THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2011 "Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day." Ecc 9:9 TM Counselors reckon that less than 25 percent of marriages today are truly happy. What does it take to be one of them? Thinking about marriage in God's terms, not selfish terms. From God's perspective, happiness in marriage depends on distinguishing fact from fiction. The world of movie magic creates unrealistic expectations. To "Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day," you must re-examine your thinking. Every marriage is made up of two flawed people. "For all have sinned and fall short" (Ro 3:23 NIV). That includes you and your partner. It's not that we don't know this, it's that we keep forgetting it, or hoping we're the exception to the rule. Expecting perfection is naive and will keep undermining your relationship. Happiness in marriage depends on coming to terms with your mutual defects and dealing with them realistically. Recognize fiction; deal with facts-especially in the vulnerable areas of: (1) Finances. Practice tithing, generosity, delayed gratification, and fiscal discipline. (2) Personal appearance. Always try to look your best, but accept unchangeable features-yours and your partner's. Aging is God's idea, so accept it with dignity and become wiser with it. (3) Lifestyle. Happiness is about comfort and contentment, not materialism and pride that lead to crushing indebtedness. (4) Courtesy. Small kindnesses, considerate acts and words are low-cost, high-yield investments. (5) Physical satisfaction. The greatest satisfaction results from providing satisfaction for your partner. Self-focus, manipulation and demanding your way can never match God's unfailing system: "Give, and it shall be given unto you" (Lk 6:38).
Published on Thursday, March 3, 2011 @ 2:18 PM CDT