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Marriage Counseling Contents

Seven Keys for a
Successful Marriage

July 20, 2006

Re:  Seven Keys for a Successful Marriage

Dear Julie & Mike:

Thank You for the opportunity to share with you my wisdom and understanding about the miracle of marriage and what is necessary to have a successful marriage.

First, some people say God has one right person for you. For certain an individual needs to be sensitive to God to lead them to a partner who would be best for them and visa versa. However, once a man and a woman enter into matrimony, becoming man and wife, they are the right person. So! If you have any doubts, now is the time to run for your life, LOL! The point being here, after you are married, no matter what happens down the road in your marriage and when you begin to wonder "Gee! Maybe I married the wrong person?" Flash! You are married to the right person and it is for life! God is against divorce for any reason except in the case of adultery. It is the only reason Jesus gave sanction for divorce and remarriage. So again, realize that tomorrow when you make your vows, it is for life. There is no parole from marriage.

Second, while you two were single, you could decide for yourself good or bad. However, when you enter into marriage the Bible states that you are no longer two people, but one flesh, one body. It is no longer "I" but "Us!" Also, Mike, once you marry Julie, you no longer have authority over your body, Julie does. Julie, once you marry Mike, you no longer have authority over Your body, Mike does. What does that mean? It means that when you commit to each other in marriage, when one needs to be satisfied sexually, whether you are in the mood or not, you have to satisfy your spouses need. Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 "Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

Mikeís reaction? "Halleluiah Jesus!!!" Julieís reaction "Oh brother!" LOL. Well it doesnít mean you rape each other. Obviously some times because of sickness, fatigue, work, etcetera you will need for the moment to deny each other. Otherwise, under normal circumstances you are to put each other first in this whether you are in the mood or not. Philippians 2:3-4 puts it this way,

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

You are to put each other first in this, whether in the mood or not. However, Mike, if you love your wife, you will be also sensitive to her moods and also not try to force the issue. This is also putting her first and visa versa. Otherwise, You have authority over Julieís body and Julie has authority over Your body. You will not understand why such a command is given in the bible until you have been married for a while.

Third: Now let me talk about what is the key to a successful happy marriage? Viagra!!!! Wrong! LOL. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 "But seek-continually first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." What does this mean? It means Jesus has a purpose and a plan for you two together. Where will you find happiness in your marriage? In only one place: in the center of Jesusí will and purpose for Your lives together. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15-17 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Proverbs state in Proverbs 16:7 "When a manís ways are pleasing to Yehovah, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." When you are at odds with each other, in conflict, you can be certain that the problem is not your conflict, the problem is what is Godís will for you two in this? Find that and you will find the conflict disappears. This is what Jesusí means when He says to seek His kingdom first and all these other things will be added to you. The fruit of the Holy Spirit of love, joy & peace. When you are walking together in Godís will for your life, you will experience Godís love, joy and peace.

What happens when you do not commit yourself to Godís will in your life and seek His will and plans for you? You end up with two independent wills saying "Me! Me! Me!" "My! My! My!" Pretty soon you can no longer live with each other and thus why divorce is so high in the world today. Man rejects God and tries to build a marriage on "Me! Me! Me!" It wonít work, it will crash and burn. There is only one will that will give you peace and happiness in your home: Jesusí will. When you are having problems, stop and seek Jesus together or individually as you will need to do from time to time and find Jesusí will for you in the matter or what will of His you two are not submitting too already revealed. Repent and submit yourself to His revealed will and love, joy and peace will return to the relationship and the problems will go away. Problems are Godís way of trying to get our attention. It means we need to stop and seek Him, draw close to Him. Only He can make your marriage work and keep you together.

Fourth: once married, ministry starts in the home. What do I mean? I mean after putting Jesusí first, you are first. Not your parents, not the church, not the world and not your children if you have them. You are first. I mean your relationship with each other is first. God will take care of your children. You do not sacrifice your relationship with each other for anyone. You are first, your children second, your relatives third, the church fourth and the world last. You do maintenance to your relationship first, then you are free to work on the rest if needed, but YOU ARE FIRST! When your children grow up and get married and leave the nest, only you two people will be left. If you donít take care of each other first, even that wonít be left when the rest leave the nest, so putting your relationship with each other is first!

