Christian Marriage

Marriage-It is good for society, adults and children.

You have to plan to have a good, healthy, successful marriage, it doesn’t just happen.  People plan education, careers, trips, when to start a family and retirement.  We have short term and long term plans.  We plan the wedding but we fail to plan to have a successful marriage.  Click Here! to start planning a successful marriage.

Do you want a happy Christian marriage? In order to have a happy marriage you will need a healthy relationship. Let me give you some information about how to have a healthy relationship and a happy marriage.  Can’t you see that the way the world is doing relationships and marriage is not working?

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”Ephesians 5:31

It’s been said for years that Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America. However, Professor Bradley Wright, author of Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media, and sociologist at the University of Connecticut, states that Christians who practice their faith divorce rate is lower than the general population.

Christians who attend church service regularly and study and read the Bible or other spiritual information have a higher success rate in marriage. Have you have tried everything, when asked if you have tried God, consider if you are attending service or reading the word of God every now and then or if spending time with God is a daily part of your life.

Who better to teach you how to love than God. Who knows both of you better than God. In Psalm 139 the Bible says that God knows when you sit and when you rise; He perceives your thoughts before you think them. He is familiar with all of your ways.

You ever wonder what happened to those times when you and your spouse could not get enough of each other.  You couldn’t spend enough time together.  Ever wonder why things have changed so dramatically. Click Here! to find out what happened.

He knows what you are going to say before you say it. He created your inmost being; an put you together in your mother’s womb. He knows you and your spouse better than you know yourselves.  Get your relationship, your vertical relationship, right with God and he can help you get your horizontal relationship right with your mate.

“It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer Scrapping Simply

In order to have a healthy relationship you must learn to communicate successfully. Do not respond to a negative with a negative. Tit for tat (negative reciprocity) does not work in marriage.  Learn how to resolve conflict.  The inability to resolve conflict is the main reason most marriages end in divorce.

Some of the effects of unresolved conflict in marriage are divorce, anger, unforgiveness and the effects on children, with children being the biggest losers.  The loss to the couple is their trust in intimate relationships, frustration, anger, possible abuse, decreasing household income, starting over and unforgiveness.  The loss to the children is separation from parents, lower incomes,  and never learning conflict resolution.

Someone has to take the high ground and that someone may be you. It is also important in marriage or any relationship to also be able to forgive.

That means even when you have a disagreement you have to respect and value your spouse. When disagreeing with your mate, neither of you should leave the other feeling wounded or devalued. Everett Worthington author of Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy stated that “negative reciprocity creates emotional negative feelings towards each other. Happy, healthy marriages have learned to break the pattern of negative exchange.”

You do not have to say anything positive, just don’t say anything negative. This is an opportunity to just be quiet. If you can’t say something good, then do not say anything at all. Some things you cannot take back. If you feel bad after you say it, just think how the person you said it too feels.

To Have a Happy Healthy Christian Marriage Click Here!

After you voice dissatisfaction sometimes it is a good idea to wait to have the discussion. Now! is not always the best time. There will always be conflicts in relationships and some couples will have more than others. It is important to learn how to disagree to have a healthy marriage. It is crucial to learn how to fight fair in order to have a happy marriage. Worthington defines love as “being willing to value the other person and being unwilling to devalue that person.”

Covenant or Contract

If you have a marriage contract then you have an agreement with your spouse that states what each one of you is responsible for in the marriage. This means that each person has to hold up their end of the deal. If one person does not do what they are suppose to do in the relationship then the marriage falls apart.And unless you change from a contract to a covenant, it is bound to fall apart because both parties will at some point not be able to hold up their end of the deal. Life just seems to work that way, marriage just seems to work that way.

If the marriage is a covenant you have a pledge, an agreement, and a promise that states you will do what it takes to make your marriage work. Having a marriage that is based on covenant means you are planning to be in the relationship forever. It means that when you disagree, (and you will) that you will do what is necessary to work things out.

As a Christian one of the things you should have is hope; the expectation of attainment. You should expect to have a healthy and happy marriage. But marriage takes work, relationships have to be tended. Just like a garden, if you do not tend the garden the weeds will grow up and overtake the plants. Tend to your marriage, give your spouse the time and attention you gave them when you were dating, and you will have a healthy, happy christian marriage.

Miller and Perlman (2009) stated  approximately 3% of people will ever read a book on relationships, yet approximately 100% of people are involved in relationships. For more information about how to have a healthy relationship and a happy Christian marriage or how to save your marriage click here.

History
Marriage Max
The decline in marriage is attributed to the 1960′s and 1970′s when an interest in individual and womens rights prevailed.  Judge James Sheridan, who presides over a district court in Adrian, Mich. stated that “we have been slowly but surely suckered into believing a whole series of myths,”

The first myth,  is that divorce is not a problem, but a solution. The second myth is that children are resilient and will quickly get over their parents’ divorce (Christian Science Monitor, 2000).  Judge Sheridan also stated that if you tell a lie often enough, people will start to believe it and that now we have to keep speaking the truth as often as we spoke the lies.

Communication

Unresolved conflict is usually the reason people divorce. Many times the conflict is not resolved because people do not have the ability to communicate with one another. It is amazing to me what people hear, or what they think they heard versus what you say, or what you think you said.

