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Do You Want to Have a Successful Marriage? Part 1

Are you doing the right things to save your marriage

Over the weekend, I was privileged enough to hear Mark Gungor speak about relationships and marriage at my church.

As he put the issues surrounding our relationships into humorous context, I couldn’t help but think about a married couple portrayed in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Disappointment breeds contempt

Douglas and Jean Ainslie have been married for over 40 years. As they enter their retirement years, they are forced to re-evaluate their plans as they find their retirement fund has been frittered away as the result of funding their daughter’s start-up venture.

Douglas has endured a job that he’s hated all his life, and has been married to a woman whom he has consistently disappointed. She spends all of her time belittling his achievements and complaining about their situation.

After another argument, Douglas spits back the following words to his wife, “Do you have any idea what a terrible person you have become? All you give out is this endless negativity… It’s a wonder I don’t fling myself at the first kind word or gesture that comes my way but I DON’T!!! Out of some sense of dried up loyalty and respect – neither of which I bloody ever get back in return!”

Are you taking an unfortunate situation and creating a blessing

If you have ever felt that way about somebody close to you, here are five of the 9 ‘How-to-Be-Attitudes’ (inspired by the Sermon on the Mount) that Mark Gungor spoke about.

  1. Be Nice… If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say it!!! It’s not about how we feel and sharing those feelings with other. When it comes to studying, those who didn’t feel like studying were probably those who quit. When it comes to your marriage – don’t let your feelings stop you from succeeding!
  2. Be Content... Some people prefer to live in the “I’d rather be…” world, instead of the “I’m pleased I am…” one. If you live there, you’ll always be a victim and will always be under attack. Even the apostle Paul said that he could be content because “I can do all this [because he had learned the secret of being content in any and every situation] through Him [God] who gives me strength.”
  3. Be Connected... Save yourself hours of misery. Avoid countless hours beside counsellors. Get friends that are the same for both of you, so that you can both receive the same advice. Marriage was never designed to be lived by two people alone on an island, because they’ll eventually become cannibals and eat each other! So, remember to talk your problems with other people.
  4. Be Prepared… Life is really, really, really hard… Given the inevitability of this statement, don’t spend all your time on dealing with the same issues over and over. If you’re having a challenge with this, then I recommend that you watch this counselling session starring Bob Newhart.
  5. Be Proactive… We all know that you will reap what you sow. If you’re doing stinking things, then you’ll get stinking results!!! If you think that you’re not going to get into trouble just because you’re so cute – you’re deluded. You get what you get because of what you do…

The main reason that people have a perfect marriage is because they are purposeful about it.

Nsanz GSF