If there’s one thing you and your spouse can easily agree on—it’s the simple fact that marriage is complex. It is a relationship that requires effort! And, if you’ve been married for any length of time, you probably can also agree that a healthy marriage must be more than just a replication of your parents’ marriage, or just a fulfillment of society’s expectations.

If you and your spouse are looking to gain a better understanding of what it takes to build a healthy marriage, the Bible can be a great resource and starting point. When both you and your partner allow scripture to speak as “this and that” rather than “this or that”, you are creating the necessary space to honor marriage for the intricate bond that it is. Simply put, when you or your partner select a single scripture to define your marriage, this forces an exclusivity of
meaning that will deny your marriage of the rich, multi-dimensional consideration it deserves.

As with any healthy relationship, marriage requires relational balance. Whether the issue is submission, intimacy, recreation, parental discipline, finances, in-laws, church life, or wall colors—the balance between dominance and deference is critical if your goal is to maintain a win-win atmosphere for both you and your spouse.

Following the adage, “Everyone has their say, but not everyone has their way” works as long as “has their way” is as random between a husband and wife as the chance of getting heads on the toss of a coin.

Marriage is complex. It is the theatre where we play out day-by-day both the heart-rending and the heart-warming saga of the battle between cooperation and self-determination; between looking toward heaven and being earth-bound. Not even the inspired writers of the Bible could reduce this greatest of life’s dramas down to a single scene.

If you and your spouse are looking to gain a better understanding of what it takes to build a healthy marriage, the Bible can be a great resource and starting point.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.