Fresh Hope – 27th April 2018

Yesterday, we had a wonderful time celebrating the wedding of our niece.

 As Leah and Ashley start out on their married lives together, I am reminded that in just a couple of months, Gillian and myself will be celebrating 34 years of marriage.

Despite our busy lives that revolve around helping others, our love for each other has grown stronger and deeper over the years; that love has many times come as a result of going through difficult trials and intense pain along the way.

Anyone that is married, knows only too well that tests, trials and pain are sometimes our best friends in disguise. It’s not until much later, that we realise that they have helped play a huge part in who we are as a couple today.

 I’ve had the privilege of leading many marriage preparation classes over the years and have always been transparent in sharing some of the ‘secrets’ of a blessed and happy marriage.

 I can honestly say that Gillian is still my best friend today, and more than ever, I love spending time with her. She also loves spending(!).

 Here are some of the things that I’d like to share with you today that may help you sustain a healthy and happy marriage.

 

1) You can never say I love you too many times

 2) Appreciation, even for small acts of kindness, has a huge impact on married life.

 3) Share the chores…cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing are not beyond any of us. If you don’t know how, learn!

 4) Saying sorry is not always a feeling…it’s an action. If you can’t feel your way into an action, then act your way into a feeling.

 5) When you make a mistake, always take the higher road and humble yourself.

 6) One surprise gesture is better than ten planned ones.

 7) When you hurt your spouse, you are actually hurting yourself.

 8) Those who pray together, stay together.

 9) Never let the sun go down on your anger.

 10) If things are going from bad to worse, you are not alone – seek counsel from wise friends that are ahead of you.

 11) The rut you’re in right now is not much different than the grave (apart from the depth) – get out of it before it swallows you up with boredom – give yourself permission to enjoy your life together.

 12) Put God first in everything and everything else will fall into place.

 

Ephesians 5:22-33 MSG

‘Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.                                                 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.                          No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.’

 Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.