Marriage
This page is to assist you in repairing, building up and strengthening your marriage.  There is nothing more valuable for keeping a marriage bond strong than praying and sharing the Word together and committing to doing what it takes to share these times together.


and may the LORD God
bless your marriage


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
[Electronic Online Edition]                                         Marriage

MAR'RIAGE, n. [L.mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity,and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Heb.13.
1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
    The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Matt.22.
2. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Rev.19.

Messages written specifically on Submission and Marriage

A Christian Home message board 

familylife.com

A Woman of Value Ministries
with Norma Daulton
 

Ten Commandments for the Twentieth Century Husband
author unknown

1. Thou shalt put thy wife before they mother, thy father, thy son, and thy daughter, for thy wife is thy lifelong companion.
2. Abuse not thy body by overeating, by tobacco, or drink, that thy days may be many and healthful in the presence of thy loved ones.
3. Permit neither thy business nor thy hobby to make of thee a stranger to thy children, for the most precious gift a man giveth his family is his time.
4. Forget not the virtue of cleanliness.
5. Make not thy wife a beggar, but share willingly with her thy worldly goods.
6. Forget not to say "I love you," for even though thy love be constant thy wife doth yearn to hear these words.
7. Remember that the approval of thy wife is worth more than the admiring glances of a hundred strangers. Cleave unto her and forsake all others.
8. Keep thy home in good repair, for out of it cometh the joys of old age.
9. Forgive with grace, for who among us does not need to be forgiven?
10. Honor the Lord all the days of thy life, and thy children will rise up and call thee blessed.

Ten Commandments for Wives
author unknown

1. Carefully guard thine health so thou canst always greet thy husband with a smile.
2. Never nag or complain.
3. Do not worry about things which thou canst not change.
4. Do not spend all thy time scrubbing, cleaning, and dusting the house.
5. Love thine husband and children more than thy house.
6. Know how to prepare good, nutritious food and keep it on the table.
7. Know the limitations of thy husband's income and do not try to keep up with the Jones's or others.
8. Do not buy a hat or hairdo or wig that makes thy husband unhappy.
9. Remember that at times silence is golden.
10. Do not drive the automobile from back or side seat.

 

NABBING THIEVES THAT STEAL YOUR INTIMACY
-by Joseph and Linda Dillow and Peter and Lorraine Pintus

Every couple wishes the romance and starry-eyed love could last forever. But at some point every husband and wife must cross the invisible line between fantasy love and real life, where the majority of marriage is lived out.

Even King Solomon and the Shulammite crossed that line as problems threatened to erode their intimacy: "Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom" ( Song of Songs 2:15 ). She told him, "We've got problems. Can't you see those little foxes? They're going to ruin everything for us. Do something about this."

Most Old Testament scholars agree that the vineyards in this verse represent Solomon and the Shulammite's love. Everything seems perfect, except that she spies some little foxes in their vineyard, and warns Solomon of their presence. While seemingly harmless, foxes dug holes and passages that loosened the soil around the vines, preventing them from developing a stable root system. In this instance, that root system is their intimacy.

Proverbial symbols of destroyers, the little foxes in this passage symbolize the small problems that gnaw at the root of their love.

We must catch those foxes that gnaw at the root of our love, because if we don't, they'll destroy our desire for sexual intimacy.

A recent cover of Newsweek showed a husband and wife in bed, dressed in full-length pajamas. He stares blankly at a computer on his lap while she shovels spoonfuls of Hšagen-Dazs into her mouth, a zoned-out look on her face. A blaring headline reads, "No Sex, Please, We're Married." The subtitle asks, "Are Stress, Kids, and Work Killing Romance?"

The answer? Yes! Stress is eating us alive. And the two most common foxes, or intimacy killers, for married couples? Work and kids.

Intimacy stealer #1: Overwork. Work, work, work. According to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Americans worked 350 hours more this year than last year, and this upward trend continues. And the result is neglected marriages.

John works 75 hours a week under the guise of providing for his family. Amy's request for him to spend more time at home unleashes strong emotion in them both. He's angry: "Doesn't she understand the pressure I'm under?" She's despondent: "Doesn't he see he's becoming a stranger to me?"

