Several years ago, I posted a list of a number of things I have learned about marriage from my own experience and observation. The following is an updated list. Hopefully you will find these helpful.
The following is the beginning of a list of 41 things married people ought to know:
1. Married people are called to move away from self-centeredness and toward self-lessness. The “self” has a way of getting in the way of a good marriage.
2. Jesus can be disruptive to a marriage and family. Why? One reason for this is because he challenges both husband and wife to pursue something larger than their individual happiness. Sometimes, a wife or husband will desire to pursue this larger vision (such as the kingdom of God) while the other person chooses to dig in his heels.
3. Married people can become very lazy with one another. As a result, the husband and wife may no longer cherish one another. Tenderness slips away.
4. Every marriage has some kind of atmosphere. Some marriages are marked by laughter and the enjoyment of life. Other marriages are marked by the deadly poison of negativity. This couple might spend large amounts of time griping and finding fault in one another. This creates a heavy, cloudy, joyless atmosphere.
5. Something is very wrong when a married couple claims a commitment to Jesus and belongs to a church, but they have never allowed Jesus to have any kind of practical impact on their marriage. Consequently, these people may be perceived as “spiritual” while at church, but in fact they are quite ungodly in the way they treat one another.
6. Resentment and deeply held grudges are like a cancer. This relational cancer has a way of eating away at the very fiber of a marriage.
7. The bottom line in marriage is not personal happiness. The bottom line is holiness. (Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage) Christ followers allow God to use their marriage to help them become more like Jesus.
8. Marriage needs to be based on grace, not performance. A performance – based relationship is under great pressure. People feel they must perform at a certain level or they will not be loved by their spouse. As a result, many go through life feeling like they never measure up in the eyes of their mates.
9. Married people need to come to grips with the reality of the sin they are inflicting on one another. For example, consider these behaviors: harshness, rudeness, impatience, self-centeredness, pride, willfully inflicting pain, etc.
10. How utterly foolish for husbands or wives to run down their mates just to get a cheap laugh from friends. What about the second most important commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Is this the way mature men and women treat one another?
What would you add to this list?