Love is the strong pillar in a marriage relationship. When there is love in a marriage, there will be contentment in that marriage. When there is loving relationship between husbands and wives, it produces confident children. As Stephen and Alex Kendrick put it in their book “Love Dare”, “The number one source of security for kids is when they know that their dad loves their mother and is steadfastly committed to her life.” Healthy and loving families lead to stronger communities. Stronger communities lead to stronger cities. Stronger cities leads to building a strong nation. Basically “Love” makes the whole world to be a better place.
What does the Bible say about love? The following verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 summarizes it all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5– “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
We are all born with the ability to love. But we must know how to show it. Here are some that ways that shows how husbands and wives can show their love towards each other. I consider them the ingredients for a healthy and successful marriage relationship.
1. Husband and Wife must be “Patient” with each other
What is Patience? Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances which could mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance or anger in a negative way. Patience is the ability to continue doing something for a long time without losing interest. Being patient often has its own rewards. The rewards may not be instantaneous but we will see them in the long run. Patience is a choice. Husbands and wives must demonstrate patience and understanding in their marriage relationship.
2. Husband and Wife must show “Kindness” towards each other
What is Kindness? Kindness is love in action. Forgiveness is also considered as an act of kindness. Forgiveness and kindness are extremely important for a marriage relationship to be successful. It means in various senses like manifestation of a kind feeling towards each other especially between wife and a husband in a marriage.
3. Husband and Wife must not “Envy” each other
What is Envy? It is a feeling of discontentment or resentful longing aroused by another person’s possessions, qualities, or luck. It is also a desire to have a quality, possession, or some attribute belonging to someone else. Husbands and wives must use their actions, thoughts and individual strengths to complement each other and to strengthen each other. It is not about him or her but it should be about “us” in a marriage relationship.
4. Husband and Wife must not “Boast” against each other
What is Boasting? It means talking and acting with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about personal achievements, possessions, or abilities. It could also be termed as bragging. Bragging implies exaggerated claims and often shows as an insolent superiority. In a marriage there should not be individual boasting, but it should be “all about us”. Marriages flourish when husbands and wives remember that they are on the same team.
5. Husband and Wife must not be “Proud” individually, but should take pride in each other
What does it meant to be Proud? Being proud is feeling pleasurable satisfaction over an act, possession, quality, or self-worth. A proud person does not like other people to help them or to think they are weak. Husbands and wives must help each other and look for ways to complement each other. They must take pride in each other. There should be a strong sense of belongingness between them.
6. Husband and Wife must “Honor” each other
What does Honor mean? It means regarding each other with great respect. It also means esteeming each other. It means husbands and wives must not act in a way to bring shame or disgrace upon one another or treat each other in a disrespectful or demeaning manner. They should learn to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
7. Husband and Wife must not be “Self-Seeking”. They must seek each other at all times
What does “Self-Seeking” mean? It means pursuing a person’s own interests. It also means exhibiting concern only with promoting one’s own ends or interests. It also means opportunism, which translates to taking advantage of opportunities without regard to the consequences for the other person. Husband and wife must be aware that they are on the same team and must look for every opportunity to work together as a team. Selfishness will destroy relationships. Humility will help in building the relationships.
8. Husband and Wife must not be “Easily Angered” at each other
What does it take to not be Easily Angered? It means waiting with patience without becoming angry or upset at each other. It also means having the ability to accept situations that you do not like without becoming angry or upset. As Joseph Joubert puts it “The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.” Admitting when someone is wrong and apologizing shows great humility.
9. Husband and Wife must never keep “Record of Wrongs”
What does this mean? It means true love does not keep score. The key to not keeping record of wrongs is an act of forgiveness. It is when wife or husband does something wrong, the other person must refuse to point out to that person. They should not be having any hurting conversations or bringing up past mistakes in conversations. Husbands and wives should learn conflict resolution. They must learn to work through issues and come to a resolution and must end up in loving each other more deeply.
Here are some excellent suggestions from Twentieth Century Christian (March 1955), which I termed as “Golden Nuggets” for a successful marriage.
Never both be angry at once.
Never talk at one another.
Never yell at one another, unless the house is on fire.
Let each one strive to yield more often to do the wishes of the other.
Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each.
Never taunt with a past mistake.
Neglect the whole world rather than one another.
Never make a remark at the expense of one another.
Never part for a day without kind words to think of during absence.
Never meet without a loving welcome.
Never let the sun go down on your wrath.
Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessings alone can make it what it ought to be.
I hope and pray that you will be blessed as you read through this article. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.