Men are not the only ones who suffer from overwork. Women who are employed full time are usually still the main family and house managers. And don't forget about stay-at-home moms.

It used to be that several times a year, Americans took a vacation. They retreated to a quaint cabin (with no television) by a mountain lake, where they sipped lemonade, listened to the katydids chirp, and enjoyed the chance to get away from the phone and their daily routine. These days, instead of getting away, we take it all with us. On our last vacation, we each took a cell phone and a laptop. Count it up: between us, five days away with four cell phones, four laptops, two Palm Pilots, and two Day-Timers.

Unfortunately, constant connections with the outside world can leave us disconnected from our mate.

Intimacy stealer #2: Children. First you married, then you had kids. Problems surface when couples reverse this order. We best serve our kids when we make our marriage our first priority.

Children, while gifts from God and a joy to parents, require constant care, diminishing opportunities for intimacy. Cassie told us: "I've got three preschoolers. I'm so exhausted from kids pulling on me all day that by bedtime, I can hardly move. Then my husband wants sex, and he wonders why I'm irritated. The last thing I need is another person pulling on my worn-out body."

Murphy's Law says, "Sex makes little kids. Kids make little sex."

Jody and Linda: Years ago, when our kids were preschoolers, we realized we needed some time alone as a couple. After years of being pregnant and nursing, Linda was beyond exhausted. So we planned a weekend away. We secured a woman to stay with our children. Everything was in placeóand then the babysitter got sick. So we planned a second getaway. Again, we spent days getting every detail in placeóthen Linda got sick.

On our third attempt, we thought, Surely this time it will happenóand the car broke down. Our attempts to be alone were adding more stress to our already stressed-out lives, but we were determined to spend time together, without kids. On the fourth try we had our weekend away. It was glorious, well worth fighting for.

Steal it back! In our busy, stress-filled lives, we race from work to children to marriage, and in our race we end up putting out fires rather than living by priority. One couple described it this way: "We keep saying we'll find time for usónext year will be different, the kids will be older, work commitments will be different. We've been saying these things for five years and nothing has changed. We've finally realized we must find time today, this week, not next year."

Perhaps part of the problem is our perspective. It isn't about finding time; it's about making time.

So what do we do about work and kids? How can we catch these foxes and recapture intimacy?

1. Talk to God. If your heart isn't right, you'll dismiss how to spend more time with each other with an apathetic shrug, and a "No, I don't want to do that." The starting place to create time for your mate is to ask God to instill in you a desire to make your sex life a top priority.

2. Schedule time on your calendars. Sit down together with your calendars. Across the top of a piece of paper, write the name of each family member, making a column for each. List the activities associated with each person, and how much time that activity takes each week. Be sure to include transportation time as well as time spent in planning or preparing for the activity. Your goal is to review all your current activities so you can recover a minimum of two hours a week and one weekend a year that the two of you can devote to time alone together.

To accomplish this goal, you'll need to eliminate or curtail certain activities on your list. Review each activity and ask these questions: Can this be eliminated from our schedule? If not, how can we minimize its drain on our time? Discuss how you can grab two hours a week to focus on each other, and mark out that time on your schedule.

3. Interview an older couple. Invite for dinner one or two older couples whose marriages you respect. Ask them questions such as: How did you keep your marriage a priority? How did you make time for intimacy? What's your most memorable romantic time together? What suggestions do you have for us as a couple? Is there anything you'd change about the priority you placed on your relationship?

Their wisdom will inspire you to create marriage minutes together.

4. Brainstorm with couples your age. Organize a "Potluck With a Purpose" and invite couples who also want time together. Ask every couple to be prepared to share three creative things they've done to grab marriage minutes. Compile a master list and ask the couples if they're willing to meet every six months (or year) to update the list.

5. Fast from television for one week. You'll be shocked how much time you'll have for romance when you turn off the tube. Try it for one week and see the difference it makes in finding time to enjoy your intimacy.

6. Hire a babysitter. Don't waste your babysitting dollars on going to see a movie! Instead, hire a sitter to take your kids to a park Saturday morning for two hours while you spend that time at homeóin bed.

