You could ask ten different people this question and I would bet you’d get ten different answers. Another option would be to go to your nearest Barnes and Nobles Bookstore and try and choose between which is the best of the hundreds of the self help books on this topic. I would even bet a good number of these books are written by singles and divorced people.
First I should give a bit of background so you know were I’m coming from and don’t think I’m making up a list just to make up a list. What I’ll attempt here is to give you my opinions based on my experience. It should also be noted that I’m full of opinions. There’s a saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus or something to that effect, but the truth of the matter I’m from Minnesota, not Mars and My wife is from Southern California or “Orange County” as she refers to it. In my view this is a lot further than Venus, any way you slice it
Another thing that should be noted is that I’m the male of the species, so whatever I say to you female readers, will be exactly spot on because I’m going to tell you what you want to hear whether I believe it or not. Us menfolk call that “keeping the peace”.
My beautiful bride and I have been married for 15 years…or is it 14? It might actually be 16…Well who’s counting anyways. The important thing is were still together and we’ve never filed charges against each other
I do remember our anniversary date though. It’s either the 15th or the 18th of May. We’ve raised two boys and two girls, but I’m still trying to train my mother-in-law . We are in the middle lower income bracket. We own our house or at least working on paying it off. We both work full time. Since the point of me writing this is to give my opinion on the 5 most important aspects of a healthy Christian marriage, that’s what I’ll do. The only catch is that I’m writing it from the male point of view. Rule # 1-Shopping
Man should always, and I can’t stress this enough, always have at least 5 mythical Man-Projects at the top of his head so when woman says something to the effect “I need to stop at Wal-Mart for a few things” you can rattle off one the projects. The project must be believable though as woman will see right through it if it isn’t.
The natural living arrangement between man and woman is; the garage is man’s domain and everything else is woman’s domain. I saw that on the internet so I know it’s true.
At no time will man go into kitchen while woman is making Thanksgiving dinner and give woman advice. The punishment for doing so is at the minimum a spatula upside the head.
When woman is choosing paint color, curtain patterns, bedspread choices etc…and asks what man thinks, its mans responsibility to choose either the zebra pattern or the leopard skin for the pattern’s and accessories. Woman will naturally refuse with a roll of the eyes. From that point on its man’s next responsibility to just go with whatever she sees fit to pick.
When woman is man’s domicile, man is to refer to all tools as either thingamabobs or whatchyamacallits. Man is to ask woman to hand him one of either and when she picks some tool up, its man job to say “no, it’s the other one”.
This is technically known as the “Keep her Guessing so She goes back in the Kitchen” strategy.
NOTE: This technique only works if woman when younger, DID NOT help father fix cars. Trust me on this one men.
Punishment for the failure of said technique will result in a minimum of a 9/16″ 1/2″ Drive socket and rachet upside the head.
If above technique is successful it will result in Woman growing frustrated and eventually refraining from going into garage unless an urgent need for her to pull car out of garage to go to Wal-Mart for a few things.Rule #3-Gender Responsibilities
Man, being the boss of Woman, it is man’s responsibility to let Woman think she is the boss.
This takes some forethought and some finesse on the part of Man.
NOTE: Woman will attempt this also as she has the same mindset. So BEWARE!On another note Its always wise to claim back spasm pain when its time to shovel snow as Woman will pick up the slack and having to shovel snow after four or five snowstorms, will agree that Man and Woman need new snow blower on condition Man will blow snow when needed. MENTAL NOTE TO MAN: teach youngest son how to run snowblower.
Never let Woman catch you (Man) writing a blog about Important aspects in a Christian marriage because she’ll make you re-do it……..
I personally think that a person could actually come up with a multitude of aspects of a healthy Christian marriage and I’ll only be touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Remember though , this is still from a Man’s point of view and these are in no particular order of importance:
Life is tough enough , even when your with the best part of you (her). Always try and make her smile. Remember though to use some common sense. A funeral is a bad place to try out that new joke on her.
No matter what our culture may try and teach us, chivalry isn’t dead. Don’t be afraid to do things like hold her hand, open the door for her, carry groceries into the house. It’s not going to take away from your “manhood” to just be polite to your wife. Man-up and take the lead.
3. Strengths and weaknesses
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Let her help you with your weaknesses and you be her strength with her weaknesses. In our marriage she is better with finances so we let her deal with the bills. I’m better at the practical decision making to keep us grounded so I cover that area. We’re in tune with each other.
Be honest with her. You wouldn’t expect anything less. If your in the wrong apologize to her for wronging her. We make it a rule to never go to bed mad at each other, so we generally have things worked out by morning if there is some crisis. Be aware of those situations were she wants to talk but doesnt want you fix it for her. Sometimes she just needs to get off her chest and just wants you to listen. Don’t be afraid to tell her your fears but still have courage.
Pray together. I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer and when a married couple pray together I believe it carries a lot of weight with Our Lord. Say grace before meals even when at a restaurant. On one occasion at a diner after I lead grace when we got our food, I overheard a wife say to her husband “See, they pray before meals.” I’m not sure if thats a good ora bad thing on their part. Another time , we had an older couple next to us if we’d say grace with them after they heard us start. If you have kids teach them the Bible and right and wrong and teach them to pray also.
Some other things to consider also
- Alone time together
I’d like to say again, this is only the tip of iceberg. Marriage is the hardest job I ever had , but wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s a lot of work, but well worth every minute of it. Remember to have a lot of humility when you want to be prideful, a lot of courage when your afraid, and always , always, remember……in your walk…. there’s the the three of you….You, your wife, and Jesus.
A good rule of thumb to have a thriving marriage is found in the Bible in Ephesians 5:22-33
23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.