Building a Healthy Marriage: Do Your Part
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:12-17)
These verses are listed right before the description of specifics for husband and wives. We have a high position as the people of God, and as husbands and wives. God considers these to be very important positions that He has placed us in.
We are to treat each other with compassion and kindness. Compassion is having your heart move for what your spouse is going through. Kindness is doing something about it.
Humility and gentleness mean not always getting your way, letting others shine, not pushing your ideas to the top, and not being overly aggressive and abusive in manners or language.
We must be patient.Our time table is not always the standard. Bearing with each other is overlooking small matters of disagreement. Ask yourself “so what if I win?”
We forgive each other because God has forgiven us. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision. Since God requires you to forgive, it is something you can do. Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin.
Love keeps all the other characteristics in proper perspective. Love is putting the needs of someone else above your own. Letting "Christ's peace rule" refers to the idea of arbitrating our hearts. The peace of Christ should arbitrate in our hearts. Potential disruptions are then headed off at the deepest level. Peace is seeking the good of the other.
Paul tells us that the "word of Christ dwells" when our teaching and admonition is based upon Jesus himself and not on what we think is right. Our instruction and admonishing must be given in "all wisdom", thus given with tact. Teaching and admonishing are part of a life of thankfulness that overflows into songs of joy and praise.
If Christ is glorified everything we say and everything we do, then God is pleased. Everything we think and do should be done as representatives of Christ. It must infiltrate every aspect of our lives whether, husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, employee, employer, customer, or salesperson.
Maintaining harmony in marriage has been difficult since Adam and Eve. Two people trying to go their own selfish, separate ways can never hope to experience the oneness of marriage as God intended.
6 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.' they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Mk. 10:6-9)
Selfishness is possibly the most dangerous threat to oneness in marriage. It affects how we talk to each other, how we divide responsibilities in the home, how we resolve conflicts, and even how we spend our time.
Marriage offers a tremendous opportunity to do something about selfishness. Through principles taught in Scripture, we have learned how to set aside our selfish interests for the good of each other, as well as for the profit of our marriage.Together you should be better, stronger and more effective.
11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12
When we’re so focused on what our spouse is not doing, we fail to realize that we have stopped as well. If you can’t serve your spouse, then you really don’t understand what serving is.