7. Schedule a motel date. When curious teenagers fill the house and won't go to bed before midnight, it can short circuit your love life. Leave your teens with a pizza and a good movie, pack a picnic basket filled with fun food, a CD player, candles, and scented lotion, and go to a motel from 5-11 p.m. You'll be amazed at how much loving and talking you can do with no ringing phones! It's cheaper than dinner out and a movieóand more fun!

8. Enjoy the Sabbath rest. God asks us to take a Sabbath rest. Our bodies were made for a day of rest once a week. We encourage you to work and do activities with your kids for six days, but then take off one day. No work. No shopping. No running to sports activities. Instead, set aside the entire day to worship God, take naps, rest, and play together. This is part of intimacyófinding rest in each other, lying in each other's arms, and enjoying the closeness without the stress of life.


This article is adapted from the book, Intimacy Ignited by Joseph and Linda Dillow and Peter and Lorraine Pintus, published by NavPress Publishing Group www.navpress.com, ISBN 1576836401. It's for those who are looking for more romance in their marriage. It's also great for those who are engaged to be married because it focuses on "God's intentions for sex through the Song of Solomon and the way He intends it to be". This book is a follow-up to the best seller Intimate Issues (WaterBrook Press) and takes you on a verse-by-verse exploration of the Bible's very own manual on sex and intimacy: Song of Solomon. The authors show you how this timeless love poem explains that the secret to great sex in marriage begins with a servant heart. They strive to help you to: Discover the freedom, holiness, and beauty of sex in marriage, learn how to become a servant lover instead of a selfish lover, and explore creative ideas for lovemaking based on the Bible.

Dr. Joseph and Linda Dillow have been married for forty years. Jody is an author and the president of BEE World, while Linda is a popular speaker and best-selling author of The Blessing Book, Calm My Anxious Heart, and Intimate Issues (coauthored with Lorraine Pintus). Dr. Peter and Lorraine Pintus are founders of Hearts at Home, a training and development organization. Peter is the president of Metochoi Life Coaching and an adjunct professor. Lorraine is a freelance writer, a speaker, and the author of Intimate Issues (coauthored with Linda Dillow) and Diapers, Pacifiers, and Other Holy Things.

 

A Healthy Marriage
Dr. Tim A. Gardner

What, then, does this type of relationship look like?
In short, a healthy marriage can be measured by six interrelated criteria:

a sense of oneness
an atmosphere of acceptance, openness and resolution
passionate sexual intimacy
an unswerving commitment to God and to each other
a spirit of forgiveness
a sense of a marital mission

1. A Sense of Oneness

With a spirit of oneness, couples realize and experience the uniqueness of what "God has joined together" in marriage. They believe God has called them into a relationship in which they can become much more together than they ever could individually. They have a couple mindset, meaning that if I am one with my mate, I take him or her into consideration in every decision I make. I value what my mate thinks and who he or she is. And I realize that us is more important than me. Couples who have a sense of oneness have learned the practice and power of what I call T.O.Y.S.: Think Outside YourSelf. You are aware at all times of what it means to look out for your mateís interests and desires. Couples who are one realize they are stewards of the love and life that God has given them, they relish the mystery of oneness and they are determined to use their marriage to honor him.

2. An Atmosphere of Acceptance

Couples with healthy marriages value acceptance and openness and share a commitment to resolving conflict. One of the greatest gifts you can give your mate is to accept him or her for who he or she is: Godís gift to you. (I must, however, add the caveat that this does not mean you simply endure abusive or addictive behavior.) But barring such destructive behavior, most husbands and wives keep trying to change their mates into whom they think they should become. That sort of remodeling project is the opposite of acceptance, and it doesnít make for a healthy relationship.  In a strong marriage, both husband and wife feel known and accepted. Closely connected with that is openness--the ability to express your thoughts, ideas, hopes, dreams and failures freely. Along with that is the ability to hear and appreciate what your mate is telling you.  Add to that a third essential skill, that of resolving whatever conflicts arise. We may think "normal" couples never raise their voices in conflict. But as researcher John Gottman has proven, volume is less important than the content of what you say. Couples living in an atmosphere of acceptance and openness donít demean each other, put each other down or destructively criticize one another. Those habits are what lead to resolving conflicts.

