Keys To A Successful Marriage
Not long ago, I was honored by my Grandson and his Fiance when asked how my wife and I’d stayed married so long (Over 51 years now).
This is what I shared in a personal letter with them.
Dear Joshua and Serra,
Over the next few minutes I’d like to share some secrets on how to have a successful marriage. Your Grandmother and I have been married for over 51 years and whereas our marriage at times has had difficulties, we have overcome all the obstacles in our way and today we continue to have a vibrant, happy, and loving relationship. We still have problems since we’re still married, but we know how to overcome them.
I want you to have this same kind of marriage or better.
We’re often asked what’s the secret to a life-long successful marriage.
“Cling, cling, cling. Always cling to one another like your very lives depend upon it. Because it does!”
Marriage was first instituted by God after He created man and woman. So marriage is blessed by God and He laid down a couple of guidelines to help us have a happy marriage. (The Bible teaches in Genesis 2 that marriage is to be a heterosexual relationship.)
With your permission I’d like to share these truths with you.
In Genesis we read how God took dust and made a man. From the man’s side, He made a woman. Adam’s first recorded words were, And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:23-25
They had become one flesh. When a man and a woman marry they become one. The married couple are to cling to each other as though they had no parents or anyone else, except God and each other, just like Adam and Eve.
There are three keys to a successful and holy marriage laid out in Genesis..
- God is First The Lord God Almighty must be the Lord of both the husband and wife. He is to be loved, honored, obeyed and worshipped.
- Priesthood. The father is to be the spiritual leader (priest) of the family. It is his responsibility to teach the children about God, How to worship God, How to pray, how to follow God. He leads not only the Spiritual teachings of the children but family prayers, daily Bible reading, worship and guidance. God has seen fit to appoint fathers the responsibility of providing for their children, and providing for the family’s physical and spiritual needs. Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;Isaiah 38:19 ….. The father shall make known Your truth to the children.
- Husband/wife Relationship: The relationship between a husband and wife is one of a partnership, of living together, working together, worshipping together and living together in a manner that honors each other. It is not a master/slave relationship where men despotically lord it over women. In Genesis 3:16 we read To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Again, the man is not a master who has a slave he commands. Think of it in this light. I am working for a company who has assigned a boss over me. There is a problem. A staff meeting is called and the problem is discussed with everyone working for the boss giving their advice until the problem is fully understood and the ramifications of all proposed solutions defined. With more than one solution available someone has to make a decision on what to do. In a company the boss has been hired to be the leader to make decisions, and they hold him accountable for making good decisions. In marriage, God has appointed the husband to make decisions and God holds him accountable for making good decisions. In my example, The leader (father) makes a decision and everyone (mother) marches out to fulfill the final decision. This is the relationship we need to have in marriage. The Bible says we are to submit one to another. (Ephesians 5:21) submitting to one another in the fear of God. The Bible also says men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:22-25). Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
Joshua, if you and Sierra live the rest of your lives with these three principles guiding every aspect of your lives, you will have the most amazing marriage.
I wish this was all I had to tell you about having a happy marriage. But there are dark forces in this world that will deliberately try to destroy the relationship between the two of you and God Almighty. Beware. Run from these threats. Do not take these warnings lightly. Satan is trying to destroy Godly marriages through:
- WARNING 1 — Sexual Sins. Do not let the world influence or affect or interrupt healthy, Godly sex between the two of you. Stay pure, stay true and stay away from everything else. Anything else is outside of God’s will, His law and will destroy your marriage. I know this is heavy and that society tolerates, if not encourages alternative lifestyles and perverse sexual activities that are both alarming and destroying the moral core of our society. This includes homosexuality, bi-sexuality, trans-gender, prostitution, pornography, wife-swapping, sex parties, etc… Remember, our society is rejecting God as our Creator and Biblical truths as the authority for governing their lives because our society wants to do whatever they wish without answering to anyone else for any of their actions. If it feels good, do it. But you need to stay pure. An important word of caution: As Christians we condemn these sex sins; however, we are to be Grace oriented toward the sex sinner and seek his or her deliverance from bondage through prayer and how we live our own lives. Hate the sin, love the sinner and pray constantly for the sinner. As for you two, stay pure.
- WARNING 2 — Fallen Priesthood: A major reason for so many problems in Christian families today is that fathers have not taken their God-commanded responsibility of being the priest in their household very seriously. Fathers often cite they’re too busy working all of the time putting food on the table, etc… to fulfill their roles. This is just wrong. If you step up to the plate to be a father you’re also stepping up to the role as the family priest. Men need to stop their excuses and be the priest. In the majority of Christian homes today, it is usually the mother who teaches the children spiritually.
- WARNING 3 — Improper Husband/Wife Relationship. Female liberationists believe the Bible teaches a tyrannical relationship in marriage. Unfortunately many Christians think like this also. However the Bible does not say this at all. Anyone who uses these Biblical Roles of priesthood or submission to justify one person seeking power over another has completely missed the whole message of Jesus Christ. You are a partner not Lord and Master. (Ephesians 5:22-25) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
- Infidelity: Having sex outside of marriage will eventually ruin the marriage. Run. Run away as fast as you can from any temptations in this area.
- Abandonment. Never abandon your spouse. Never, never give up. Cling to your spouse tightly as though your very life depends upon it. Your spouse is greater than a leg, an arm, or even eyes, she or he is an integral part of you. So cling, cling, cling. The forces of this world wants to drive a wedge between the two of you in every area: finances, infidelity, destroying the communication between the two of you, non-agreement on fundamental issues (where to live, children, etc…), holding your spouse to unrealistic standards, constantly pointing out your spouses’ faults, never showing gratitude, refusing to compromise, being selfish, never forgiving or forgetting the past, not sharing honestly with your spouse, considering your spouse as inferior, not accepting your spouse as they are but trying to remake them to your standards, taking your anger out on your spouse, living in the past rather than the present, difficulties in respecting and trusting your spouse, allowing yourself to become addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc…, keeping secrets from each other, never admitting you’re in error or being empathetic with your spouse, or a catastrophic event that shakes each spouse to the core such as the death of a child. You can overcome each of these destructive forces by following God’s principle in Genesis: Cling to each other as Adam and Eve did throughout every crisis. Adam and Eve had no parents and they had no other human they could turn to, only God and each other. They were the only couple in the world. So they clung together, endured all storms and crisis and resolved all issues together as though they had no other alternatives. This formulae worked as their marriage lasted nearly a thousand years. As it worked for Adam and Eve, it will work for you.
Joshua, Sierra, These 8 truths will allow you to have the most successful marriage and parental experience that your grandmother or I could possibly hope for you.
Feel free to discuss any of these points with us at any time.
We love both of you so much.
The Grandfather & The Grandmother
Grandma Adriana, Grandpa Darrell