1. We have been married for almost 39 years. There is no magic formula. Much of marriage is about a committed friendship that a man and woman have with one another. Marriage may be more than simply a friendship but it is at least that. It is building a history of friendship together. It is so important that I treat her/him as I would treat a true friend.
2. Know that marriage requires forgiveness. Are there difficult and challenging situations? Of course. Such situations will mean that we will need to offer and receive almost daily forgiveness. As a Christ-follower, I can’t store up instances of my spouse’s failures, mistakes, and sins only to spread them out on the kitchen table for review every time I get angry and resentful. Before I focus on what my spouse has said or done, I might first consider what I have done in my life that put the Son of God on a cross.
3. Be committed to growing up. It is tough when a husband acts like a 12 year-old boy instead of a grown man. It is tough when one’s wife continues to behave, well into her 30s, as if the world centers around her. Husbands and wives are called to grow up and mature. Marriage is meant for grown-ups.
4. Deal with the baggage that you have. If you were hurt, abandoned, or abused as a child, no man can make up for what you experienced. No spouse can heal the hurt or make up for the insecurities that one experienced as a child. Such expectations put unrealistic pressure on a marriage.