Where do you find the power for your marriage? Do you rest in your communication skills or knowledge of gender differences? Or, do you draw on the power of the Spirit?

Once you understand the purpose and power behind marriage, it is valuable to understand the differences between how men and women communicate.  After 38 years of marriage, I am still amazed at how many words Patty uses on an average day.  It is estimated that the average woman uses 15,000 words in a day. In contrast, a man is lucky if he uses 5,000.

I recently heard a podcast from our friends at Fierce Marriage concerning scripture and marriage which motivated me to think a little deeper about what scripture says about a believer’s marriage.   I personally love the science behind marriage; communication, sexuality, emotion, etc.   However, as believers, we need a strong understanding of what scripture has to say about covenant marriage.

“We realized that those couples who committed to a weekend at one of our Beaver’s Bend State Park marriage enrichment events had lower separation and divorce rates than the national average.  In fact, of those who were able to find Yeti Poop during the Saturday afternoon treasure hunt, we can’t remember any who are not still married.”

Ephesians 4:32 is not what we would consider a “marriage” scripture.  It is a call for all brothers and sisters in Christ to treat each other as God has treated them.  If you have an accurate understanding of how much God loves you, is kind to you, is tenderhearted towards you, and how much God has forgiven you, you are much more likely to treat your spouse in the same way.

We often spend time talking about the challenges of marriage. Of course, we should prepare for these challenges, but sometimes we may spend so much time preparing for the bad that we forget to celebrate the overall goodness of marriage.  For instance, did you know:

Financial – People who remain married have 75% more wealth than those who never marry or get divorced.

Happiness – Research shows that married couples are generally happier, less depressed, and more joyful than their single counterparts. 61-62% of married couples report being “very happy” when questioned.   Further, of those who stated they were unhappy in their marriage, 70% reported being happy 5 years later if they pushed through.

Sexual Satisfaction – Many would say that marriage leads to a dull and stagnant sex life.  Nope, research shows that married couples have a significantly better and more enjoyable sex life than singles.

Family – Children raised in a household with a mother and a father have outcomes that are 2 -3 times better than those raised by a single parent.

The depth of the gift that God gave mankind when he gave us marriage is best seen in Genesis.  God breathes life into the pinnacle of His creation, man, but soon says, “It is not good that man is alone.”  He then places Adam in the garden and gives him the work of naming all the animals of creation.  Adam begins the task, soon seeing that every other creature has a mate, but for him, no mate can be found.  There is no indication of how long this process took.  Was Adam there a few weeks, months, years, or even decades, seeing everything walk before him two by two, but seeing there was a mate for every other creature, but not him?  When God finally created Eve, you can hear the ecstasy and joy expressed by Adam in Genesis  2:22-24 where he literally breaks into poetry giving thanks for the gift of his wife.

We often forget that our spouse is a gift, but ask your average widow or widower what they would give for just a little more time with their spouse and you will likely gain some insight.

Marriage is a gift and it is worthy of thanksgiving.

Your Weekly Challenge: 

Take 5 minutes every morning this week and write out three things you are thankful for in your spouse.  This reinforces a spirit of gratitude you were given in Christ at salvation.  You will also find that, over time, it strengthens your bond with your spouse and generates feelings of joy and contentment.  Each of us has the ability to choose where we focus.  We can focus on our spouse’s shortcomings, or we can focus on the gift we have been given.  The choice, as always, is yours.