Fourteen Christians came together for a brainstorming session to discuss the various factors that contribute to building and maintaining a successful marriage. Both men and women participated in this brainstorming session, and all participants were either currently married or married in the past.

Together, this group represented 350 years of experience in marriage. What follows are the last eleven (out of 22) observations coming from this group about what it takes to support a successful marriage:

12. You will carry and you will be carried at times in your marriage.
13. Your word should be your bond.
14. Never trash your mate to someone who is not your confidant.
15. Don’t try to fix your spouse.
16. Devise temporary “get away” strategies for when things reach an impasse.
17. Consider the impact your actions/decisions will have on your spouse and children.
18. Consider the impact of the family of origin upon both you and your spouse.
19. Listen more than you talk.
20. Denial does not work.
21. Identify your gods (food, recognition, sports, work, etc)
22. Learn the difference between support and codependency/enabling.

Consider the impact of the family of origin upon both you and your spouse.

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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.