Forgive your partner

Forgive your partner

Forgiving someone who has hurt you is one of the hardest things to do. However, it is not only the right thing to do, but you are also able to personally benefit from being a forgiving person.

Human beings hurt each other, as it’s part of human nature. The ways in which partners hurt each other within the context of marriage can range from being hurt by unnecessary criticism to the pain that follows when discovering your partner has been having an affair for years. Sometimes it’s indeed hard to forgive your partner.

Why should you forgive?

There is a saying that a happy marriage is a unity between two people who can forgive easily. Couples who can’t forgive each other, can easily get caught up in a power struggle. Sooner than later, the issue revolves around being “right” or “winning”, instead of working together. People who are committed to their relationship are more inclined to forgive their partners.

Research shows that forgiveness can be beneficial for the person doing the forgiving. Those who can forgive have lower anxiety and stress levels, lower blood pressure and fewer signs of depression. The ability to forgive also boosts your immune system.

According to wtf-fun-facts-tumblr, forgiveness is the most important character trait that contributes to happiness. Statistics from TheIcebreak.com also showed that men are less likely to forgive infidelity (men are 22% more likely to end a relationship if they have been cheated on than women).

From the Bible

In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus says: “If you forgive others for their transgressions, the Holy Father will forgive you. But if you can’t forgive others, then your Father won’t be able to forgive you either.”

Forgiveness is a constant attitude

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude,” said Martin Luther King. Forgiveness is a conscious process where you decide whether the other person deserves your forgiveness or not. At the end of the day, you don’t forgive someone to give them peace of mind, but you do it to cultivate peace within yourself.

Do it for your health

According to the Mayo Clinic, unforgiveness can contribute to many health issues. In contrast, forgiveness can:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Reduce anxiety.
  • Reduce your risk of alcohol and drug dependency.
  • Reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Improve mental health.
  • Improve heart health.
  • Improve your self-esteem.

What forgiveness looks like

Author and motivational speaker, Michael J Chase, says you need to be sympathetic towards the person you want to forgive.

Michael had to forgive his father at a certain stage of his life and he said the following about the process: “Forgiving my father became a possibility when I wasn’t fighting him anymore. I could only forgive him when I was able to see the world through his eyes and be more empathetic towards him. It was freeing and relieving, but it was also heartbreaking. When I started to see the pain that my grandfather had caused my father, I couldn’t help but sympathizing and having a tremendous feeling of compassion for him.”

You can cultivate forgiveness

Forgiveness can protect you against illnesses and diseases, says Loren Toussaint, a professor and psychologist at Luther College in Iowa. Loren also believes that you can learn to forgive, and many therapists use strategies to help their patients cultivate forgiveness.

What forgiveness feels like

Studies show that some people are more inclined to forgive than others. As a result, those people are more content with their lives and have fewer signs of depression, stress, hostility and rage. People who harbor resentment are more likely to be depressed and show symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome (www.hopkindsmedicine.org).

“A happy marriage is about three things: Memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and a promise of never giving up on each other.” – Surabhi Surendra

Myth: Forgiveness requires an apology

Robert Brault said: “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” While getting an apology from someone feels good, it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you will get that apology, but it won’t necessarily sound and feel like you hoped it would. You can’t force someone to repent, which is the reason why your forgiveness can’t be dependent on the transgressor’s words or actions.

Tackle these 20 things in your marriage and at home

Tackle these 20 things in your marriage and at home

It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to getting the big and important things done, especially when you are caught up in the mind-boggling number of day-to-day tasks of running a household and balancing your personal and professional obligations. It’s time to tackle these 20 things in your marriage and at home:

  1. Tackle that one room, drawer or cupboard (you know which one!)

The garage isn’t going to reorganize itself and that glitzy, poufy jacket is never going to make its way to an awards ceremony or date night. Throw away items that you no longer need and organize that kitchen drawer, which is filled to the brim with everything from cable ties and straws to napkins and plugs!

  1. Compile your will

Death isn’t an easy or comfortable topic, but your death will have a major impact on your loved ones. Ease their burden by making sure your final wishes are in place and that all the major financial obligations have been planned for.

  1. Exercise

You don’t have to morph into the fitness couple that only eats kale and quinoa, but exercise is a great way to spend time together and it will lift your mood. Consider enrolling for a dance class or go for a walk after work. This also creates the perfect opportunity to take a long, hot shower together afterwards . . .

