How should marriage work?

I am not an expert on marriage; but, I can say that I have made enough mistakes and have been married long enough to share something that I think could help someone with their marriage or any relationship for that matter!  If you have any additional thoughts, please share!

I married at the age of nineteen and have been married for twenty-eight years.  When I got married, I had an attitude of “it is all about me”. I did not know this at the time, but as I have thought back on my life, this fact has been revealed to me.  Overtime, I seemed to frustrate my spouse more than I helped her. I was even frustrating myself.  I started to wonder how could I fix this and I  started to pray a lot.  The more I prayed for God to teach me, the more problems I had until one day I realized that God was answering my prayers.  I realized that if I felt like my marriage was not fair or if something was not about me, I should just try to be there for my spouse.  Basically, turn the thoughts around.  This may sound a little crazy but what started to happen is that when my spouse hurt, I hurt.  When my spouse had a need, I had a need.  When my spouse was happy, I was happy.  When my spouse talked I tried to stop everything and listen.  If I wanted something, I would buy my spouse something and forget about what I wanted.  If my spouse complained or corrected me about something, I would look at it as information that would help refine who I am rather than nagging.  The more I think about this, it has become a mirror of what my relationship should be toward God.

Concepts like dying to self, not about me, love others as you would love yourself, love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, etc.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

Instructions for Christian Households – Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:18-19 (NIV)

Do you think God puts a spouse in some peoples lives so they will understand how they should have a relationship with Him?  Are you so self-motivated that you are loosing your focus on what you should be doing?  Please know that self-motivation can sometimes look like you have got it all together but please know it may be for the wrong reason.

Get on your knees and ask God for clarity?  Are you dealing with a divorce?  Are you dealing with a problem with a friend?  Are you alone?  Are you on your knees?  Die to self and live for Christ!!

Still working on this in life but these are some of my thoughts!  What do you think?

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1 Response

  1. Frank

    We’ve been married for 29 years and have been to our share of marriage seminars, conferences and weekends, have read many books and listened to many speakers. Some made a difference and others we’re simply reminders of what we already knew.

    That all changed when we started reading “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs (Amazon link

    In it, he talks about how women need “love” (husbands, love your wives) and how men need “respect” (Wives, respect your husbands). Neither of which is natural to us. Women need love and find it easy to love and men need respect and honor and find it easy to do so, but we don’t naturally give each other what we need (why else would the Bible give us these instructions?)

    It has absolutely changed the way we interact with each other. I can’t explain the whole concept in a short comment, but suffice it to say that when she doesn’t feel love, she tends to disrespect her husband, which he feels and tends to pull back and not love his wife, which see feels and …….

    He calls it “The Crazy Cycle”. If you’re on it, you know how awful it can be. This book shows you how to not only get off the crazy cycle, but how to get on to “then Energizing Cycle”.

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