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Making Right Choices in Marriage

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Tammy Darling and her husband explored God's intent for marriage and learned that it takes work, and a healthy marriage is the result of making right choices.

The first six years of my marriage were anything but happy. My husband and I constantly butted heads, each wanting our own way. After growing weary and miserable, we decided to explore God’s intent for marriage.

With more than 20 years of marriage behind us now, we’ve learned that marriage is not a one-time “I do” and then you live happily ever after. Marriage takes work, and a healthy marriage is the result of making right choices.

Here are some of the choices that turned our marriage around:

We chose to make peace. This, however, requires humility — a virtue I don’t easily embrace. Although humility is still a difficult choice for me, I’ve learned that when I’m wrong, I should quickly and genuinely admit to it, apologize and move on. Peace enters my marriage when one spouse restores balance through humility.

We chose to serve each other. We began realizing how often we expected more from each other than we were willing to give. We knew we could either continue to selfishly demand our way, or we could selflessly surrender to one another. As both of us chose to serve, our marriage was blessed with joy.

We chose not to focus on changing each other. We’ve accepted each other’s differences, and we’ve learned not to make major issues out of minor faults. Too often I had tried to change things about my husband, not accepting the fact that any change in his heart or attitude was the Holy Spirit’s responsibility — not mine. Only when I began praying for my marriage did things begin to change — in both of us.

We chose mutual submission. Although the Bible clearly teaches that the husband is the leader of the family, Scripture also emphasizes mutual submission among all believers, encouraging us to defer to one another when possible. The apostle Paul exhorts believers to submit “to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). The husband and wife who mutually submit do so with God as their guide.

We chose to place God first in our life and our marriage. God empowers us to remain dedicated to each other and to put the other’s needs ahead of our own. When God is the director of our lives and our marriage, we bring honor both to Him and to each other.

Make no mistake — marriage still takes work! For my husband and me, though, we’ve come to appreciate that the One who instituted marriage also holds the keys to a happy marriage. When we choose His ways, things go better.

Because our marriage experiences are directly related to the decisions we make on a daily basis, every day we face the question afresh: Will we make right choices?

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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