But who wants to talk if they think no one is listening, and who wants to communicate if they think they will end up being devalued. Not being able to communicate can leave people feeling frustrated. Learning to communicate and learning to forgive are important to being in a happy, healthy marriage.

If children do not see their parents resolve conflict then they will not learn how to resolve conflict.  You end up with generations of people marrying and divorcing because they never learn or teach how to resolve conflict.  Women should be leading the way in trying to make marriages work, because women and children suffer most when marriages fail.

When communicating our feeling are involved.  Just because it is how you feel, does not mean you are right.  It also does not mean that you are wrong.  It is just how you feel.  You can be sure you are right, you can know that there is no other possible solution, you can know that everyone will see it your way,  until you hear your spouse or another persons opinion.

It’s not to late to save your christian marriage, Click Here! if you want to save your marriage or have a happier, healthier marriage.

What is the Couple Check-up ?

Based on over 30 years of research and experience the Couple Checkup can allow you to harness the power of a relationship assessment.  You will gain understanding of your partner, increase productive discussion, and take action leading to lasting growth in your relationship. 15 relationship areas will be covered.  You will be able to complete the assessment in 20 -30 minutes.
 
 The goals of a Couple Check-up:
 
1.  Move past “good advice” and take a good look at your own relationship
2.  Identify your relationship strengths and issues that need attention
3.  Be proactive.  Don’t wait for problems to become serious before dealing with them
4.  Spur on productive and insightful conversation that lead to action and change
 
Intimacy

1 Cor 7:4 A wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but his wife does.

A major area of marriage dissatisfaction is in the area of physical intimacy. My suggestion and advice is to make love all day.  Try not to let everyday distractions and realities take you away from being intimate with your spouse.  If you treat your wife like your girlfriend and your husband like your boyfriend you would be more willing to be available for intimacy. Encourage them, flatter them, help them out, call them throughout the day, make plans, make dates and keep things interesting.

For women sex does not start right before it’s time to get physical, which is why I suggest you make love all day.  Men like emotional support and encouragement and many times married couples get caught up with daily life and forget to find something positive and encouraging to say.  Find it and say it throughout the day. Start the process every morning and the night may end in a positive way (or whatever time works).  For more information on how to keep things interesting and exciting. Click Here!

Reconciliation is defined as” rebuilding trust after a violation of trust” (Worthington, 2005). He also said that trust must be rebuilt by both parties and the person who inflicted the hurt has to let down their defenses, lay down their weapons, and show a “softening of heart”. The one who received the hurt has to not seek revenge, not pull away and have an “open heart” towards the offender. Worthington stated that confession and forgiveness are important to reconciliation and that violations of love and trust are always present on both sides when hurt occurs in the marriage.

Affair, Infidelity, Unfaithful

Affair proof your marriage.  Do you like compliments?  Do you need attention and occasional encouragement?  Whether you do or not your spouse may need those things out of the relationship.  In marriage you have an opportunity to build a person up or tear a person down.  It can be done with your mouth, your actions or lack of action.  You have to know that some behavior is not going to have a positive result.  For example devaluing your spouse cannot get you a positive result.  You cannot make a person feel bad during the day and then expect them to want to be intimate with you at night. There is a difference in having an argument and devaluing a person.  The difference is that the argument should never become personal.

Some people are just going to cheat because that is who they are and what they do.  They are a work in progress in that area and God has not finished with them yet.  Others are unfaithful because they feel that they are not getting their needs met at home. Some because the opportunity presented itself and they were not strong enough, or did not choose to say no or flee the situation.  Others just never thought it would happen to them.  They were not prepared for the attack, they were caught off guard and let’s say it just happened.  Do not allow the flattering lips of a person move you into infidelity or outside of the will of God.

Long Distance Relationships

Commuter marriages or long distance relationships, are prevalent among may professionals who either do not have children yet or their children have left home. In 1998, 2.4 million Americans said they were married but their spouses did not live with them daily, This is a 21 percent increase from four years before, according to the US Census Bureau. These were not people who considered themselves “separated”,  indicating a troubled marriage (TCSM, 2000).

These numbers include military couples who often spend long periods apart. However evidence confirms that long distance relationships are spreading far beyond the military ranks. For years Commercial Drivers License(CDL) long haul truck drivers have endured the challenge of spending from days to weeks away from home. Trucking is another occupation where long distance relationships are numerous. These CDL drivers can spend anywhere from one week to six weeks away from home. Being away from home is considered one of the stresses of the job.

If the long distance relationship last for years, each person can develop a separate life that their partner does not know about. Suspicions about infidelity increase when too much time is spend apart. Remember the saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but too much absence makes the heart wonder?

If you are attempting a commuter marriage and there are young children involved, the person left at home usually has all the responsibility of raising the children. It is much like being a single parent.

History of Marriage

Only in the recent history of humanity do we find marriage motivated by love (Coontz, 2005).  In the 18th century the idea that marriage should be decided based on love evolved and was considered a radical idea. During that time people thought it was not a good idea for something so important to be based on feelings.  This new concept that marriage should be based on love created problems from the very beginning.  As far back as the 18th century it was thought that if love and companionship were going to be the things that determined rather a couple would marry, those same things would be the reason why the institution of marriage would decline.  Love, an emotion, alone was to fragile for a marriage to last.  Love is considered a valuable outcome but not a good enough reason for marriage (Coontz, 2005).

“Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal — it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love”.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer