3 Powerful Truths to Help Your Marriage You know the saying, "Marriages are made in Heaven, but they sure take a lot of maintenance on earth!" That's the truth! Great marriages take work and it's worth the work! Many times people go from relationship to another seeking the perfect relationship. They can't seem to maintain relationships, bailing out whenever conflict occurs; later learning there is no perfect relationship. There is no such thing as the perfect marriage. Relationships and marriage are high maintenance. If you want good, healthy, relationships in your life, you need to be willing to work at it, you need the wisdom of God, and you need to understand the dynamics of relationships. Psalm 34:12-14 is a scripture that sums up in a nutshell what it takes to have fulfilling relationships and a good marriage. It says, "Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." There are three powerful truths in this verse that when applied, will greatly aid in the success of a fulfilling and happy marriage. They are: 1. Control your tongue. 2. Do good to each other. 3. Seek peace and pursue it. Why is it important for us to work on our marriages? Because God designed us for relationships. The most important thing in your life besides your relationship with God are the people in your life. It's not your job or your money, or your hobbies. And if your married, it's your spouse! You can have everything, but if you lack good relationships, you are unfulfilled and empty. On the other hand, you can have very little, but if you have friends and fulfilling relationships, you are rich! It's sad to say, but many people only know what it's like to have dysfunctional relationships. There are so many homes that are full of strife and marriages not at peace. That is not God's best for your marriage. God wants you to enjoy your spouse. I believe with all my heart, that God divinely connected you with your mate. He wants you to enjoy your spouse and not be at odds with him or her. Here are some helpful steps in staying connected with your spouse that if you work on, will produce a stronger, happier marriage. 1. Work on being more patient with your mate. Be more understanding and compassionate. 2. Don't go to bed angry. When you do, it gives the enemy a foothold in your marriage. After you calm down, talk it out and make peace. Anger grows if you don't deal with in it in a timely manner. 3. Lighten Up! A merry heart does good like a medicine! Don't be too serious all of the time. Remember to laugh, play and have fun with the people in your life. (Proverbs 15:13) 4. Avoid touchy subjects when possible. Things that stir up strife-like differences in doctrine or politics, how you squeeze the toothpaste or which way the toilet paper goes, should just be avoided. Some things just aren't worth the strife! 5. Accept your spouse for who they are. People have different personalities. We have different gifts and talents, but we also have different needs. And we ought to learn what our spouse's needs are and build them up according to their needs. Many times we try to meet our spouse's needs according to what we like and we need-but it will not have the same effect because we are all different. Your spouse might need quality time to feel loved, yet you might like receiving gifts. By understanding how each other feels loved and what our different needs are, miscommunication will be avoided and love increased. (Eph 4:29) 6. Learn to forgive and let it go! Sometimes we have to do this on a daily basis! Don't hold on to the offenses. Don't hold things against people. Jesus doesn't hold things against us when we sin. (Ephesians 4:32) My Daddy used to say that he and my mother argued from the neck up. That meant that they never let anything get into their heart. They didn't hold things against each other. They dealt with the offense and moved on. 7. Recognize strife when it starts and stop before it gets out of hand. (Proverbs 17:14) Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out 8. Be a peacemaker. Decide that you are going to be a peacemaker in your marriage, in your home, in the office, and everywhere you go. It is a choice that we make. We all can choose to be peacemakers (James 3:18, Proverbs 12:20, Proverbs 16:7, Matthew 5:9) Ephesians 4:2-3 says to be completely humble and gently; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. All great marriages take work. Make it your goal to daily remember these biblical points. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and to bring to your attention whenever you're tempted to act out of love. And remember, where there is peace, God commands a blessing!