God And Marriage

There are ways to strengthen marriage through God and develop more intimacy and satisfaction in all personal interactions

Christian marriages face divorce rates equal to non-Christians. It would seem that a religion based on values of love and forgiveness would have a lower rate of failure, but the lack of planning and work that an individual is willing to put into a marriage relationship results in no relationship at all. According to Dennis Rainey and Robert Lewis, authors of the Homebuilders Couples Series, intelligent people would not think of buying a car, investing money or even going to the grocery store without some initial planning, but they enter into marriage with no plan of how to make their marriage succeed. Luckily, God has a plan for a godly marriage, and by following His blueprints there is hope of fulfillment and growth through marriage.

Some ways of strengthening relationships in and out of marriage are turning to God with our problems. That is sometimes easier to say than to carry out. The following techniques suggests ways for couples to gather strength and counsel through their relationship with God.

In your relationship make God first. This means to focus on God and trust Him for physical and emotional needs in Matthew 6:31-34, the Bible talks about the importance of trusting God for all your desires. This is true in relationships. Placing God first in our priorities makes it possible for our decisions to reflect Christian values. In relationships a great deal of stress surrounds the decision-making process, by including God in all decisions some of the burden and guess work is already done. God gives answers through the Bible.

Some ways to live this principle is to seek godly counselors. These might be Christian friends, senior members of a church, a pastor, or even a professional Christian counselor. In Proverbs 13: 20, the Bible states the importance of seeking wise individuals. Decisions should not be given to other people or made by the individual. The perspectives of both of these should be taken to God in prayer for a true guide in a difficult decisions.

In our society it is difficult make Godly decisions. So much pressure to be materialistic shades many of our interactions. Often a relationship is clouded by the desire to own things. The Bible teaches that life is not made up of material possessions. In order to have an honest, Godly relationship, individuals need to evaluate the influence of materialism on each other. How big does the house need to be? Are the recreational toys really necessary? How much of our given energy are we going to put into procuring material possessions, and how much will we devote to God? It was said by Jerry Henderson, a wise man: "The more things you own, the more things own you".

It is important to seek contentment in the funds available. Contentment allows the individual to find joy in the present situation and focus on the plan God has for each couple. Having this kind of peace goes beyond any purchase. It is the simple truth that is often misquoted. Money is not the root of all evil, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. If a person loves God, is content with what is available and continues to seek God in everything, it is possible that person could be very wealthy. The primary focus of the Christian couple must be on finding peace with God whether in poverty or wealth.

Sometimes the best strategy for getting closer to God and thus improving relationships as a couple maybe to slow down and cut down on stress and activity. Many Christians are so focused on serving God through committees and organized gatherings that the individual and the personal relationships suffer. Letting go of some expectations and focusing on the needs of the significant other may be what is needed in building a relationship. The answer to this of course can be found through honest communication between the couple and including prayer in the process of deciding what to cut out and what truly is important in a personal ministry.

Sexuality is a concern that many Christians feel squeamish about. The truth is that God created sexuality, and as with all areas of life, He wants the Christian to turn this aspect of life over to Him. This means being honest about feelings, letting go of past mistakes, and focusing on the needs of the partner, rather than the self. The idea of turning sexuality over to God is frightening, and many people feel resistant, as though God will not wish them to be fulfilled in this matter. The reality is more joy, intimacy, and satisfaction is available to Christians when sex is no longer shrouded with guilt, shame, and reticence. There are many blessings available to the Christian who turns sexuality over to God.

Defining beliefs and sharing time with God is the ultimate technique for developing a relationship that is stronger through God. Engaging in spiritual discussions, defining standards of living, discussing how money is to be spent, and praying together will bring the individual closer to God, and ultimately closer to each other. A Christian who is truly listening to God's plan for his/her life will be able to develop a strong relationship filled with love and vitality.

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