Saturday, May 25, 2013

Two keys to a successful marriage

I don't want to oversimplify relationships which can be complex but nevertheless there are two core principals that are needed for a successful marriage. One principal applies to the man and one to the woman.

God who knows us and fashioned us understands how our needs differ and has given us good counsel on how each spouse can meet the need of their partner. As you read this you may think of other things that keep a marriage strong but for sake of this devotion we will only focus on just two core issues.

God identifies these two core needs as love and respect.

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Notice in this verse the core need of a woman that is addressed is different from the core need of the man that is revealed. A core need of the woman is her need to be loved by her husband. And a core need that a man has is to be respected by his wife. When a woman feels loved it makes it easier for her to respond with respect to her husband. When a man feels respected it makes it easier for him to respond by expressing love to his wife.

But a vicious circle can develop when we only meet the other persons need when our need is first met. Mindsets like " Respect is earned and I'll only show respect to him when he shows love to me" Or "I'll only express love towards her when she starts showing me respect" In this example each spouse is withholding a core need of the other until their own need is met. Having these type of mindsets leads to further deterioration of the relationship.

In the above example of conditionally meeting the other persons need the couple can be driven further apart.  The woman sensing that love is being withheld from her digs her heals in and withholds respect from her husband. The man feeling that he is not respected by his wife responds by withholding love from her.

One solution for this example is to show unconditional love and unconditional respect.
This can keep a vicious cycle from forming. Instead with an unconditional display of love and respect a positive cycle can be produced. The woman feels loved and she is encouraged to respect her husband. And that respect sits well with him. The husband feeling respected is encouraged to respond by showing his wife love and this meets a great need in her. This can feed upon itself in a positive way and fuel a cycle of increasing love and increasing respect. This cycle is key to a successful marriage.

God bless you.

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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