  1. Tell him exactly what you like

Your husband may think he has all the right moves (especially if you’re making all the right noises), but if your thoughts are continuously wandering off during foreplay, then it’s time to sit down and show him exactly what you want. Order sushi for two and pour each of you a glass of wine before telling him how you want your foreplay sessions to pan out. Even better, show him right then and there in the kitchen!

  1. Plan your budget

Who wants to contemplate all the money you don’t have to spend? While this sounds like a dull and depressing exercise, it will help both of you to get a hold on your household’s spending.

  1. Talk about alcohol use

While you may be quite content with a glass of wine during dinner, perhaps your husband is more eager to have several beers. Besides the negative health consequences of alcohol abuse, it can also lead to conflict in relationships (especially if one person often drinks too much at social gatherings). Have an open and honest conversation about how you feel about each other’s alcohol habits.

  1. Discuss child rearing with an expert

Many couples have different opinions regarding disciplining their children, what constitutes age-appropriate activities and media use, curfews and other important issues. Speak to a child therapist or a knowledgeable expert to get external input about the issues that you two don’t agree on as a couple.

  1. Turn off the television and your phone

Diarise certain times when you turn off your phones and the television to spend time together as a couple or as a family. No media is allowed (and no exceptions!). Sit back and enjoy each other’s presence and the conversation.

  1. Book an appointment with your gynecologist

The most common reason for booking an annual appointment with a gynecologist is cervical cancer screenings and prevention, which is seen as a silent killer that affects far too many women. There are also a number of other bacterial and fungal issues that can cause vaginal discomfort and impact your sex life. Don’t procrastinate, book your appointment today!

  1. Communicate about your work obligations

You understand each other’s careers and you may know a few of each other’s colleagues, but how much do you really know about your partner’s day-to-day work activities, looming projects and career stressors? Take time to communicate about your work obligations so that you can be more sympathetic when your partner comes home late (again!), or if he or she seems particularly withdrawn or stressed at times.

  1. Pay a visit to your child’s teacher

You know your daughter is battling with maths, but everyone keeps avoiding the problem. Phone her maths teacher and make an appointment to go and see her, so that you can discuss a plan of action to improve your child’s performance in this subject.

  1. Don’t ignore bad debt

Unfortunately, bad debt doesn’t simply pay for itself or go away. Take a look at the various lines of debt that you have and pinpoint the credit cards that have higher interest rates. Try to pay back more than the minimum amount every month. Talk to a debt counselor if you are struggling with this task.

  1. Create a chore calendar

Everyone is tired when they get home, but the household doesn’t run itself. Create a chore calendar and schedule that assigns different tasks, such as taking out the garbage or folding the washing, to specific people on certain days. This will lighten the burden for overworked parents and get the entire family involved in running and maintaining the household.

  1. Address problems with the in-laws

Many people have lingering problems or bad feelings towards in-laws. They are a part of your family now and you have to make it work. Remember tip number 5 in Stephen R Covey’s book, The seven habits of highly effective people: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

  1. Plan your day to avoid tardiness

Obviously, nobody plans to be late, but you hit the snooze button a few times, forget to feed the dog, get caught in a traffic jam . . . and before you know it, your whole day is disrupted. Take control of the chaos by installing a map or route planner on your phone (preferably one that can give you real-time traffic updates so that you can avoid congested routes). As a golden rule, allow 50% more time than you normally would.

  1. Tell your partner what you want to experience in the bedroom

Maybe a bit of erotic play is exactly what your marriage needs! Talk to your partner about what you want to experience in the bedroom. Don’t do this while you are having sex – wait until you are relaxed and comfortable in each other’s company before approaching the subject.

  1. Discuss your parents’ future

Everyone’s parents will eventually get old, and some may need medical care and financial support. Discuss your expectations surrounding caring for your parents and how you will deal with the situation as a couple when it arises.

  1. Learn how to change a tire

Whether you have roadside assistance or your husband is always prepared to leave work and help you if you have car problems is beside the point – it’s good to know how to change a tire yourself. Ask him to show you how to do it, judge your tire-changing skills and reward you if you complete the task correctly!

  1. Enroll for a first-aid course

First-aid courses are affordable and it can save lives. This is especially important if you have young children at home.

  1. Create a security plan for your family

What happens if burglars enter your home in the middle of the night? Does your family know what to do, who to call and how to react? Security companies can give you a consultation on things that you and your family should do in the event of an emergency.

