Ways To Strengthen My Marriage: 4 Christian Tips

by Jack Wellman on September 18, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

Marriages are in trouble today but there are simple things that you can do every day to strengthen your marriage.  Find out how you can strengthen your marriage, and in the process, possibly save it.

Bragging About Your Spouse in Public and Private

One of the most demeaning things that couples can do to each other is to belittle one another in public.  What is said in public can humiliate and degrade the other spouse and when it’s done in front of others, it destroys respect and love that each desire (Eph 5:32-33).  This can be done in front of the children too and this takes deep roots inside of the conscience of children.  How would we like it if someone talks negatively and insultingly about your mother or father?  It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it still should never be done.  My wife is one of the best teachers in the public school system in our town.  She is revered by many of her former students.  I make sure everyone knows that!

Have you ever bragged on your children in public?  I hope you have.  When I do, I can see them beam with pride and their self esteem grows.  They tend to do the same thing.  When we brag to others in public, to family, friends, and even to co-workers, we are building up that person. When we do the opposite and talk negatively to them or about them in public, we are tearing them down and it tends to replicate their own tendencies in them about how they talk about us.  When we talk negatively, we are degrading that person’s worth.  It takes one negative word to tear down twenty positives in a person, generally speaking, so I weigh my words carefully before I speak.  If I can not say something good, then what purpose am I really serving except my own self?  Nothing ever good comes from speaking ill of another person.  Even if something gets broken or the car fender gets dented, I can fix things or replace them, but I can not fix or repair the damage that my words can do.  People are always more important than things.  People are more fragile than things.  Things have temporal value…people have infinite value.  By guarding my mouth, I am protecting my marriage.  Once my words are out of my mouth, they can not be taken back.

Ways To Strengthen My Marriage

Finally, pray together and put Christ in the center of your marriage. A three-fold cord is harder to break.

A Three Fold Cord

When I was tying down a load of wood to take to the burn pile my cord broke. It had been well used and when it broke, my whole load of wood spilled back onto the ground.  My cord was down to just one rope and I knew sooner or later it would break.

Marriage is a lot like that cord.  I had neglected it and just knew I was borrowing trouble.  In my many marriage counseling sessions that I have given, the main problem is that Christ is not in the center of the marriage.  My wife and I leave each other notes that get more accomplished than using negatives. We work different schedules so we leave each other notes since we can’t say goodbye in person.  One husband I was speaking with was angry over what appeared to me to be a trivial issue.  The wife was upset that her husband was neglecting minor repairs around the house.  When they both sat down, I had them write out two sentences and fill in the blanks.

I feel really frustrated when you _______.

When you ______ it makes me feel _____.

The couple wrote down these answers.

Husband:  I feel really frustrated when you keep pushing me to get this and that done.  When you leave me notes about these things it makes me feel you don‘t respect me.

Wife:  I feel really frustrated when you neglect fixing things that make my life harder.  When you don’t fix things it makes me feel that you don’t care.

Then I turned to Ephesians 5:33 which says, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

What was missing?  Love and respect.  And Jesus Christ.  When Jesus Christ is the central focus of a marriage, I feel that the husband will try to love his wife like Christ loves the church and the wife will try to respect her husband as the church should respect the authority of Christ.  I said it would be better to say it like: I feel or it makes me feel.

Here is what I typically leave and receive at home:

Me:  Darling, I really appreciate all the things you do for us and I truly love you for it and by the way, do you know where my Bible dictionary is?

Wife:  Dearest Jackson (what she calls me). I really respect how much you do around the house and in providing for our family, and oh yes, the garage door handles about to fall off.

What I have discovered, by trial and error, is that you can draw more flies with honey.  By keeping things around the house working as much as possible, I show her that I care and that I love her.  Her respect for me lets her put things that need repair on a love note that she leaves me or tells me in person and this shows how much she respects me.  She knows that I love her by what I do for her and so she feels the freedom to leave me little notes about things that need attention around the house.  By her respecting me, I feel free to ask her questions about something she can help me with.  Both are done lovingly and without nagging.   We try to put Christ at the center of our marriage, and that way, we are stronger and will be able to take the heavier loads that will surely come our way in life.  This “threefold cord” makes it easier to bear what comes our way. One is good, two is better, but three is best.  This reminds me of the Scripture which says, Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:12).

