How to Make a Marriage Work

It takes effort to make a marriage healthy and strong. It also needs a solid foundation of give and take and is best bound together by unity and love. But those key elements don’t just magically happen because you say I do. There have been many days I wanted to run away because life got too hard, especially in my husband’s fight against cancer. Renewal of my love and my marriage vows helped me stay and stick it out.

I’ve learned many of these lessons the hard way. Let me share 5 ways to make a marriage work:

1.  Don’t keep a score card.

There are several meanings of love and acceptance, but there’s only one way to cherish. To cherish means to love completely and fully, in spite of irritating quirks and annoying habits. Loving is a true test of accepting someone right where they are. Let’s face it: We all have our stuff, and we must keep our love on at all times to overlook his or her unlovable stuff, including accepting or overlooking those mistakes or habits that rub you the wrong way and never using them for ammunition later.

2.  Fight fair.

Respect and value will always work towards creating a healthy and loving marriage environment. Often marriage looks a lot like conflict resolution, instead of a celebration of diversity between two people. Going down the route of destruction of character while fighting only devalues each other instead of bringing unity. Respecting differences through adversity gives a deeper appreciation and satisfaction instead of division. Honor and value are more caught than taught.

3.  Use self-control.

Don’t try to control your spouse, use self-control to be the best spouse for them. It’s easy to put blame and shame upon yourself or your spouse caused by a reaction from something they said or did. Remembering that you can only control your emotions is a good way to keep yourself in check, instead of creating drama with overreactions. Positive affirmation is much more beneficial than critical statements about their behavior that you might dislike.

4.  Forgive quickly.

Forgiveness is essential in making a partnership work. There will be times when you don’t feel like extending mercy but let’s face it, we all make mistakes! Do what you can to make amends when conflicts arise. A good boundary makes room for forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Trust and responsibility come with sharing life by a “give and take” attitude.

5.  Work hard and don’t give up.

Trials will come and it’s good to have a healthy foundation in marriage that builds devotion or loyalty. When taking a vow of marriage, we tend to only think of the good health and wealth component to the promise. The fact is life is full of tensions, tests, and trials that bring stress to the strongest couple. It’s better to be united while going through tough times over letting those tough times untie your vows to each other. {Tweet This}  In my own marriage, I found that keeping our faith in God as our glue and remembering to honor our commitment to each other has helped us through many a storm with prayer and the power of forgiving love.

What is something that helps you define your relationship with your spouse?