Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marriage By the Book... Priority One

Christian marriage Q & A from a minister, writer and successful marriage partner of nearly 25 years!

DISCLAIMER: While I am a pastor, I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or degreed counselor. Please understand this (I will remind you often). What I *am* is a wife of nearly 25 years who has made many observations, both humorous and grave, enlightening and frustrating, and who has come to many conclusions about marriage. The purpose of this column will be to share the Biblical insight God has given on this remarkable union between woman and man, and to share the minuscule traces of wisdom that I've acquired from doing marriage wrong, and doing it right!

As I share information on this topic from time to time, I hope you'll take the time to share your comments, ideas and questions, as well as your own insights about marriage. You may agree or disagree, think I'm right on target or absolutely insane -- I'd like to hear it all. (But please be nice... God isn't finished with me yet, and tears might ruin my keyboard!)

Q: What's the most important piece of advice you can offer a newly married couple?

A: Though it sounds like a bridal shower game, my first thought is the importance of communication. You MUST be able to communicate with your spouse! Men being the creatures (from another planet?) that they are, this is much more difficult for them than for women.

But then there is trust... who can have a marriage without trust? And honesty, which goes hand-in-hand with trust. And compatibility... an almost forgotten aspect of marriage. And what about kindness, and forgiveness, and self-sacrifice? All of these are important to a healthy marriage. But the *most important* aspect of a successful marriage? I'd say that the marriage be centered around Christ.

Psalms 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain." This applies to the home, as well. Without Christ as our foundation, it's too easy to find fault with each other, to seek our own wants and selfish desires, and to forget that we have united to "become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Build your marriage on a strong foundation with Jesus as the cornerstone and it can't fail!

Darlene "Dee" Bishop is a writer and creative designer with decades on online experience and the owner of Bishop's Corner, an online/catalog shop offering hundreds of quality gifts, home decor items, toys, housewares, furniture and more with nearly 1,000 products under $20. Visit her today at


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