Here are six things you’ll see most of the healthy couples not doing to keep their marriage strong.
Running with the Crowd
What is right is not usually popular but what is popular is not usually right, and so it is true that “Bad company ruins good morals” (1st Cor 15:33). I learned that the hard way in my youth and even into my adulthood, therefore couples must be careful with whom they associate as we tend to become like those around us; for good and for bad. Healthy couples with strong marriages don’t run with bad company.
The Roaring Silence
spouse asks, “What’s wrong honey?” and the other says, “Nothing.” One thing a healthy, married couple does is communicate. Local natives on volcanic islands have learned that a volcano that spews out gas and molten lava is slowly and gradually is better than one that suddenly explodes because someone usually gets hurt. Healthy couples don’t usually erupt into rage and begin to yell or scream at one another, because they’ve already been talking things over. This is especially important when there are children involved. A deafening, roaring silence means something is wrong. Healthy couples don’t let that happen.
Healthy couples almost always make time to be with one another on a regular or consistent basis. They don’t wait weeks or months to have a date night. They find babysitters to make it even more special; when they sense that they need some one-on-one time together in order to keep them close. Healthy couples don’t live a separate life and don’t avoid having intimate times together…alone.
No Shared Interests
I don’t necessarily like watching food networks just to see who’s going to be chopped, but I do watch them because my wife likes them. That’s enough for me. I admit that I’m starting to enjoy them, although a John Wayne movie or football game is really more to my liking, however since she likes it, I watch it, so that I can share in some of her interests. Healthy couples don’t usually spend every evening apart while one watches one TV or a movie while the other spouse is on the Internet. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless that’s the way that it always is.
Won’t Build up One Another
Couples that have strong marriages rarely, if ever, speak negatively about their spouse, especially when they’re in front of a larger gathering or when there’s only one other person there. Healthy spouses don’t speak about one another in negative terms to others, on social media, or even back to their spouse. They certainly don’t call one another names. We are commanded to build up one another in the faith (1st Thess 5:11), not tear down one another in anger.
Don’t Forgive One Another
Not only do we know that we must forgive one another because of how much we’ve been forgiven, when we don’t forgive, we are embittering ourselves against our spouse and God and we are hardening our hearts. Think about how much we’ve been forgiven; Jesus died for us while we were wicked, evil, ungodly sinners and natural enemies of His (Rom 5:6-10), so how can we not forgive our spouse!? Strong marriages have spouses who have learned to forgive one another and harbor no grudges.
I hope this has helped some. Perhaps you can think of better ideas than I’ve come up with. Maybe you’re experiences have proven to be beneficial in strengthening marriages. That kind of help is always welcome. We’d love to hear it. Besides, marriages today need all the help they can get; from God, from the Word of God, from the Spirit of God, and from those who love and care about them the most.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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