Couples are not supposed to just stick it out and find a way to make their marriages survive. Every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting the marriage between God and His people. What are the priorities in building a God-honoring marriage?
Building a God-Honoring Marriage
No man plans to become part of a broken family or a miserable couple. We marry because we yearn for a lifelong, thriving relationship. How can men become intentional about building a God-honoring marriage?
PRIORITY ONE: Discover God’s Design for Marriage
We must understand that every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting the marriage between God and His people. Marriage is the most frequent metaphor used in the Bible to describe God’s relationship with His people. In fact, writing to the Ephesians, Paul called marriage a “profound mystery” because it is a picture of “Christ and the church.”
PRIORITY TWO: Commit to a Covenant Marriage
Today’s civil marriages are much like business contracts — easy to get into and easy to get out of. God’s covenant with His people was a promise to remain eternally faithful even if His people were not faithful in return. In covenant marriage, both spouses are committed for a lifetime in sickness and health, for better or worse. They do not threaten divorce or consider it as an option.
PRIORITY THREE: Pursue a Passionate Marriage
Couples are not supposed to just stick it out and find a way to make their marriages survive. God calls us to pursue a passionate, thriving marriage. The Song of Solomon expresses the kind of love, joy, and celebration God designed for marriage. That passion is built on much more than infatuation and sexual desire. It is rooted in the physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy God created couples to experience as a foretaste of the eternal unity, communion, and intimacy we can have with God.
PRIORITY FOUR: Become Heroic in Marriage
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue humanity. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul connected Christ’s sacrifice directly to marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25) and “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:24). In other words, mutual submission to one another requires giving up our own interests to heroically serve the other person.
PRIORITY FIVE: Fight for Your Marriage
Every couple will mess up. Too often, however, they also choose to give up. Throughout scripture, God fights for His relationship with His people, remaining faithful in the face of unfaithfulness. He forgives again and again. No couple can avoid strife and arguments, but we can avoid giving the “devil a foothold” in our marriages by keeping short accounts and quickly restoring the relationship regardless of what happens.
PRIORITY SIX: Take Initiative
Men are called to move beyond passivity by taking initiative when it comes to nurturing a strong marriage. Take advantage of the Going Further ideas to get started now.
Your Marriage Masterpiece
By Al Janssen
God created marriage as a beautiful work of art that reflects his glory to the world. But our culture has undervalued and misunderstood it, causing it to lose some of its luster. Like recent restoration projects on the Sistine Chapel and the Mona Lisa, it is time to return marriage to its former glory, and the only way to do that is to take a closer look at what the artist had in mind all along.
In this newly revised and expanded book, Al Janssen takes a fresh look at the exquisite design God has for marriage and brings to light the reasons this union was intended to last a lifetime. The chapters weave real-life stories with great teaching and biblical narratives in order to paint a complete picture of all that marriage can be. Readers will examine elements such as passion, adventure, and commitment that come together to make up the colors of God's design. They will also discover new ways to reflect God's love within marriage--revealing his plan for men and women from the moment he created us.
The Celebration of Sex
By Douglas Rosenau
A Celebration of Sex answers specific, often unasked questions about sexual topics, presents married couples with detailed techniques and behavioral skills for deepening sexual pleasure and intimate companionship, and is an excellent tool for premarital education. Topics include: creating knowledge about sexual intimacy; enhancing pleasure and enjoying passionate intimacy; overcoming common hurdles.
Love and Respect
By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Discover the Single Greatest Secret to a Successful Marriage. Psychological studies affirm it, and the Bible has been saying it for ages. Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. It's the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find. Today, you and your mate can start fresh with the ground-breaking guidance that Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides in this book. His revolutionary message, featured on Focus on the Family, is for anyone: in marital crisis...wanting to stay happily married...who's feeling lonely. It's for engaged couples...victims of affairs...pastors and counselors seeking material that can save a marriage.
Using Dr. Eggerich's breakthrough techniques, couples nationwide are achieving a brand-new level of intimacy and learning how to: - stop the Crazy Cycle of conflict - initiate the Energizing Cycle of change - enjoy the Rewarded Cycle of new passion
And if you'll take this biblically based counsel to heart, your marriage could be next!
It Starts At Home
By Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope
As your children grow, will their faith grow too? As both stories and statistics attest, the number of evangelical children who abandon Christianity in adulthood is staggering. To see effective change, parents cannot leave their child’s faith to chance. Rather, families must start nurturing faith early—you cannot start once your child is grown, you must start at home. Strengthening family and home life is the best way to encourage your children to maintain a lifelong faith. It Starts at Home upholds marriage and family as the proving ground for lasting success. Experienced pastors Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope provide a clear purpose, an effective strategy, and a simple plan for anyone who wants to be intentional in their homes. Their insights will help leaders recalibrate their priorities by asking them to evaluate their leadership where it counts most. This newly revised edition evaluates the current trends families and young adults face that can contribute to this crisis. Don’t let your child’s faith fade to memory—learn how you can create a home that will prepare them for lifelong faith.
The Five Love Languages
By Gary Chapman
Marriages may be made in heaven, but they must be nurtured here on earth. Dr. Chapman explains how people communicate love in different ways, and shares the wonderful things that happen when men and women learn to speak each other's language.