Building a Marriage That Lasts!
Sorry you have not heard from me in a while. My wife and I took a little break in May to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and I was also traveling a lot. I pray for you all often and I got several updated prayer requests from you. Please keep me posted on your progress.
Last night I preached at Seara Ministries in Orlando. This is the Brazilian church where several of our Bold Venture brothers attend. It was great to see Pedro and Guga Codo, Marcus Emerick, Arthur Nascimiento and several others. Here’s a photo of us together last night in the church. I love hanging out with this bunch!
Because I often pray for these guys to find the right wives, I decided to preach a message last night called “How to Build Your Marriage on the Rock.” I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot because my wife and I just celebrated 30 years together. Whether you are currently single and hoping for a wife, or if you are already married, we all need to know how to make a marriage relationship strong.
If you are going to build something that lasts, you have to use the right building materials. You also have to have a strong foundation. Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:24-27 that if we don’t build our lives on the rock, our houses would collapse in the storm. This is especially true in marriage. I have seen many marriages destroyed because people did not use wisdom to build with the right principles.
Here are four things you must use to build a strong marriage that lasts:
All couples fight from time to time, but if you don't learn how to kiss and make up, your marriage will unravel. Marriage is like a school of forgiveness. Paul's rule to the Ephesians, "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Eph. 4:26, NASB), is best applied by husbands and wives. When your spouse hurts you, talk about it, forgive and let it go. Don't keep a list of offenses. If you bury your resentments without resolving them, they will explode like land mines later.
This is why premarital counseling is so important before marriage. Your marriage will be much more stable if you find healing from your past BEFORE you say “I do.” I have counseled women who married guys who seemed like men of God, but after the wedding they discovered that the man (a) had a porn addiction; (b) struggled with an alcohol problem; (c) had a baby out of wedlock that he didn’t tell her about; or (d) had mountains of debt that he didn’t mention. This is a recipe for disaster.
We all have areas of weakness and brokenness. But don’t ever think you can hide these things. Get in the habit of confessing your sins to a strong Christian brother who can hold you accountable (see James 5:16). Many couples try to survive in isolation. Either the husband has no friends or the wife has no support network. And I know many couples that don't have mentors to talk to when they hit rough patches in their relationship. This is dangerous! Live an open life. Accountability will provide a safety net for your marriage.
The Bible tells guys, "Rejoice in the wife of your youth" (Prov. 5:18) and then goes farther to say, "Be exhilarated always with her love" (v. 19). The word “exhilatated” means “intoxicated.” That euphoric feeling might be easy during your honeymoon, but what about when babies arrive, bills pile up, the workload at your job increases and the kids need braces and car insurance? The sizzle can turn to ice if you don't spend the time necessary to regularly stoke the fire of romance. When my wife and I had four little kids at home, we always tried to go on a date every week—even when we didn't need the extra expense of a babysitter. We still try to live by this rule now that we are empty nesters.
Also I have news for you: Your sex drive changes when you grow older. However I have learned that it actually can become more intense. You will discover this as you stay in love with your wife and you grow old together.
I am praying for each of you to have strong, healthy marriages that can weather every storm!
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