The Rushmore Report: 10 Rules that Make a Marriage Work

Everybody wants a great marriage, but too few are willing to take the steps to get there. A great marriage is pretty simple. Here are ten rules to make your marriage stronger.

Rule #1 – End each day with a clean slate.

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26 to not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Make it a goal to clear the air with your spouse on a daily basis. For those days where tensions are high, make an agreement with your spouse that you will work out your differences before going to bed.

Rule #2 – Don’t make marriage 50-50.

The Bible says that it is a man’s responsibility to love (Ephesians 5:25) and it is a woman’s responsibility to submit (Ephesians 5:22). When a couple looks at marriage as a 50-50 agreement they will always play off how the other person treats them. However, when they see the marriage as their sole responsibility, then they will have a much stronger and happier marriage.

Rule #3 – Keep personal problems personal.

Don’t share your marriage problems with your co-workers. If you are seeing a marriage counselor then it is important to be open and honest. But when chatting with your friends at the water cooler, you need to guard your negative words about your spouse.

Rule #4 – Live within your means.

One of the major causes of divorce is money problems. Live with the money you have. Even though you think that expensive gift you can’t afford will help endear your spouse to you, it more often than not will drive a wedge of insecurity in your relationship.

Rule #5 – Take divorce off the table.

Never enter a marriage with the thought that you can get divorced if things don’t work out. Regardless of your interpretation of the biblical passages dealing with divorce, you should make it a personal commitment to your spouse and to God that you will not consider divorce as an option.

Rule #6 – Guard your heart.

Protect your eyes, ears, and mind. Men, you need to learn to look away when your eyes are drawn to other women in an inappropriate way. Ladies, you may hear sweeter words from your co-worker than you do from your own husband. Remember to whom you made a promise to love – even when times are difficult.

Rule #7 – Forget the past.

Isn’t is amazing how, all of a sudden, you can remember things from the past that you thought were forgotten when an argument arises between you and your spouse? Forget the wrong that he or she has done to you in the past and focus on the present and future.

Rule #8 – Compliment in word and action.

The word “compliment” can mean a couple of different things. First, it can mean to say nice things to one another. It can also mean to do something that helps the other to be stronger or look better in the eyes of others. Both senses of the word “compliment” are important to a marriage.

Rule #9 – Love one another.

Make a decision to love one another even if our spouse does not deserve your love. The fact is, you don’t deserve your spouse’s love either, or God’s.

Rule #10 – Put God first.

Most people who want to protect their marriage will say that their spouse is more important than their job. Unfortunately, it seems that people who are in ministry will say that in a list of priorities that their wife is sometimes at the top of their list and sometimes their ministry is. But if you put God at the top of your priority list, he will show you where your emphasis should be at any given time. If God is truly first, then the other priorities will fall into place.

About the Author

David Peach is an author for Baptist International Outreach. Based in Jefferson City, Tennessee, BIO exists to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the nation and the world.

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