How to purify your marriage

How to purify your marriage

How easily does criticism make its way into your daily dialogue with your spouse? Hurtful remarks can leave scars. Even when you are not trying to be mean, a slip of the tongue can happen so quickly when you are tired, irritated or furious. While your spouse often forgives you when you snap, what happens when you say something that really leaves a scar?

Keeping your system clean

Do you have a water purifier at home or at work? Have you seen the mess that gets stuck in the filters after months of use? If you don’t remove the filth, the filter won’t be able to keep your water clean. You can’t buy another purifier when your current one breaks down, so you need to make the effort of keeping your current system up to scratch.

Your marriage is worth more than a water purifier, so you need to make sure you are not letting your marriage’s filters accumulate filth. The grime that can build up between partners can damage your marriage as well as your relationship with God.

Maybe you are thinking: “But my husband and I have said so many hurtful things to each other. Can you ever really take it all back? It will be hard.” With God, all things are possible – but no one said anything about it being easy. Put on your garden gloves, get your scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water, and put God on speed dial. It is time to purify your marriage’s filters!

Two heads in one (prayer) hat

To become one in the body, brings you and your spouse closer together. With Bible study, you and your partner can be drawn closer to each other spiritually. If you and your spouse do Bible study and prayer separately, this needs to change.

Decide on a time that will suit both of you – maybe before work in the mornings or before bedtime in the evenings. Take turns to read parts of the Bible to each other. When you pray, thank God for the privilege to be married to each other and ask Him to bless your marriage. Couples that pray together, experience a decline in conflict and are able to create a deeper spiritual bond.

It is not a competition

Are you subconsciously keeping score of who wins fights? Stop this immediately, because your relationship isn’t a competition or a balance sheet. Arguments are only “won” if the issue is completely resolved and both parties are satisfied with the outcome.

Keep the (young) cows out of the ditch

How long does it take you to tell your spouse when he is doing something that frustrates you? Some people cannot wait to highlight their partner’s flaws and mistakes, while others will keep quiet for a long time and then just explode after a period has passed.

Both instances lead to unnecessary conflict. No one wants to be reminded constantly of their mistakes. You are not perfect, so how can you expect your spouse to be? Your spouse is just a human being with his own flaws.

Does it irritate you if hubby doesn’t put his hand in front of his mouth when he yawns? Don’t wait until he does it for the 50th time before you say something. Talk to him about it the first time – do not let the problem become a nagging issue in your marriage.

Always and never

Many times you tell your husband: “You never help me with the dishes!” Or he tells you: “You always complain about everything!” Words like “always” and “never” are worms in the apple you skin with hubby – it spoils everything. Avoid absolutes because it’s usually far from the truth.

The moment one of you exaggerates the problem, your partner will immediately be defensive. Your partner is so busy defending himself that the purpose of the argument gets lost.

The no-go words

Every time you insult your partner, a part of your relationship dies. Sometimes we don’t even mean it, we are just angry and want to say something hurtful. Unfortunately, you don’t just hurt your partner’s feelings, you also damage one of God’s creations.

The tongue is sharper than a double-edged sword. If you struggle to keep it in check, then give it up in prayer. Let go of your ego and ask your husband to also pray for you about the situation. He is not going to think less of you – on the contrary, he will gain more respect for you.

Bullying and manipulation

We all know how a bully gets his way – he threatens you with something that is important to you. What do you and hubby threaten each other with to get your way? Do you refuse sex if he doesn’t do what you ask? Does he refuse to lend you his car if you do not agree with him? This is a terrible bullying tactic.

Washing dirty laundry in public

Have you and your spouse attacked each other in public, in front of friends and family or the kids? You probably felt very embarrassed afterwards. It is awful to fight, but it’s even worse when you realize other people now know about your problems and they see how badly you are treating each other. There is a time and place for everything. Let whatever is bothering you go until you get home, when you can talk about it alone behind closed doors.

Your marital problems or difficulties are between you and your partner. It is private and personal. Similarly, it is very uncomfortable for those who witness the tirade. Your guests will quickly head for the door when you start fighting and you can be sure that invitations to social events will lessen if you keep it up.

“Sometimes my wife and I can argue about something for hours, but we do not get anywhere. There are only so many hours in a day – what do we do?”

Firstly, if you see the conversation is going nowhere, take a break and agree to continue when you both feel refreshed again. This isn’t a way out to escape from the problem, it just gives you some time to rethink what has already been said and to bring new solutions to the table.

Secondly, do not start an argument the moment you are on your way to work or on your way out. Postpone it for a while, but do not leave it all together.

