The Ten Commandments for Marriage
Marriage is both a gift and a discipline. God gives us the covenant of marriage and the gift of love but it is up to us to work the soil of our relationship all the days of our lives. To help you make your marriage all it can be let me share ten commands for marriage. Practice these consistently and you will have a healthy and fulfilling marriage.
Commandment #1: Protect your day off at all costs and spend it together, as a couple, and as a family. If an emergency makes it impossible for you to have your regularly scheduled time together, reschedule another day as soon as possible. Nothing is more important than the time you spend with each other.
Commandment #2: Eat dinner together. Dinner is a time for sharing and making memories. Don’t sacrifice it for lesser things. In our home, Brenda makes even the simplest meal special with candles and soft music. We turn off the television. For that one hour the world news can wait. If you’re addicted to current events, then record them for later viewing. Don’t ruin a lovely dinner by allowing the world to intrude on your shared privacy. (click here to continue reading)
Commandment #3: Go to bed together. Nothing undermines intimacy faster than separate bedtimes. This too is a time for sharing and tenderness. It’s an opportunity to touch base with each other, to make sure you haven’t let your hectic schedules cause you to drift apart. Without such “set times” for togetherness, you may lose contact with each other in the “busyness” of life.
Commandment #4: Never let anything rob your marriage of the sexual joy God intended. Hectic schedules, a stressful career, financial pressure and the arrival of children all combine to tempt you to make sexual intimacy a low priority. Resist that temptation or your marriage will be the poorer for it.
Remember, sexual intimacy is a vital part of a healthy marriage. It is a gift from God to be received with thanksgiving and celebrated without shame. It is intended to express love, provide pleasure, cultivate intimacy and propagate the race.
Commandment #5: Play together. According to K.C. Cole, play is an integral part of all healthy marriage. Studies indicate that marital play is the one characteristic that all good marriages have in common. It serves to draw partners together and to cement the bonds between them.
Commandment #6: Don’t take separate vacations. There may be rare instances when a separate vacation is unavoidable or even in order, but in general it is not a wise practice. Shared experiences bond couples together, while unshared experiences tend to distance them from one another. Shared vacations often provide the time and relaxation needed to enrich and renew your marriage.
Commandment #7: Don’t hold a grudge. Don’t let yesterdays hurts rob you of today’s joy. We have all been hurt by our spouse; by the very one we love the most. That’s not the way we would like for it to be, but it is a reality. Once you have been hurt, you have a choice. You can hang on to your hurts and grow bitter, or you can forgive and get on with the business of living.
Commandment #8: Pray together. Marital prayers should be brief and honest. Bedtime works best for many couples. As you lie side by side, hold hands and pray sincerely about the true concerns and real joys of your hearts; lifting to the Lord your shared life. The goal of marital prayer is not personal spiritual development but the spiritual and emotional health of your marriage and family.
Commandment #9: Remember to do the “little” things. It’s usually not the expensive gifts or the foreign vacations that will determine the quality of your marriage, but the little things. A love note in his lunch box or an “unbirthday” card for her. A kind word, help with the children, a listening ear, the feeling that he or she really cares.
Commandment #10: Pledge yourselves, not only to physical faithfulness, but to emotional fidelity as well. Do not allow friends, family or career to meet your “belonging needs.” These you must provide for each other. They are the heart and soul of your relationship.
This article has been excerpted from “Marriage in the Making” by Richard Exley