Building Better Marriages - A “Proverbs Project”
Can I recommend again the wisdom of the Proverbs? Can I challenge you to dig deeper than ever before, in search of God’s wisdom that will help purify your thoughts and protect your marriage? God never revealed anything in His word, just so we would know it. He revealed it, so we would respond in obedience to it and recommend it to others. I’m going to persevere in my own “Proverbs Project” by daily reading and reflecting on God’s great counsel and wisdom… not because I’m simply looking for sermon material, but because I’m seeing that I’ve got some growing to do. With that in mind, let me pass along to all of us who are married some of God’s wisdom, which will surely help us build better marriages. See if you can find those passages in the Proverbs that support each point. Make it a journey in building a better you. You’ll be glad you did and so will your mate.
See if you can find those passages in the Proverbs that support each point. Make it a journey in building a better you.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR
Don’t focus on your mate as much as you focus on yourself. Too often, we want to talk about the faults and failures of others, before we’re willing to honestly examine our own. Be willing to do better and try harder, even if your mate refuses, because you know it’s right, and God will be well-pleased. Take responsibility for your own words and actions. Take a look first at yourself.
ADMIT YOUR FAULTS – BE READY TO FORGIVE
Heart-felt and sincere expressions of: “I’m sorry; I was wrong; please forgive me,” can heal a broken marriage almost as fast as anything else. And even if your mate doesn’t admit his or her faults, still you must forgive in order to be forgiven by God. The marital conflict only continues on a downward spiral, when pride prevents one or both in the relationship from humbly acknowledging weaknesses and failures. Pride will destroy a marriage and separate one from favor with God. Don’t allow stubbornness to weaken you spiritually and wreck your marriage. Humbly admit your faults and resolve to do better. When your mate honestly and humbly comes seeking your favor and forgiveness, freely give it! That will be hard to do at times, but Jesus says we must (Matt.6:14-15; Lk.17:3-4). Revenge and retaliation will never solve any problems in a marriage. Don’t let your mate’s bad attitudes or actions cause you to sin. Ask the Lord for strength and be determined to return good for evil. It’s the right course to pursue; it will make you more Christ-like and just may save your marriage. Remember, the one who ends up hurting the most when I choose NOT to forgive is me!
FLEE WHAT IS FORBIDDEN, DON’T FLIRT WITH IT
Unfortunately, too often one or both in the marriage has made the choice to pursue what God says is either unwise or outright sinful. We must be advised… this will eventually weaken the marriage or worse still, destroy it! And while it may not end in divorce, it can still mean the eternal ruin of souls. We simply must stop feeding and fantasizing on what is forbidden! We must stop drinking what is deadly! Adultery and alcohol are destroying marriages, and it’s time for us to wake up and wise up!
SEEK GODLY COMPANY
It is very difficult to keep a marriage pure, when your main associations are with impure people. You need friends who will encourage you to seek God first, love your mate, and be committed to your marriage. You don’t need to associate with those who will encourage you to “divorce” your mate when you have problems. You don’t need to associate with those who will seduce you to sin, or who will give unwise, unbiblical, unloving advice. For some couples, a better marriage may mean cleaning up your companions. But, for this to happen, you each must be intentional and firm in your choices. You must sever the ties with the unwise and ungodly. You must actively pursue those who value what God values, and who will be a source of spiritual strength and encouragement to you and your marriage. For some, this will be hard. But persevere! It simply could be a matter of life or death to your marriage!
As you read through Proverbs, be impressed with how practical God’s wisdom is, and how piercing His word can be. It will help us, if we seek it diligently and honestly! It will heal our marriages, if we will apply it. As uncomfortable as it may be, it’s for our good. We can build better marriages… or better still, God can through us! Let’s tap into His wisdom. Let’s treasure His counsel.
- Paul White