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The Ten Commandments of Marriage
  1. Respect the image of god in the other person. Gary Smalley, one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships, has said, " How would you treat your spouse if you saw them as being autographed by God?" The Bible tells us that we're ALL made in the image of God (and that includes our spouse).

  2. Remember that god has given you a gift in your spouse. We hurt the Lord's heart whenever we abuse...or take for granted...the gift that He's given to us. This certainly isn't always easy to do, especially if we're in the middle of a conflict. We must make a conscious effort every day to thank God for our spouse and for the gifts He's given to him/her that add value to our lives. It's no secret that the number of conflicts in your marriage will be significantly reduced simply by viewing your mate as the gift from God that they really are. Why? Because it doesn't leave much room in our hearts for anything else but gratitude and appreciation.

  3. Love always means sacrifice. Jesus himself set the example for all of us in laying down His life for us. (Read Ephesians 5:1-2 and ask yourself how you can apply these verses in marriage.)

  4. Relinquish your rights. That's a really tough one, especially in today's world. Christ showed us the perfect example in this. As we read Philippians 2:5-8 we see where Christ Himself who had every right there ever could be, emptied Himself of all but love, making Himself nothing. We're told to have the same attitude. As we interact with our spouse we need to keep in mind that it's not about being right-but rather doing what's right that's important. Relinquish your rights as Christ Jesus did for you.

  5. Let each esteem the other better than him/herself. This is an area that we REALLY see lacking in most married couples. Philippians 2:3-4 says to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." This passage instructs us to not consider our opinions more important than our mate's. In order to incarnate these verses into everyday living, we must prioritize their interests over our own and relinquish our rights. This, of course, requires sacrifice. This does not mean, however, that we are to discard our own opinions or interests. It simply means that we are not to let our selfish ambitions dominate the relationship. When we took a vow to love, honor, and cherish our spouses before God, we promised from that day forward that we would make continual choices to walk through life unselfishly as half of a whole team, fully committed to doing our part to glorify God in our marriage.

  6. Pray for each other - pray and with each other. We aren't only to pray together at meal times. We've found in our own marriage as we pray for and with each other, our relationship grows all the deeper. God has a way of uniting us all the more as we pray together. "There's nothing that makes us love someone as much as prayer for him" (William Law).

  7. Never go to bed angry. (See Ephesians 4:26-27 and Psalm 4:4) We all need to remember that "anytime we reconcile, it's a picture of what God wants to do with man".

  8. Whenever you're wrong, admit it. Whenever you're right, be quiet! Love aims at unity.

  9. Keep sight of your place in god's order. God can work in wonderful ways when we view our role in our marriage as completing each other rather than competing with one another. (Read Hebrews 10:24) Look for ways in which you can help your spouse in those areas that God's gifted you in.

  10. Be faithful to your vow. Be a promise keeper-not a promise changer or a promise breaker. We vowed in our wedding ceremony to love, honor, and cherish each other. The philosophy of marriage today is, "the rules change,” but in God's economy the rules never change. What was true then, is true now. Marriage vows are still to be honored even if our spouse doesn't honor his/her part. As the Bible instructs us, "Let our yes be yes, and our no be no".

Wisdom for Living Ministry's prayer for you is that God will speak to your heart to reveal to you how to love your mate "as unto the Lord". We pray that you will look for ways to “out-serve” one another knowing that the Lord is smiling as He sees you loving your spouse as He loves you.

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