Don’t Try to Change Them

We are not to be in the business of changing our mate.  The Holy Spirit is the only One Who can change the human heart (Prov 21:1).  When we try to become the agent of change, we are subverting, and sometimes negating the true work of the Holy Spirit.  We take the Spirit’s place in changing the human heart.  I have never had any success in changing my spouse but when I pray for her, I submit to God the Holy Spirit to work in her just as He does in me.  The more we try to change someone, the more they tend to dig in their heels.  It has the opposite effect of changing.  I have an effect alright…and it’s always negative.  The real change agent is God and God has a positive effect because He works from within.  My efforts work from without.  Real change, as always, comes from within and not from without.  The only way that I can affect any change in my spouse is to change my own behavior.

Words of Affirmation

I believe that we must include these important words in our daily lives with our spouse:  Thank you, I appreciate all you do, I love you so much, I need you, I’m sorry, please forgive me.  I have heard men say…too many times, that I don’t need to tell her “I love you.  She knows how I feel.”  Wrong men.  We need to tell them and reaffirm them. We need to say this every single day:  I love you.  We need to show we love them by sending them cards, sending them flowers on days of no special occasion, leave them little love notes where they’ll find them sometime during their day.  When I worked for Head Start I traveled widely and my wife would pack little love notes in strategic places in my luggage where I would find them on one day, then the next, and then another.  These were so special. I have kept many of these to this day.  Women can show respect by bragging to others about their man…men can brag about their wife when in the company of others, co-workers, and for me, even strangers.  She may not hear these, but I do.  Somehow it strengthens our marriage and marriages just don’t happen. They take work.

Conclusion

We know that when a person feels valued, they feel loved. When someone brags about you, you feel a greater sense of worth.  When we can safely communicate problems, we can more openly work on solutions.  Stay away from words like, “You never, you always, or you can’t.”  These words sometimes become self-fulfilling prophecies.  Instead, say, “When you do this, it makes me feel like” or “I feel frustrated when you….”  These make the problem the focus and not the spouse.  It makes it easier to work on a solution when the problem is the focus and not the spouse.  We can not change a person.  The Holy Spirit is the only One Who can do this (Prov 21:1).

Finally, pray together and put Christ in the center of your marriage.  A three-fold cord is harder to break.  When Jesus is in the home, when Jesus is the focus, and when Jesus is embedded within the marital relationship, the chances of having a stronger marriage are better than going it alone.  This may be why Solomon wrote, “Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccl 4:12).

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

fisayo omolaja September 18, 2012 at 6:06 am

i really do appreciate this article, its eye opening and surely inspired by the holy spirit..i hope to read more from you. well done

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thank you Fisayo. We are striving so much to help marriages today because the building blocks of any society or any nation are the family and this is just what the Enemy wants to talk down.

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Pamela Rose Williams September 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Great article on such greatly needed teachings. Thank you for another job well done.

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Thank you Pamela. I myself need this to be a better husband and when I wrote it, it cut me to the quick. Some of these things I already do but it took me many years to learn them….usually the hard way. Thanks.

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Patti September 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Great article.

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thank you Patti. I must say that you are such an encourager my friend.

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Derek Hill September 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Well done Jack. There is really good material here. Thank you for your wisdom. This article will bless many because the Holy Spirit speaks truth in our hearts. God bless you brother.

In His Name Always,
Derek

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Thank you Derek. As I told Pam, I have used these many times but I wish I had done them much earlier…but these actually work great with friends as well. Just think about it. God bless you as well my brother.

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Sheeba September 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Awesome teaching! I love it and I have learned how exactly to share my feelings with my husband rather than pointing out mistakes. Thank you so much for this article. God Bless.

