|The simple beauty of the young bride’s modest, white veil and dress could not conceal the butterflies in her stomach. Today was the biggest day of her life – her wedding day. As she tried to regain her composure in the women’s lounge, her espoused husband slipped a note under the closed door. Being the romantic and godly (but not particularly bright) fellow that he was, the groom had scrawled a Scripture reference on a piece of paper and delivered the note in person. Because of his own wedding day jitters, however, the groom forgot to double-check the Scripture reference.
When the bride-to-be read the note, she gushed with excitement. The note read, “John 4:18 – Love, Davis.” Finding a Bible, she quickly flipped to the verse listed on the note. To her horror, she read, “For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.” The groom had meant to use 1 John 4:18, which says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
How can marriages and relationships survive the inevitable conflicts and misunderstandings which surface between two imperfect people? Here are helpful tips from various sources:
* Remember your spouse is human. This will prevent you from constant nagging and complaining when this person fails to measure up to your standards. (“Seventeen Rules for a Happy Marriage from God’s Great Book” – Joe Crews)
* Speak in the highest terms of your spouse before others, whether or not your spouse is present. (“19 Rules of Marriage . . .” – Unknown Author)
* Leave the past where it belongs – behind you. Once you have forgiven your spouse, this person’s failures or mistakes should never resurface in conversation. (“10 Good Christian Marriage Rules” – David Peach)
* When you have an argument with your spouse, know when to call it quits. Resolve the matter that day, if possible, rather than dragging it on for days or weeks. (Ephesians 4:26) [“10 Good Christian Marriage Rules” – David Peach]
* Your marriage should endure until death parts you and your spouse, not until divorce sounds like a reasonable alternative or until someone better comes along. Marriage is for keeps, period. (“10 Good Christian Marriage Rules” – David Peach)
Think about your marriage or relationship. Are there things you can do to make the relationship better? Ask God to help you be the kind of person your relationship needs to succeed.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.