Fifth: What is Godís plan in marriage. Tom Arnold in trying to encourage his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies who was having marriage problems said "Woman! you canít live with them and you canít kill them!" LOL. Again I ask the question, what is Godís purpose in marriage? He uses it to conform us to the image of Christ. How does He do this? By our not running away from each other when problems arise but by trusting God to help you work out those problems. One of the most important commitments that Nenita and I made to each other in our own private marriage vows during our Honeymoon was this: we committed ourselves to each other that no matter what our problems are, we will not run away, but trust Jesus to help us work out our problems. At times when we have been at odds, we have remembered this commitment and also renewed it whenever necessary. Make this commitment to each other that no matter how tough things get, you will not run away from each other but trust Jesus to help you work it out. If you do that, He will show you the way and you will find your marriage becoming better and better as time goes on.

Sixth: control your thought life. What do I mean? I used to fanaticize at times in my past about clobbering someone who was really ticking me off, thinking about how I would boil them in oil, etcetera. I did until. . . I had a close friend who one time really ticked me off. I was soooo mad! I was driving around thinking about. . . Well, you donít want to know, LOL. Anyway, to make a long story short, I never intended to do anything, I was just venting my anger. However, the Bible states about man in Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinks within his soul, so he is." The next day this friend and I were again arguing over something. Suddenly I found myself hitting him with my fists. Good thing he weighed 350 pounds, LOL. I couldnít make a dent, LOL. I found that what I had been thinking about came into reality. I never intended to do it, but I was thinking it, and if you think it, YOU WILL DO IT. You must make a commitment to each other that no matter how angry you may be with each other, that you will not allow yourself to think violent thoughts of any kind. Be warned, this will not help you unless you make this commitment period. What do I mean? I mean make this commitment period about anyone. Donít allow yourself to entertain violent thoughts. If you do this, you will never use violence as a means of trying to solve your problems. Control your thought life. God commands us in His Word:

Philippians 4:8-9 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."

When you are really angry with each other, the thing to do is raise your hands and start praising the Lord. As you do, this will release the power of the Holy Spirit in your lives and He will lead you to the solution to your conflict. "Jesus! thank you for what my husband did to me." "Jesus, thank you for what my wife did to me." Praise gets your eyes off of yourselves, the problem, and onto Jesus the solution to your problems.

Seventh: Mike, you are commanded in Godís Word in Ephesians chapter 5 to love your wife as Jesus loved the church. How did Jesus love the Church? By Church I mean believers in Jesus, not what denomination you belong to. Jesus loved the church not by putting His soul life first, but by putting our soul life first. How did He do this? By giving up His own soul life so that ours could be realized: He gave it up on the cross, He died for us. Once physically dead, a personís soul life on earth is forever halted. Mike, if needed, you are to give up your own ambitions, your own soul desires in order to fulfill your wifeís soul desires, of course according to and in Godís will.

Julie, you are to obey your husband as you are to obey the Lord. What does that mean? Just that. When you are single, you are to obey the Lord in everything. In marriage, you are to obey Your husband in everything. What does that mean? It means you will now have to trust Jesus to work through your husband. If you think he is wrong, pray and ask Jesus to change his heart. If He does not, then Jesusí will for you is your husbandís final decision. Twice in my life I saw God work in, in my case, godless authority over me. It was my father. God called me to the ministry and my dad said "Iím not having any priests in my home." I got on my knees and prayed "God, I cannot fight my dad." The next day, my godless father came into my presence with his head hanging down and said "Son, if you feel called to the ministry, you have my blessing." I do not know what transpired in that 24 hours, but God changed my Fatherís heart. Proverbs 21:1 states "The kingís heart is like channels of water in the hand of Yehovah; He turns it wherever He wishes." Certainly you two should discuss and make decisions together. You are a team, not Lord and Master. However, if you cannot agree, then in Godís plan for you, it is Mikeís call, and whatever decision he makes, Julie, as long as it is not against the Ten Commandments, God wants you to submit to Mike in it. If he is wrong, God states in Proverbs 21:1 that He will change Mikeís heart. Until then, the present decision he has made is Godís will and decision for you.

There are many more things I could say, but if you follow these seven, the rest will take care of themselves. God bless you.

Sincerely in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor Evangelist

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