‘He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.’ Proverbs 18:13 NKJV
Author Jean Kerr quipped: ‘Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything in the house.’
The Bible gives good marital advice: ‘Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus.’ (Romans 15:5 HCSB) That means doing these three things:
(1) Keep an open mind. The Bible says, ‘He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.’ So don’t form your response while your spouse is still talking. And never become so entrenched in your opinion that you’re unwilling to consider your spouse’s viewpoint. Listening is about connecting and acknowledging where the other person is coming from. ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’ (Philippians 2:3–4 HCSB)
(2) Learn to laugh at yourself. ‘A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.’ (Proverbs 15:13 HCSB) When you’re experiencing money woes, family problems, illness, or plain old exhaustion, humour can ease the tension and help restore your perspective.
(3) Eliminate the ‘D’ word from your vocabulary. Although God permits divorce under certain circumstances, it’s never His ideal. When you commit to work on your relationship, no matter how things ultimately end up, you will never regret your efforts.
SoulFood: Gen 4-6 Luke 6:1-16 Ps 104:1-23 Pro 3:9-10
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023