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Christine September 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hi Jack, my husband Erick has written to you on a few occasions. He and I have recently gone through some very trying times in our marriage and almost ended it in divorce. I wanted to say thank you directly to you for being the voice that spoke Gods word to him as he needed it and was open to hearing it. I am happy to report that he and I are planning to rededicate our vows to eachother and are more in love now than i can ever remember. our new relationship is being built on honesty and respect, but most of all the centerpeice of Gods grace, mercy and love. Marriage is truly under fire today, and praise Jesus that his strength is sufficient to win the battle. Now im hoping that i have the right site/person! lol
thank you, sincerely Christine

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Jack Wellman September 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Hello Christine. Yes, you DO have the right website. Praise God…and I am overjoyed at this marriage being restored to a stronger state. Thank you Jesus. Erick is a wonderful, godly man and I see that God has moved mightily in your and his life. These are times when I fall down on my face, hands, and knees to thank God for Jesus’ answering our prayers. True, marriage is under fire from the Enemy and we have other articles coming this month on how to help struggling marriages for marriages are the bedrock and foundation of our society. God bless you Christine. You and Erick, my prayer is, may be truly blessed by God and that He is with you as you said, “the centerpiece” of marriage for as the Proverb says, “a three-fold cord is not easily broken.”

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rozanna September 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm

This is really Important, Thank you Jack Wellman!! I have learnt so much while reading this. It’s funny to see how the most littlest things can make a big difference in your marriage. I’m preparing to get married soon so i think it’s really crucial to know these things.

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Jack Wellman September 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Rozanna…thank you so much. I appreciate this. Truly, marriages are in real trouble and we have and continue to write articles that are designed to prevent divorce, strengthen marriages, solidify them with (hopefully) Godly advice, and more are in the works. I thank you so much. Also, a very important article coming out soon is called “Before You Get Married” and I hope this helps engaged and dating couples. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, whenever it occurs Rozanna.

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rozanna September 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

Thank you it’s all coming very soon, at the start of next year.I’m really looking forward to reading that article.

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ntombi manyika September 27, 2012 at 5:02 am

Thank you very much for the tips they are working wonders in my marriage I have been following them and they have grown me spiritually, once again thank you

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wantingodsway January 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

Do you think it is disrespect when a spouse not only belittles you in public verbally but also by their actions?
Also, as far as sexual sin against a marriage, is it only adultry that is sin or is it also sin when a spouse wants you to do things that do not seem right sexually? I try talking to my spouse about it but I am always told I am wrong. He claims to be a believer but he doesn’t care to pray together or talk about God.

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Jack Wellman January 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hello wantingodsway. I am so sorry for your heartache in this. I do not believe, from what you have told me, that this man is really born again. Let me say that because if you read what a Christian is really like in 1 John chapter 3, Romans 12 & 1 Cor 13, he has none of the traits. He doesn’t want to pray, talk about God, I would guess he doesn’t go to church. Do you? Have you spoken with your pastor about this or do you not attend a church?

On sex, the Bible says that the marriage bed is undefiled and so anything in the marriage bed between you and your husband is not wrong (Heb 13:4) however, there are limits on this and there should be no other people involved. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then just pray to God. Talk to a Christian woman you trust. I am saddened that he talks about you in public this way but he does not sound like a believer in Christ. We need to pray that God will call him (John 6:44) and that only God can change this man’s heart (Prov 21:1).

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Nikita May 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Dear Jack
I find your answer to wantingodsway very interesting/disturbing when you say that nothing in the marriage bed is wrong. You do qualify this by stating that there are limits to this, such as other people being involved. Would a limit on this not also be where the one spouse is humiliated or uncomfortable with particular sexual needs of the other spouse? Surely in a Christian marriage, spouses should respect each other in this regard? I fear that by stating that nothing is wrong in the (Christian) marriage bed, without clear clarification on how Christian spouses should treat each other, may open up all sorts of misunderstandings, and perhaps even avenues for manipulation using ‘Christianity’ as a weapon in order to satisfy deviant sexual needs.

Great article, by the way. You writers all rock!

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Jack Wellman May 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Thank you Nikita. You make an excellent point. I should have qualified that statement that I made and I apologize for misleading some if I did. I appreciate you pointing that out. I was really quoting the writer of the Book of Hebrews but I am sure the author of that book didn’t mean that “anything goes” and to do something that the other marriage partner does not like or disagrees with should not be done against their will. Your point is well take and I thank you for covering that “deviant sexual needs” issue. You are so right.

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