1. Grow Spiritually – Galatians 5:22: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The qualities most needed in marriage are these nine words, which are descriptions of the character of Christ. They are only produced when we know Christ and are growing in the Spirit. The greatest thing you can do for your marriage is to become a more mature person in your personal walk with the Lord.
2. Stay Cheerful – 1 Thessalonians 5:16: Be joyful always. We wouldn’t think of living in a house with deadly toxins, but it’s also toxic to live in a house filled with irritation or depression or discouragement. We need to go about our home life with a conscious smile and be dogged in our effort to cultivate “cheerful piety.” Our attitudes are contagious, and we need to spread good ones to our other family members—not infect them with our bad attitudes.
3. Manage Anger – James 1:19-20: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. One angry moment can do as much damage as an armed rocket. That’s why Proverbs 16:32 says that a person who controls his temper is better than he who takes a city.
4. Be Affectionate – Hosea 3:1: Go, show your love to your wife. It’s not enough to love silently or stoically. Good marriages require hugging, holding hands, going on dates, saying those three words, and regular romance.
5. Be Intimate – 1 Corinthians 7:5: Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. That is plain enough, it is a commandment, and it’s an instruction from God about marriage.
To be continued… for my entire message on this subject (audio, video, transcript), visit www.donelson.org, and check out the sermon links.