God told the man to love his wife (Eph 5:25) and the wife to respect her husband (Eph 5:33). Each of these things was the hardest for the man or woman to do. Men have trouble showing love and wives have to learn to respect their husbands. But I discovered a secret formula that will turn Tom into a loving husband: I started treating him like a VIP. Tom deserves me to respect him, but I thought he had to earn it and I had to feel it, before I could do it. Wrong. We women are very good at pointing out our husbands’ faults and failures and punishing them for not meeting our needs, but that only leads to discontent and distance in our marriages. We all know that yelling, nagging, and belittling are disrespectful and ineffective. So I’m suggesting a radical concept: Treat him like a king, and eventually, he will begin to treat you like a queen. Instead of waiting for him earn your respect, behave respectfully and watch him grow into the man God designed him to be.
6.) You will ruin your marriage if you are living outside of what you can afford – A wise old woman from my church congregation once advised: “The best thing you can do as a wife is to live within your husband’s means.” The Bible has a lot to say about money !!!! Wives, show sincere appreciation and respect to your husband by carefully following a budget and making the most of what you have. Give God what belongs to Him first of all. Then be wise about the rest of your finances. Constantly complaining about not having enough to fulfill your lavish desires or racking up astronomical amounts of debt on your credit card is a poor way of saying “thank you” to a faithful spouse who works hard every day to provide for the family.Yes, you may not have enough to buy that Kate Spade bag you’ve had your eyes on for months, but your husband will love and appreciate the fact that you honor him (and God) and are grateful for what he provides.
The Bible describes marriage as a special relationship between a man and a woman that is to be cherished and treasured. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD,” Solomon wrote to his son (Proverbs 18:22). God describes marriage as a wonderful relationship to look forward to—it is a blessing from God! It’s time to realize our marriage vows are a covenant—a solemn oath made by a husband and wife to each other and to God. Commit to prayer for your marriage. The Scripture is clear: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalms 127:1) You must seek the Lord’s guidance and follow his lead. Prayer is your pathway to peace. Prayer not only can change your husband’s heart, but yours. Then you can feel the peace of God in your heart and marriage. Commitment, prayer, patience, kindness and a willingness to learn from God are all solid steps toward NOT ruining your marriage and living happily ever after !!!
What steps do you take to not ruin your wonderful marriage?