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If you are having problems in your marriage, you are not alone. In the society which we live in today, one of the unfortunate characteristics is the widespread breakdown of marriage and family. But it doesn't have to be that way.
This article is designed to provide some practical tips which I hope will help you if you are going through such a difficult time.
Before you read the rest of this article, may I suggest that you read three other articles in this website, which are inter-related. They are: "Beyond Your Problems There Is Hope", "God's Incredible Promise", and "Sexual and Physical Abuse".
There are several things to discuss which I hope will help. Firstly, let's get out of the way a less than pleasant topic, (which quite likely doesn't apply in your case!) Here it is:
It is difficult to build a happy marriage where there is poor hygiene and unpleasant smells. Appalling manners are almost as bad. The tendency is to try to get away from such offensive situations.
But this article is designed to show positive help, so let's look at the positive. Many of the problems that exist in today's marriages, are found, not in sexual unfaithfulness, prevalent as that may be. (We will discuss that later on). Rather these problems are found in the more basic area of selfishness. It is very difficult to build a successful, happy marriage where there is selfishness. If you are trying to build your own personal empire at the expense of your spouse and family, don't be surprised if your marriage hits the rocks.
Let me repeat again, ( I assume that you have read the other articles ), the advice that Jesus gave when He said that whoever would choose to be great, shoud be a servant. He wasn't talking of subserviency, but rather advising us that we should seek to help others, even if that would mean that we would take a more menial role.
If we seek to help our spouse achieve his or her honest goals in life, we are heeding the advice that Jesus gave. In the home this principle will be seen in many areas. Such as chores. The tendency is for one person to relax while the other works. Try reversing that practice. If chores need to be done, do them - no matter whose job you think it should be. Try asking, "How can I help you", or "What can I do to help you get ready?" ( or whatever). Or, "You look tired - let me do that". Got the idea?
It is keeping our spouse's interests in mind, putting them before our own. This sort of practice has a name. It is called love.
What about unfaithfulness? There won't be any. We simply can't have our spouse's interest at heart and go off with someone else. We can't solve our marriage problems in someone else's bed. If you want a happy marriage, you will be faithful to your spouse.
What about the marriage bedroom? If one wants to get close to his/her spouse four times a night, and the spouse would settle for four times a year, clearly there must be some compromise. Respecting each others needs and desires will go a long way to resolving these sort of problems. And don't get upset if the bedroom Utopia isn't achieved tonight. Maybe tomorrow night, or next week - or next month. The important thing is to think of your spouse.
Perhaps the general problems which you have been experiencing in your marriage, have been caused by some addiction - whether to gambling, or to alcohol, tobacco, or to other drugs. If you have read the other articles in this website, you won't be surprised when I tell you that God can give you the victory over your addictions. Ask Him. Talk to Him as to a friend. Tell Him that you can't kick the habit and that you need His help. Then go to a sympathetic doctor and ask him or her for some medication to help you over this difficult time initially. Don't forget to ask God every day for help. Believe that He will help you and He will.
If the problems which you have been experiencing are through lack of finance, may I suggest that you read the article in this website called: "The Poverty Trap" Jesus gave some very good advice about this. He said that we should not worry about what we should eat or drink, or what we should wear, but rather that we should seek first His righteousness ( or goodness). If we genuinely seek to do what God wants us to do, then Jesus said that these needs of ours would be cared for. In providing for our needs God may lead us to a place where we can find work if we need a job, or to an honest way to access the supplying of our needs. Its hard to see how He would help those who may just want to laze around the house doing nothing.
It is important for both of you to want to resolve any marriage problems that you may have and to genuinely work together to achieve happiness. Having said that, a change of attitude on the part of one spouse may well trigger a change of attitude in the other. If each spouse makes a commitment of his/her life to God, the other may follow when the change is seen to be genuine. Remember that God has ways of sorting out our problems, of which we have never thought.
What about others outside the home who are having a rough time? It will strengthen the marriage bonds if you both reach out to help those you hear of who are homeless, or who need clothes or blankets, or who need a few food parcels until they can get on their feet again. Why is this? It is because it will take the focus away from the problems that you may have been having when you see someone else's needs, and of course it is another way of putting into practice the principle that Jesus taught - that of helping others.
One very important way to help you get over marriage problems may surprise you. But maybe not, if you have read the other articles in this website. This is it - don't treat it lightly - it has been proved over and over again. Thousands and thousands of times.
If you and your spouse spend time together every day reading advice from the Bible and asking God to help you, your problems may be resolved faster than you think. If you are new to this, try reading the Bible in Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7 initially, then go on to other parts of the Bible - just reading a piece of advice each day. Read it out loud and share it with your spouse and family. Then together ask God for wisdom to show you how to have a happy marriage and family. Ask Him too for wisdom to know how to sort out the problems which could exist perhaps with your children, or with your finances, or housing, or whatever. Talk to God as you would to a friend whom you respect.
Decide to do what God wants you to do, and commit your lives to His keeping. It works. I know. Over a long life, - firstly in my parents home, and throughout the many years in the home that my wife and I established, we have set apart ten minutes or so every morning for family worship. That is, worship of God, by the family. Like with my parents, my wife and I too have had a happy marriage.
I hope that the advice which I have shared with you will help you to sort out your marriage problems and that you will enjoy a happy and fulfilling relationship in your marriage, as well as in your home and family.
May God bless you.
Copyright © G.S.Board 28 July 2003. All Rights Reserved.
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