It is going to take time and a lot of patience to get your marriage filters clean. Hold on, hang in there and the reward will be absolutely worth it.

Article by Thalia du Preez

Additional sources: christianadviceonmarriage.com, ivillage.com

5 Day Challenge…. The 6 Second Kiss

5 Day Challenge…. The 6 Second Kiss

When was the last time you told the story of your first kiss? I bet you had a smile on your face. Kisses do that. They make us smile and swoon. They put butterflies in our stomach. They make our hairs stand up a little taller and our blood run a little faster. Simply put, kisses have a special kind of power.

A kiss can turn a toad into a prince. It can wake a princess from eternal slumber. A kiss is art. It’s poetry. It’s candy. It’s life. It’s death. A kiss is the only appropriate response to finally lifting the Stanley Cup or finally returning to earth after a terrifying flight. A kiss seals the deal. That’s why we end weddings with a kiss, as of to say, “Okay, now it’s official.”

Where does the power of a kiss come from, I wonder? Maybe hormones. Kissing releases oxytocin, which is the same hormone that is secreted when breastfeeding. Oxytocin is responsible for the comfort and connection that forms between mother and child and may explain the way kissing bonds us to another. Kissing also releases dopamine, which triggers the same part of your brain that is stimulated by cocaine. Those butterflies in your stomach, they come from epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increase your heartbeat and send oxygenated blood to your brain. Some studies have even shown that kissing can cause a reduction in the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, so kissing could help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.

So, kissing is great because of science. But that can’t be it, right? I actually think it would be really sad if science explained the magic of the kiss. Thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be an accepted system for how to define, collect, classify, and interpret the data of kissing. Sheryl Kirshenbaum explores this in her book The Science of Kissing and ultimately suggests that, for the most part, scientists aren’t exactly sure why we kiss. I’m glad they haven’t figured it out. Perhaps the power comes, at least in part, from the mystery.

Surely you remember your first kiss. Do you remember your last kiss? Do you remember it with the same kind of nostalgia? Unlikely. For all the magic and art and poetry that’s wrapped up in a kiss, I fear that in most long term relationships, the kiss has become mundane. I know I take for granted the kisses I give and receive at the end of each day. And it’s been way too long since I’ve simply made out with my wife. I need to change that. Do you?

Too many couples come into my office lamenting that the passion is gone from the relationship. That the fire has died. It’s a common story: Life gets hectic. Work is stressful. The kitchen is a mess. Kids. I get it. But I don’t think we have to become victims of that story. And it definitely doesn’t mean that we have to stop kissing. It’s time that we reclaimed the kiss from the domain of parking teenagers and put it back into its rightful place as the official symbol of marriage.

Start simple. John Gottman suggests that couples share a six-second kiss each day. He likes to say, “A six-second kiss is a kiss with potential.” But you don’t necessarily have to attach it to sex. In fact, don’t. Let the kiss speak for itself. I mean, if it leads to sex, great, but don’t make that the goal. Just try connecting with your partner with a 6 second kiss.

Do you accept the 5 day Challenge?

(Article by Peter Edgar)

Real life story: “Our marriage survived an affair”

Real life story: “Our marriage survived an affair”

You keep fighting about the same things and, once again, you’re going to bed mad at each other. You think it’s just a phase and that every couple has its ups and downs, but then you find messages on his cellphone . . .

Whether you have been married for three months or 30 years, your marriage is never safe from the possibility of being wrecked by an extra-marital affair. Two couples tell their heart-breaking stories about infidelity. In both cases, the couples said that God saved and renewed their marriages.

“We both had misconceptions about marriage”

On paper, Laura (25) and Russel’s (28) marriage looked like a fairy tale. Shortly after getting married, they quickly realized that the idea of happily ever after was very different from the reality of marriage.

“Our wedding day was perfect and we had a fantastic honeymoon,” recalls Laura. They met each other through a mutual friend in February 2011 and a year later they were heading to the chapel. Laura’s friends and family were crazy about Russel.

“Initially I was a bit skeptical about Russel. I thought: How can such an attractive man be a good man?”

Laura’s mother encouraged her to give Russel a chance. “I gave him a chance and we developed a fantastic friendship and relationship. We were the couple that people would point to, saying: ‘Look how happy they are.’” The dynamics between them changed shortly after the honeymoon and things started to become unpleasant.

The couple moved to a new town, where Russel got a job as an electrical technician. Laura started working at a local high school.