3. Passionate Sexual Intimacy

You can have an average marriage without a good sex life, but I firmly believe that you cannot have a great marriage without a great sex life. But that canít be defined by frequency, variety and response since "normal" is not necessarily healthy.  A healthy sexual relationship is one in which egos and personal agendas are left outside the bedroom door. Both the wife and the husband are free to express their wants, desires, likes, dislikes, turn-ons and turn-offs in a way that celebrates Godís gift of sex. They see their sexuality as a way to express their love, serve each other and celebrate the oneness created by God. And they do all of this in an emotional environment that is free of criticism and manipulation.

4. Commitment to God and Each Other

Commitment is a vital component of any healthy marriage. The vows you spoke before God were not just nice platitudes. "Till death do us part" is just what it says. (Again, Iím not talking about extreme cases of violence and abuse.) Couples who dissolve their marriages are usually the ones who, in the back of their minds, always gave themselves an out in case things didnít work as they planned (or selfishly hoped). In contrast, a couple who can look deeply into each otherís eyes and pledge again "for better or worse" on each anniversary will have a marriage that is strong, above normal, and, yes, healthy.

5. A Spirit of Forgiveness

From reading the teachings of Christ, itís obvious that forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with commitment. However, far too few couples offer the gift of forgiveness to their mates.  How do you react when your spouse expresses concern about something you did or neglected to do? Do you respond with humility and gratitude for being given the opportunity to change and improve your marriage (no, that is not a joke)? Or are you more likely to launch an accusation of your own:  "Oh yeah, well let me tell you what you did!" If the latter, thatís a strong indication that forgiveness is not a regular part of your marriage.  I canít succeed in loving and caring for my wife as long as I harbor a long list of wrongs I believe she has committed against me. Our culture tells us we have every right to be upset. Well, you may have cause to be upset, but God calls us to confess the wrong that we have done and to extend forgiveness to others. And that begins at home.

6. A Clear Marital Mission

Couples with a healthy marriage know that their relationship has a divinely ordained purpose. Books on excelling in the business world stress the importance of understanding why we exist: What is our niche? What do we want to accomplish and why? Such a focus works wonders in the corporate world, and yet studies have shown that fewer than 3 percent of married couples have any goals that go beyond financial planning.  Part of understanding oneness in marriage involves recognizing marriageís bigger purpose. What we can invest in that will not only bring great returns to our own relationship but will also contribute to the Kingdom of God.  For one couple, a "normal" marital mission might be to minister to orphans in Romania. For another, it may be using their marriage to show hospitality to their neighbors in suburban Dallas. The more you approach marriage as a secure base from which to serve others and bring honor to God, the more you will see and experience how alive, exciting and fun marital love was created to be.  A great marriage is one that begins with a strong sense of oneness and grows to include a shared mission that enriches the lives of others. Along the way, a husband and wife practice mutual acceptance and open communication (even when disagreeing), passionate sexual intimacy, an unswerving commitment to God and to each other and generous amounts of forgiveness.  Far from being average, a healthy marriage will exceed your highest expectations and your wildest dreams. With that kind of potential, who cares about being normal?    
 

Dr. Tim A. Gardner is author of Sacred Sex (WaterBrook) and Director of The Marriage Education and Policy Center at the Indiana Family Institute (an affiliate of Focus on the Family).

 

Marriage Link Sites
Many of the sites I link to all over our site have "Marriage" categories
so the sites listed below are  ones that specifically deal with marriage.

 

How to Really Love Your Husband
http://hometown.aol.com/gailnstevedunbar/myhomepagehowto.html

           How to have a Happy Marriage
Accept Jesus Christ as LORD
Submit Yourself to God's Order
Learn Effective Verbal Communication in Marriage
Commit Yourself to the Relationship
Develop Your Sexual Relationship

The above are all from the Bible Truths website 
The website contains good articles and links to
many topics concerning the faith.

 

 


 

 

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