Question: Dr. Younce, my girl friend and I are planning to get married and I wonder if you have any simple guidelines for marriage available?
Answer: Thank you for your question. What follows are some simple principles that I go over with each couple that I counsel before marriage and give them each a copy.
I. INSTRUCTIVE – A Positive Attitude
1. Love and reverence, show respect. always build the other up. Do not try to make them look foolish in front of someone else. (Ephesians 4:29; 6:33).
2. Husbands and wives are first with each other, above parents, friends or anyone else. (Ephesians 5:31).
3. Submit to each other, do not always demand your own way. (Ephesians 5:21).
4. Forgive one another. being tenderhearted. (Ephesians 4:32).
5. Show "due benevolence," kindness and affection. (I Corinthians 7:3)
6. Put the Lord before the pleasures of the world. (I Corinthians 7:29, 35).
a. Do not get yourself so far in debt that you cannot give to the Lord. You will strangle yourselves into financial death. (II Corinthians 9:6-8; I Corinthians 16:2; I Timothy 6:10).
b. Your spiritual life is your happiness. Sunday is the Lord's Day not yours. (Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:25). Attend the services faithfully.
7. "Defraud (deprive) ye not one another" (physically), because of the weakness of the flesh. (1 Corinthians 7:4 & 5).
Remember God's rule for the family.
a. The man is to provide for the family. (Genesis 3:17-19; I Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 31:23).
b. The wife is to bear children and care for the home. (Genesis 3:16; Proverbs Chapter 31). Notice in Proverbs 31 how many times the wife is connected with the household. (Verses 15, 16, 27, 28).
c. If the wife has to work, the husband should always share in the duties of the home willingly. (Employ I Peter 4:8 & 9).
8. Each has a daily time for prayers and Bible reading to keep your spiritual life built up. (2 Peter 3:18; Acts 20: 32 )
9. Live today for the Lord and each other, as though it is your last day on earth. (James 4:14 & 15). It will give you a whole new attitude toward life.
II. DESTRUCTIVE - doing everything opposite of #1. (INSTRUCTIVE)
1. Our Actions – outward – what we say. (James Chapter 3; James 1:19; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 18:21).
2 Our Attitude - inward - what we think.(Proverbs 11:2;16:18; 18:12; 28:25 & 26). Pride is the underlying element that causes most of the problems in our attitude and behavior.
1. God wants your marriage to be fruitful and productive, and it can be. The foundation of a successful and happy marriage is the Lord Jesus Christ. Your relationship in your marriage will be determined by your relationship to Christ. If one is serving the Lord and their spiritual life is what it should be, they will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek¬ness and temperance toward their mate. This is what makes the foundation of the marriage and characterizes its success. (Galatians 5:22 & 23).
The Lord wants us to be happy even when we are married. In John 10:10b, the Lord has willed that we have life and have it more abundantly.
One of the great promises that God has given to the Christian is found in Psalm 37:4 & 5. These two great promises are conditioned upon putting the Lord first.
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
There is no reason for two Christians to ever get a divorce. If both put the Lord first, He will give them the desires of their heart, and that marriage will be happy, fruitful and productive
1. Always determine disciplinary procedures for the children beforehand, so they cannot play one against the other. Many families have been divided because of the children, which is tragic and unnecessary.
2. Determine together your finances so that both share and agree. Do not hoard the money for yourself, nor borrow; unless both agree.
3. Plan a yearly vacation. This gives an incentive to work toward a goal. It is good to look forward to something nice after working all year. It will also give the children something to look forward to.
4. Plan to eat out once in a while. It is relaxing for the wife to get away from the kitchen periodically. It is a break well-needed by both. Put aside a little each week to make this possible.
5. Have fellowship with other Christian families. This is very important, as each can enjoy and share the things of the Lord. (Proverbs 18:24). Make it your ministry to make friends with new Christians, as they will need your support and encouragement. This will give you a good feeling of accomplishment to know you have had a part in helping other Christians grow.
6. Protect yourselves from discouragement by avoiding fellowship with backslidden Christians (Romans 16:17,18); II Thessalonians 3:6). “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” If you fellowship with happy Christians, it is encouraging. If you fellowship with complainers and gripers, it will not be long before you are doing the same. You will become what you associate with. Choose your friends wisely.
7. Get involved with your church. The church provides many opportunities for you to serve. The choir always needs help. Can you spare one hour extra a week? What about teaching Sunday School? Every Sunday we need to ask for nursery workers because we do not have enough faithful volunteers. Can you help in this area? The church building is in constant need of repair. Would you volunteer to help? Your help is needed and there is something for you to do. The greatest ability you have is availability. Get involved. It will promote interest, responsibility, and, a feeling of worthiness on your part. No church can operate without the participation of its people. (Colossians 3:23 & 24).
1. Husband – Personal Tips
a. Share your personal experiences with her.
b. Be sensitive to her feelings. Do not be an “unfeeling clod!”
c. Be interested in her activities.
d. Learn to communicate. Talk out problems.
e. Develop the “WE” and “OUR” habit, instead of the “I” and “MY.
f. Encourage her to develop and use her talents.
g. Help with some of the necessary work around the house.
h. Include her in as many activities as possible.
i. Always compliment her and let her know she is the greatest wife in the world. Build her self-esteem. Do not destroy it!
j. Be dependable. Let her know she can depend upon you to do what you say.
2. Wives – Personal Tips
a. Thou shalt not always be right! (Even when you are.)
b. Thou shalt take his side against all outsiders.
c. Thou shalt definitely stay within the budget.
d. Thou shalt not make any drastic hair style or make-up changes without notice.
e. Thou shalt be feminine at all times; and helpless sometimes, so he can come to the rescue.
f. Thou shalt not expect him to be neat as a pin all the time.
g. Thou shalt remember “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” (Proverbs 15:1).
h. Thou shalt keep in mind that when thy husband is talking to another woman, he is not always thinking evil.
i. Thou shalt keep thy self, children, and home clean and attractive. (Nice to come home to.)
j. If you wanted someone entirely different, you should have married someone entirely different.