“Both of us felt a lot of pressure to perform in our new jobs,” says Laura. They were not prepared for the big changes that would hit them as newlyweds.

“We battled to get onto the same page, especially regarding household tasks like who would do the washing and who would do the folding up,” she says. These seemingly small arguments would escalate into larger fights, and sometimes they just avoided the drama by fleeing to hang out with friends instead of spending time together. They started to drift apart, and they were not investing time in their faith or each other.

“It was upsetting to be unable to hold my husband at night, as we were often sleeping in separate rooms,” recalls Laura. Russel said he felt like he had failed as a husband because he was unable to make his wife happy. Laura’s friend, Rachel, started sending Russel messages to cheer him up and to find out how he was doing. Russel and Laura had been married for four months when Rachel started to send him messages.

Warning bells started to go off in Laura’s mind, but she reasoned that suspecting Rachel and Russel would be ridiculous. After a while, Russel admitted that he had feelings for Rachel but that he never acted on these feelings. This revelation destroyed Laura. After a lot of introspection and by recommitting to the relationship, Russel was able to win back Laura’s trust. Laura could see that she should also be blamed for the negative patterns that were damaging their relationship.

“While I didn’t realize it at the time, mainly because I had a victim mentality, Russel wasn’t the only one at fault. My selfishness also played a part in how everything panned out.”

Today, slightly more than three years later, Laura and Russel have a strong relationship without any signs of scars and wounds. “When God takes over, everything will heal,” says Laura.

“God says he will rebuild the walls of my marriage”

Sara’s (53) first marriage ended as a result of her husband’s infidelity. Her second marriage almost ended the same way when her current husband, TJ (46), had an extramarital affair.

The couple was getting ready to immigrate and Sara traveled alone to the country to prepare for their move. During this time, Sara noticed how TJ’s attitude towards her started to change. “Infidelity was already rearing its ugly head,” says Sara.

“When I noticed that my husband was attached to his cellphone and that he even took his phone with him to the bathroom, I knew something was up.” A flood of emotions washed over her. “Shock, rage, disappointment, sadness and rejection. Not again . . .”

Sara confronted TJ and although he initially denied the affair, text messages on his phone proved otherwise. Sara decided to kick TJ out, but unfortunately this decision led him straight into the arms of another woman.

Sara needed to clear her mind. She went to live with her brother, where she could recover. She filed for a divorce. “My husband sent me messages every day, telling me that he loves me and that he made a big mistake.”

She kept looking for answers from God and for His wisdom. One day during Bible study, the message arrived. “Zechariah 1:14-16 spoke to me. I had to go back to Jerusalem (which I see as a symbol of marriage) to rebuild the temple (to God, my marriage is sacred, like a temple). This is where my journey of healing and rebuilding began.”

It took Sara and TJ more than three years to rebuild their marriage, but today they are renewed people thanks to God. “The most important message that I want to get across, is to fight for your marriage and against attacks from Satan.”

Sara also did a lot of introspection and was able to recognize her role in their marital problems. “Rebuilding a marriage takes work. It’s a gradual process and even today, it requires ongoing work.”

What does a marriage therapist say?

Affairs are common and in some circles, it’s the norm, says marriage therapist Carien du Toit. “We often address differences in an aggressive way, instead of looking for win-win solutions.”

These approaches push partners away from each other. “At the end of the day, a third person comes in and fills the need of admiration and acceptance, while partners ignore their problems or continue fighting about the same old issues.”

The definition of what an affair entails also had to be rewritten as a result of modern technology. “A sexual encounter is the extreme definition of an extramarital affair, but intimate e-mails and text messages can be signs of an emotional affair, which can eventually lead to a physical relationship.”

An affair is almost always the result of another problem or a lot of problems between partners. “While there is never a good reason to have an affair, it’s vital that both partners acknowledge their role in the marriage’s dynamics,” says Carien.

It remains the responsibility of the partner who strayed to rebuild trust and recommit to the marriage. “It will take time for trust to be rebuilt. Commit to being totally transparent – turn off pass-code features on your phone and always be exactly where you said you will be. The one who crossed the line, owes it to his or her partner in order for trust to be rebuilt.”

Ten commandments for your marriage

Ten commandments for your marriage

There are rules, regulations and guidelines in the Christian faith. And then there are commandments – laws that are given to us in order to live honorable and rewarding lives. Ever wondered how these commandments can be applied to your marriage?

