How to Have a Marriage That Lasts

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Dr. Ed Young offers a few ways to develop a healthy, lasting marriage.

I know you wouldn't get into your car to go on a long trip and hold onto the steering wheel only for the first half, and then let go. Of course, you’d keep a firm grip on the wheel all the way to your destination!

It’s the same with marriage. Just as a car trip takes you over mountains and down through valleys, across rivers and into forests, so a marriage goes through stages with different challenges that we must respond to with a firm grip on the wheel. But how can we do this? Let me make some suggestions: 

Work on having common goals. Buying a house, raising kids, and taking family trips bind husbands and wives together in a common purpose. Talk and pray together about what you want to aim for together, so you’re on the same path rather than heading in different directions.

Stay focused on your faith in God. Many couples find themselves drawn to travel, parties, and other social activities where casual infidelity can creep in. Don’t get me wrong. Taking trips and remaining socially active are wonderful endeavors, so long as you keep faithfulness to God and your spouse as top priorities.

Grow together. Distance between a husband and wife can occur when one spouse continues to grow spiritually and intellectually while the other one stagnates. That’s why it’s vital for couples to continue to pray together, read the Bible together, and discuss ideas they've gleaned from other books or magazines. 

The increased life expectancy we now experience means that God wants to bless husbands and wives with many years of the sort of joy, meaning, and satisfaction that come from remaining faithful to one another and faithful to Him. Not only that, but we can be active and contributing members of our families, churches and communities.

As the apostle Paul said, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). And do you know when he said this? No, not when he was a young Christian pilgrim. He wrote it in his latter years, confident of God’s faithfulness and blessing all the way through his final days. 

So keep a strong hold on the steering wheel and on your spouse until you reach your final destination… together!

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