Lately, I’ve been posting a monthly marriage miracle story. Right now I’m on the lookout for more stories. If you have one, please notify me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write out your own story, or I can interview you and write the story for you. If you know of someone else who has a marriage miracle story, please put me in touch with that person. I am looking for stories from wives who have not given up in hard times but have depended on the Lord and have received a miraculous healing in their marriage.
This month I decided to post some marriage tips that have spoken to me. I realized that receiving godly counsel from others contributed to my own marriage miracle. For a number of years, I posted a weekly marriage tip to help others–just as I was being helped by these tips. The following are twelve tips from the past that spoke to me and helped to change my perspective on marriage and improve my attitude. I pray they will also minister to you in your marriage.
“…ask yourself…what are you doing (or neglecting) that makes your spouse feel lonely? Just as it takes two to get married, it nearly always takes two to let a marriage drift. So identify your own contributions to the problem. Is your schedule so crowded with outside commitments that you’re seldom home? Have you neglected hobbies or other activities that used to draw you and your mate closer? Have you started taking your spouse for granted— failing to express thanks, neglecting to extend common courtesies? Are you too preoccupied with work, the kids or family finances to listen to your spouse? After asking yourself the hard questions, commit to making the personal changes necessary to reverse the emotional drift.”
–Tim Gardner from “Alone Together” published in the September 2008 issue of Today’s Christian Woman.
“It is a far better approach to accentuate the positive and to sincerely and enthusiastically applaud whatever…progress you see in your partner. Spouses have a tendency to become what their loved ones praise in them. Speaking gentle words of respect and encouragement, whether in private or in front of others, can be extremely influential in bringing about a desire to change.”
From the book, Surviving A Spiritual Mismatch, by Lee Strobel.
“Choose to complete him rather than compete with him.” — Dr. Juli Slattery
“Concentrate on what God wants to change in your life, not what you wish were different with your spouse. Strive to live out your convictions before her/him, in the balance of grace and truth.”
–Kathy Norquist, from Eternal Perspectives Newsletter, Spring 2014
“As we start learning how to act right when our spouse acts wrong, we will begin to see what God is doing to make us more like him in the midst of marital difficulties. We will become able to…respond wisely when wronged. Perhaps most important of all, learning to act right when our spouse acts wrong will force us to forage for a deeper relationship with Christ. For to act right with a pure sincere heart in the midst of suffering will stretch our faith and trust in God as we struggle to yield our will to his plan for our life.
The marriage relationship is a picture of the covenant relationship with Christ. He is going to be our teacher in this process, for he always acts right.
Even when we act wrong.”
–From How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick
“A relationship is a living thing—it thrives with attention and withers when ignored. To maintain a healthy relationship, married couples should regularly examine how they spend their most precious resources—their time and energy—and determine whether they are following their priorities…
As you look at your normal daily schedule, what could you change—what could you spend less time doing—to make more room for your relationship?”
–from Keeping Your Covenant; A Small Group Study to Enrich Your Marriage put out by Family Life ministry, Little Rock, Arkansas
“We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge our spouses by their actions. No wonder we think we’re better!”
–Anne Moodie, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum
“Quitting is not an option. When I don’t ‘feel in love,’ I make the decision to love anyway. There is a lot of forgiving that goes on. Being married for so long, there are plenty of opportunities to drag up old offences. I have to do as Clara Barton said when asked didn’t she remember something someone did to her. She said, “I clearly remember forgetting.” I have to chase off those memories with that statement! And so does he. Sometimes loving each other feels really, really good. But sometimes loving each other means sacrificing self and the ‘right’ to be angry or hurt, and just going ahead and forgiving, letting go, and getting over it. Love ‘feels’ very different from forty years ago.”
–From LaDonna—married to Buddy for 40 years.
Marriage is like a dance, and we must learn not to give up when it seems our partner has two left feet.
–Paraphrase of statement made on a Refine Us radio commercial.
“…we can live as critics and bring condemnation on our spouse, or we can live as supporters, focusing on attributes we appreciate. When we choose to dwell in appreciation of our spouse, we de-emphasize their negative,… and their positives grow. When we choose to live in the appreciation room, our focus transforms our thinking, our words, who we are, and to whom we are married!”
“Communication is the essential element to every great marriage. Getting to know another human being requires talking. It’s how we fall in love. It’s how we understand another person’s heart. It’s how we resolve problems and discuss needs…Speak kindness, truth, and positive words to each other, and watch how God will use these things to draw you closer than ever before.”
–Jimmy Evans from Marriage Today email about communication in marriage.
“…The places in our personality where we deviate from love are not our faults, but our wounds. God doesn’t want to punish us, but to heal us. And that is how He wishes us to view the wounds in other people…. When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior. Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response.”