Wednesday; August 14

What does it take to make a good marriage?  I have gotten the opportunity to do my share of weddings, but as I look back on it, very few people have asked me what it takes to make a good marriage.  It is easy to focus on what colors look good together, what songs sound good in a ceremony, what biblical verses should be included and when you should cut the cake; but a successful marriage is more than a beautiful wedding.  So, with this in mind, here are a few observations I have made through the years:
1.  Spouses should spend more time cheerleading and less time coaching.  It is tempting to try to grow a better husband or wife, but the thing that might make an even better relationship is by merely encouraging each other.  When we cheer for rather than critique each other, we build a foundation that will help us transcend most of our challenges.
2.  Marriage is better when each spouse gives 75%.  I hadn’t really thought of this until I read a biography of George and Barbara Bush that cited this as the formula for their relationship.  No one can give 100% of themselves to their spouse, but a 50/50 relationship isn’t reasonable either.  When we are willing to go the extra mile (or the extra 25%) we will build an overlap that leads to success.
3.  Two of the greatest gifts we can give our spouse is being trusting and being trustworthy.  When we set aside our suspicions about other people’s actions or motives, we take a lot of the pressure off the relationship.  When we act in a trustworthy manner, we make it easier to live together in the most intimate relationship possible for two people.  When trust is built in a marriage it can meld into what God planned from the beginning, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).
Think About It!

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