3 Keys to a Happy Marriage

It's no secret that a happy, healthy marriage takes work. But most of the advice out there can be simplified into these three time-tested truths. 

Put God first in your marriage. 

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Our human tendency says "me first" -- my needs, my wants, my priorities. When we put God first, we pray and ask God what He wants to do in our lives and our marriages. We have all seen little kids saying "Mine!" and demanding their own way. That is a recipe for disaster in a marriage. Let's put God first, and then love our spouse as ourselves, and things will go a whole lot better!

Forgive often.

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The word "forgive" in the Bible means "to release," or "to let go." We want to hang on to wrongs suffered -- the pains, slights, and insults. It can seem appealing to get back at our spouse for how we have been hurt.  But a spiteful attitude and deliberately vengeful actions will exacerbate a growing rift in a marriage.  Avoid using language like "You always do _____!" or "You never do _____!" A small incident can turn into a major disaster because one person is carrying a bunch of grudges that turn a small spark into a forest fire. Forgive often. Jesus forgave even those who crucified Him. Talk things out -- communicate in love -- but let it go at the end of the day. God will help you keep a clean slate!

Show love in little ways every day.

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We sometimes think love is a Hollywood-esque grand gesture, heroic effort, or beautiful sunsets. But love can be a phone call to simply say "I love you," or small, thoughtful gift for your spouse, or an act of service such as taking out the garbage or washing the dishes.  Before the day ends, ask yourself, "How did I let my spouse know I love her/him today?" The daily little acts, gestures, and words of love will build a mountain of love that will stand strong when the storms of life come.