These “10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage” were among the resources we received at our Marriage Encounter weekend a couple years ago. I stuck it to my bulletin board as a reminder to myself, along with the prayer below.
Like the 10 Commandments God gave Moses, these commandments are impossible to live up to on our own; thankfully, we can count on God’s grace (and our spouse’s, hopefully) to forgive us and encourage us as we keep striving for a better marriage.
10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage
1. You shall not take your spouse for granted.
2. You shall not expect perfection of each other.
3. You shall be patient, loving, understanding, kind and true.
4. You shall tend the garden of love daily.
5. You shall take great care that your spouse’s trust is never violated or diminished in any way.
6. You shall not forget your wedding vows, remembering especially those important words “for better or worse.”
7. You shall not hide true feelings. Mutual love provides a bright sunlit room where things of the heart can be discussed freely and without fear.
8. You shall always respect each other as individuals. Degrading words and a sharp tongue cause grave distortions. Endearing terms enable, lift up and create peace.
9. You will give your marriage room to grow. Both of you should be willing to face the future together with confidence and trust. Today is a better day for you than yesterday and tomorrow will find you closer still.
10. You shall, through all your days, reverence God your creator, never forgetting that it is he who has made you.
Prayer for Wives
Lord, inspire us who bear the title wife. Help me to look to you, to myself, to my husband, to rediscover the fullness and joy I once felt in my union. Let me be honest enough to ask, “Where have we been together and where are we going?” Let me be brave enough to ask, “How have I failed?” Let me be foolhardy enough to say, “For us, we come first.”
Help us together to re-examine our commitment in the light of your love, willingly, openly, and compassionately. Help my husband and I to believe how fragile, yet how powerful, how weak yet how strong, how impossible, yet attainable our love can be. Give husbands and wives the courage to be for each other a person rather than a title.
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Tara – thanks!