Two Decades of Marital Insight

It’s time for the final countdown of the marriage lessons I’ve been sharing this week. These don’t have a particular order, because each lesson has been of vital importance at some point in time, and to be honest, I expect to learn at least twenty more valuable lessons in the next twenty years!

6. My husband is a son of God. Not “the” son of God, but “a” son of God. As such, I should offer him the same kind of courtesy, consideration, respect and honor I would give Jesus if He were physically present in my home. Yeah, that’s a toe-curler, I know. It was for me, too, but it completely changed my perception of the man who walked into my house everyday after work, and when our perception changes, our reactions and responses change.

5. It is essential to have “fighting rules,” because you will disagree at some point in time. How you conduct yourself in a disagreement may be the difference between a sword fight (death or serious injury) and a harmless round of fencing.

4. The “D” word (divorce) is not in our marital vocabulary. Far too many couples toss the “D” word around whenever they get angry, or upset, or want to shut down an argument before they lose face.

3. Never go to bed angry. I know, this is a classic bit of advice. But these are the words my paternal grandpa shared with me on my wedding day, and I took them to heart. We had more than one sleepless night over the years but we never went to bed without finding common ground.

2. Forgive, and do it quickly. At any point you feel resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness toward your spouse, choose to forgive as an act of your will. Don’t wait until you “feel” like it, just do it!

(Yes, that’s Pat and me, three days before the birth of our first child. My swollen nose became a sure sign I was about ready to “pop.”)

1. Love is a choice, not a feeling. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a is NOT just a nice scripture selection for a wedding ceremony. Read it, personalize it, commit it to memory. Every time it says “love” insert your name. (I endure long and am patient and kind…) It’s guaranteed to change your life, whether you’re married or not!

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

1 Cor 13:4-8a AMP

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7 thoughts on “Two Decades of Marital Insight

  1. Georgiana Daniels says:

    Great thoughts! Love really is a choice, and sometimes it's hard to remember to do those things that better serve our spouse than ourselves. Treating my hubby like a son of God–wow, I'm going to digest that one today and put it into pratice.

  2. patti says:

    Sigh. Honestly, I have tried to get my hubby to work on the "never go to bed angry," which is not only biblical but good advice. The problem often is HE isn't angry, but I am and NEED HIM TO KNOW I AM!!

    Blessings on a BRILLIANT and much-needed post.

  3. Jill Kemerer says:

    So true! After many years of dating and marriage, it can be hard to remember the "rules," but it's more important than ever. I have one to add–whenever we feel like strangling, we should adore him instead.

  4. Niki Turner says:

    Georgiana, that was one of the most difficult lessons for me, but also made the greatest difference!

    Patti, too funny! It's SO miserable to fume and stew while they sleep soundly! Been there!

    Jill, husbands should come with a tag… "stroke, don't choke!"

  5. Suzie Johnson says:

    Niki, this is beautiful. I'm thinking you should write a non-fiction book for the secrets to a long and happy marriage. It's easy to see why you have had twenty wonderful years. Congratulations!

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