Tony and I have been married for twenty-seven years.  We’ve had great times, good times, so-so times, not so good times and times where we wondered if we should just call it quits. When you’ve been married for some time you go through some stuff and realize it’s normal. The key is learn to love at all times; realize that the enemy is very real and wants to destroy what God has put together; and don’t call it quits.

As women we get in our heads the fairy tale; the…”and they lived happily ever after”. images-1 But in reality marriage is work, hahaha!  Yes I said WORK! You are taking two very different lives, experiences, ways of growing up, and sometimes very different cultures and becoming one; as the Bible tells us. But most of all it takes putting God first in your life and marriage; a three-fold cord is not quickly broken (Ecc 4:12). Keeping God as center of your life and not self, is a lifetime of work!

Earlier this month I heard a message on the “Nine Be’s of Marriage”. Mark Gungor, author of “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”, was a guest speaker at our church. Just a recommendation, get his book, listen to his messages, if you can go to his marriage seminar…. excellent, practical and hysterically funny! I just want to share with you Mark Gungor’s “Nine Be’s of Marriage”.

1.  Be Nice….  What is the nice thing to do?

Me: How simple is that? Where does it say we be nice to everyone else except our spouse? The Bible tells us to be kind to one another (Eph 4:32).

2.  Be Content… learn to be happy even in the midst of awful circumstances. Count it all joy (James 1:2). Learn the power of praise; learn to celebrate even when life sucks.

Me: Paul tells us that he was content no matter what state he was in (Phi 4:11-13); because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

3.  Be Connected… get plugged in with others, don’t be an island. Find some godly friends as a couple that you can be honest, open and real with.

Me: This is how the devil tries to isolate you, causing you to think you’re the only one’s going through what you are going through.

4.  Be Prepared…life is hard, life is predictable and unpredictable, and life is not fair.

Me: A strong relationship with the Lord will keep you in tough times.

5.  Be Proactive…. you will reap what you sow; do the right things.

6.  Be Clear… emotional people don’t communicate clearly. Tell your spouse what you need from them. Ask your spouse what you want (you may have to do this more than once). Don’t insult when you speak to them.

7.  Be Doers of the Word… live out your Christianity at home.                                    Me: This is a biggy, especially if you have children; don’t be a hypocrite.

8.  Be Patient…marriage is a long-term project; if you’re at the end of your rope….TIE A KNOT!

Me: I love it…tie a knot…don’t call it quits…don’t give up, it’s a long-term project!

9.  Be Dead….your flesh, your selfishness; learn to let go and let God.

Me: Selfishness is the number one killer of any relationship.

I would like to add one more Be to the nine…

Be ForgivingEphesians 4:32: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you”.

I believe when you put these into practice; and do what the Word says about marriage, God can change any situation to “happily ever after”.

More resources:

“Nine Be’s of Marriage”- Mark Gungor:  podcast July 14, 2013

Mark Gungor You tube video: Ask More Than Once