It’s easy to find good advice on how to make a marriage last. Anyone married long enough to weather a few storms should have valuable things to say. If you ask enough people or read enough material you will probably get a wide variety of answers. So much so, It may be difficult to choose what is the best advice to focus your attention on.
Over the years since we started this marriage ministry, I’ve thought about this idea a lot. I’ve wondered as we prepared for teaching a class, or meeting with a couple for private coaching. Is there a single piece of advice that’s more important than anything else we share?
I’m sure someone could debate the advice I give with a lot of other good answers. And that’s okay. I like a lot of the other answers. I can see several things that go into building a strong marriage that goes the distance. But while a lot of the other advice is important. There is one answer that is the foundation cornerstone of everything else.
Best advice to make a marriage last
To build a strong marriage that lasts a lifetime you have to start with commitment. Although, that sounds simple. There’s a lot more to it than what seems obvious.
Commitment is what caused the two of you to stand together and pronounce your vows to one another. And it is what gives meaning to the vows you said. Without the commitment to your marriage, your wedding day and your vows mean nothing.
From the time I was thirteen, I wanted to one day have a lasting marriage. So I knew before I even met my wife that I would commit to my marriage. But basically, my initial commitment only meant that I wanted to avoid divorce. I thought to say “I do” and never going back on what I said was the completion of my commitment.
I didn’t understand when I was younger that I also needed to commit to all of the different elements of what it takes to make a marriage work.
Commitment after the wedding
Commitment is essential throughout a marriage. To build a strong marriage you have to start with commitment. And then you have to continue with commitment as you learn everything else. You cannot have a strong marriage if you fail to commit to what it takes to make your marriage the best it can be.
Every marriage is unique as each husband and wife are unique individuals. So what one marriage needs the most may be different than what another marriage needs. The key is to know your marriage. And commit yourselves to take care of what you and your spouse need from each other.
In the early days of our marriage, I read good Christian books on marriage and relationships. I listened to marriage and family advice on Christian radio. And I listened to lots of messages from the pulpit. I should have had enough information on how to make my marriage work.
The truth is, I had enough information. I had so much information in my head it is shameful how little I applied it to my marriage. The problem was, I didn’t commit to loving my wife’s uniqueness. And therefore I didn’t commit to meeting her unique needs and desires. I was often oblivious to the pain of disappointment and rejection she felt.
It takes Commitment + what your marriage needs
Several things go into making a marriage strong. Here are a few things that are important to us along with how commitment plays its part.
- A Strong spiritual foundation. Ministering the love of God toward one another was what brought healing to our marriage. So, our commitment to each other’s spiritual well being is always our number one ministry. We are first and foremost believers who help each other along our spiritual journeys.
- Good communication is a great piece of advice for any marriage. But it takes work to learn how to do it right and it can be a huge challenge for some. And sometimes it breaks down. But when we commit to communicating we find a way to overcome the breakdowns and we learn what good communication looks like between the two of us.
- A good sex life. Our sex life was a point of contention for many years. It was always good, but it wasn’t always consistent. Then we discovered our sex life has the power to heal and it played a valuable role in our marriage restoration. Since that time our sex life is a priority we both commit to.
- Friendship. Our friendship is what puts a smile on our faces. It’s that source of joy that we get to wake up to every day. It’s what makes us want to do life together. We equally enjoy and crave for one another’s presence. So we commit to maintaining a lifestyle that nurtures and enables our friendship to flourish.
A final thought for the only one holding on.
I know your commitment is already strong and it is sometimes the only thing that gets you through tough times. This post may not help solve your problem. Because you know commitment has to be a two-way street to make a marriage last.
But I hope I can encourage you to let God help you focus on your side of the street. Commitment is a testament to your character. You are not wrong for holding to your covenant. You be you and stay open to how God will help you become an even better version of yourself. All you need to do is continue to allow the Holy Spirit to be your Helper. Doing this makes it easier for the Lord to work with your spouse on their side of the street of commitment.
And wherever you are on your marriage journey remember this. Commitment is how a marriage starts. It’s what gets a marriage through a crisis. And commitment is the driving force that builds a strong marriage that goes the distance.
For related post:
- Why Would You Settle for a Difficult Marriage
- How do You Build a Great Friendship with Your Spouse
- What Does A Good Marriage Look Like