When we got married, we were twenty-one and twenty-two years old. To say the least, we were young and naïve. In fact, we had no idea what we were doing or what we were getting into. What we did know is that we loved each other, enjoyed the same things, and had similar life dreams and goals.
Now, after being together for over 35 years, we recognize that sharing common interests, dreams, and goals (as good and as important as they are) is not enough to build a great marriage.
We have some really good news for you today,
you can build the real marriage you've always wanted!
To do so, you are going to need a plan and a pathway for greatness. You see, a great marriage doesn’t happen by chance, a great marriage happens by choice. Building the real marriage you've always wanted is going to take a personal lifelong commitment to growth, change, learning, loving, caring, and nurturing your marriage so that it becomes all that God designed and you desire.
The bible is full of verses offering ways to build a real marriage.
You might choose the qualities and characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. Colossians 3: 12-14 is rich with descriptions of how we should clothe ourselves
as we relate to one another.
But if you are looking for one verse that offers you specific ways to build the real marriage you've always wanted, then look no further than 2 Corinthians 13: 11.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor. 13:11 NIV)
Rejoice, Restore, Encourage, Be of One Mind, and Live in Peace
These are the cornerstones of the real marriage you've always wanted.
- REJOICE -
Rejoice means to “show great delight”.
If you want to build the marriage you want,
show one another how much you delight in them.
- RESTORE -
When the Bible uses the word restoration it is tied to improvement.
When something is restored it is improved and better than it was to begin with. Great marriages choose to improve and make their marriages better daily.
- ENCOURAGE -
The simple application of encouragement is to “give one another courage”.
When you encourage your spouse, you give them confidence, hope, and support. Make the conscious decision to be an encourager to your husband or wife by offering them daily encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrew 3:13).
- BE OF ONE MIND -
This building block for your marriage is all about unity and partnership.
You may have different opinions and viewpoints,
but you can still be of one mind because you choose to be united.
- LIVE IN PEACE -
This is the foundation for all the others.
You may ask why? It’s because peace is a person: Jesus Christ.
Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
2 Thessalonians 3:16 states “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.”
If you are going to build the marriage you've always wanted (and you can), Jesus has to be the center of it. When Jesus is the center of a marriage, that couple has all the power they need to rejoice, restore, encourage, and be of one mind as they live in peace.
You can begin to build the real marriage you've always wanted by living out these five directives because "...the God of love and peace will be with you."
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships. To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com . You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as @daleandjena