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The Divorce-Proof Marriage

By Greg Smalley
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About a third to a half of all marriages will end in divorce. But by following seven straightforward guidelines most marriages can thrive. Investing in your spouse can produce a happy union.

Some people say the three most beautiful words in the English language are I love you. If that’s the case, then the four most heartbreaking words, in my opinion, are I want a divorce. While divorce statistics fluctuate, about one-third to one-half of all marriages will end with these four words. But there are ways to divorce-proof your marriage. It’s not easy, but with God’s help, it is possible to avoid becoming yet another divorce statistic. These seven strategies will help you and your spouse strengthen your marriage.

Reaffirm your commitment.

Matthew 19:6 says, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Divorce-proof your marriage by removing the word divorce from your vocabulary. Make the decision to stay married and do whatever it takes to build your marriage.

Invest in your spouse.

Show them how valuable they are to you. Acknowledge their special traits or virtues. Learn what makes him or her feel adored and appreciated. Ask about your spouse’s goals, passions and dreams, and then help them pursue those desires.

Invest in your marriage.

In order to divorce-proof your marriage, you must invest in it every day. Pray together. Share a devotional. Go on dates. Take up a shared hobby. Have sex often and in a way that you both like. Be a healthy individual. It’s not enough to invest in your spouse and your relationship. You have to take care of yourself, too. (You can’t give what you don’t have.) Make sure to take time to do things that you enjoy, but also remember to relax and recover your strength.

Practice healthy conflict.

Even the best marriages have conflict. But you can divorce-proof your marriage by dealing with the issues that surface instead of sweeping those problems under the rug or avoiding problems.

Surround yourselves with couples who have strong marriages.

Be deliberate about forging friendships with husbands and wives who live out their commitment to a God-honoring marriage.

Get help.

Counseling isn’t just for emergencies — it can be preventative, too. If formal counseling isn’t your thing, join a support group where you can find instruction, encouragement and accountability.

Yes, you can divorce-proof your marriage

God designed marriage to last a lifetime. He cares deeply about your relationship with your spouse and wants to see your marriage succeed. Commit your marriage to Him and then start to divorce-proof your marriage by making these seven strategies part of your regular conversations with your spouse.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.

Learn How to Cherish your Spouse and Have a Deeper Connection

Do you cherish your spouse? Couples who cherish each other understand that God created everyone different, and as a result they treasure the unique characteristics in their spouse. We want to help you do just that. Start the free five-part video course called, “Cherish Your Spouse”, and gain a deeper level of connection with your spouse.

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About the Author

dr greg smalley vp of marriage
Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the vice president of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as president of the …

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