“I hit the jackpot when I married Eddie!” This sounds exactly like a woman who just got married and still has rose-tainted glasses – until she gets home from the honeymoon and the roof of their new house is leaking because Extraordinary Eddie forgot to clean the gutters. For those of you who haven’t realized this yet: Good marriages are not a matter of luck, and if you are unhappily married, it doesn’t mean that you married the wrong person.

“Good marriages are built on much more than passion. It is built on principles.” These are the words of preacher Bayless Conley on crosswalk.com. According to Bayless, the written Word offers the best guidelines ever for a healthy marriage and it is all enclosed within the Ten Commandments.

A marriage’s first commandment: Exclusivity
Exodus 20:3 says: “You shall have no other gods beside me.” In short, God says that he wants an exclusive relationship with you. How appropriate is this for a marriage? When Henry Ford was asked on his 50th wedding anniversary what his secret to a successful marriage was, he said: “The secret to my successful marriage is the same secret I have in business: I stick to the same model.” You must realize that your life partner shouldn’t have any competition. Decide today: One God. One man. One woman.

A marriage’s second commandment: Don’t love a substitute
Exodus 20:4-6 gives you the following principles for a strong marriage: God commanded that we do not serve any idols. Because, what is an idol other than a substitute for the real God? In the same manner, your wife or husband is a real-life partner and you shouldn’t be looking for excitement in things such as pornography – it robs you of an intimate relationship with your flesh-and-blood other half.

A marriage’s third commandment: Speak kind words about your partner
Exodus 20:7 says: “You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his Name.” Maybe you think your slight critique is harmless, but there are few things that can do as much damage to a marriage as negative words. Bayless says words can fill containers with love, hate, joy or bitterness. Your words can sway your marriage in a direction – choose which direction you want it to go.

A marriage’s fourth commandment: Spend quality time alone together
The fourth commandment appears in Exodus 30:8-11 and herein God orders us to keep the Sabbath holy. Sabbath means intermission – to lay down your work and to rest. To breathe. With this commandment, Bayless believes God asks for special time with Him for a long-term relationship. In the same way, a man and woman need scheduled time together for their marriage to flourish.

A marriage’s fifth commandment: Honor your partner by showing him/her how grateful you are
Exodus 20:12 says that you must honour your father and mother. Parents invest time, effort and money in their children’s lives and if a child is ungrateful, the outcome can be disastrous. While this commandment reminds us to be grateful for our parents, it also applies to a marriage because you need to be grateful for your partner, says Bayless. What fills the heart, is revealed in abundance by the mouth. Be grateful for your partner’s good characteristics and show him or her appreciation.

A marriage’s sixth commandment: Don’t destroy your partner, but be soft
Exodus 20:13 orders us not to commit murder. Many people jokingly say: “I have never thought about divorce, but murder? I think about that often!” On a more serious note, this commandment is more applicable to a marriage than you may think. If you want a long-lasting marriage, you must learn how to be sensitive towards your partner. Violence and short tempers destroy relationships. You have a duty to boost your partner’s self-image.

A marriage’s seventh commandment: Do not commit adultery
Exodus 20:14 probably gives the most important marital commandment. An affair is undoubtedly one of the most destructive things that can happen in a marriage. Beware of affairs that are committed by your thoughts, says Bayless. Mathew 5:28 says: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Bayless says there is no place for lust in a marriage. “Love gives, lust takes. Love serves, lust claims. Love feeds, lust throttles.” In addition, remember that sex is a holy institution that may be enjoyed within the boundaries and holiness of a marriage.

A marriage’s eighth commandment: Be a person of integrity
Exodus 20:15 advises us not to steal. If you aren’t a person of integrity, it will be difficult for your partner to respect you. Your honesty must make your partner proud. It’s difficult to give yourself wholeheartedly to someone who doesn’t have integrity.

A marriage’s ninth commandment: Be honest
Honesty is central to a happy marriage, because someone who tells lies, isn’t a good spouse, says Bayless. “If you can lie to someone else without giving it a second thought, you can just as easily lie to you partner. And if you deceive people or are dishonest, your partner won’t trust you.”

A marriage’s tenth commandment: Be satisfied with what you have
The tenth commandment in Exodus 20:17 says that you may not covet. It is a direct commandment. Be satisfied with what you have. Accentuate what you and your partner are blessed with. That means that you should rather celebrate the things that make your partner unique instead of thinking: “I wish he was rather like this . . .” Give your partner’s gifts wings and don’t think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

Live your life according to the Ten Commandments and before you know it, you will have a marriage based on principles – and then passion comes so easily!

Article by Annelize Steyn

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