To Hold and to Cherish
1. You have received a precious gift from God on your wedding day.
2. You’re married to the right person.
Allowing the thought that it is the wrong person is detrimental to your relationship. You’re married! It is too late. “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” So make the best out of your marriage.
3.Your spouse is not Jesus and not perfect; only Jesus is perfect. Only Jesus can meet your deepest needs as He is the source of your life not any person or things.
4. Remember to strengthen your relationship with God. When it is there, you will have the blessing of having a good relationship with your spouse because God is a God of peace and love.
5. Find time for a “circle of two,” for prayer and Bible reading. Your family is a “miniature church.”
6. “Clean hands and a pure heart”- let this be your prayer.
7. Your first year together is only a year of romance. Years of true love are coming. So hang on. If there is no wine left, Jesus can still do miracles. He loves to give to those who ask him. He is always for you and your marriage.
8. Love is a decision, not just feelings. The commitment you make on your wedding day is to your spouse and to God.
9. To honor and love each other in words and deeds is also a decision, a daily decision may be an hourly decision. Seek opportunities to give not just receive.
10. Be determined to strive and work hard for a great marriage. If there is a will there is a way. God will give you the desires of your heart. To have a great marriage, the partners need to be authentic and transparent. So there may be differences in opinion on various issues.
11. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Control your temper and be polite when you argue.
When you discuss difficult issues, make sure to at least hold each other’s hand. Learn to solve these disagreements constructively to avoid big “blow ups” that devastates the relationships.
12. Forsake the “blame game.” It started in the Garden of Eden. It is not your spouse’s fault.
13. Forget all the hurt from the last argument. Once forgiven, its forgiven. So try to forget or ask God to help you to forget.
14. Say sorry even when you know your spouse has wronged you in the particular incident. You reap the result in great measure.
15. Never compare your spouse with anybody. Comparing is unfair. Your spouse is unique.
16. Do not take your spouse for granted for they have chosen to love you and to make your life brighter each day even by simple acts of kindness. Be thankful. It is also applicable to your family members and your friends.
17. Your spouse is your best friend next to Jesus. See that you value your relationship with your spouse in the midst of the pressures of life.
18. Listen to your mate. Communicate verbally and non-verbally.
19. Encourage each other. Next to God you are your spouse’s best cheer leader.
20. Find time to have fun and laugh. Create opportunities to reminiscence your “good old days.”
21. Let each of your “cup of love” be filled with your spouse’s love. It is a safety measure against temptation. Our efforts to participate in God’s vision will be effective when we are at peace with ourselves.
22. If you know a particular thing is God’s will for your life do not hesitate to accomplish it. It is part of being a mature person. This will only lead to fulfillment in marriage.
23. Difficult times develop pearls and rubies in your marriage. These times help one to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” It also provides fertile ground to grow in love towards each other and to appreciate how others care for us.
24. Taking time to bless your extended family, your church, and those in need is an opportunity to bring a smile in the lives of others.
I wrote the first draft of this piece of writing to give it to my youngest sister when she got married in June 1998. My daughter told told me one day “I do not want daddy to get old any more.” I explained to her the joys of getting old. One of the joys of getting old is to see the fruits of our hard work to build great marriage and familyPublished October 12, 2012