Foundations of Marital Success. Ephesians 5:33

June 11th, 2009

Ephesians 5:33. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
--NKJ

To be in a marriage is a matter of mutual love and respect. All through the preceding passage, from verse 21 through33, it talks to the husband more than the wife. Both are told to basically love and respect each other. It is one thing to have an attraction, or a passionate emotional love for another person. That love soon fades, and real love has to be worked toward.

For people who have ever had a broken marriage, you know that the initial romance fades. For people who are currently in a marriage that has lasted for a long time, you know that as well, and that it does take work to continuously grow together in love. For married people who are in the first years, or months, growing love takes a lot of forgiveness, respect, and submitting to the other. Try to see things from the other person's side as well. Say and do things just for them, even the things that you may not like. Submitting is one place for that true love to grow.

Take time to notice and acknowledge when your mate does things as they submit. It shows respect. Seek out ways to respect your mate. Can't think of any? I'll bet your significant other can. Without bringing in complaints of the things that you think should be done that aren't, sit down and make lists together of the things that you perceive as your way of doing a submissive act. Count them as blessings and use them to be a demonstration of respect for the other. Use it as an excersize to think of more ways to be submissive.

With those little steps of forgiving, over looking the faults, or the perceived faults of the other goes a long way. Being submissive to each others needs makes it more than a one way relationship and starts a trend for a perpetual motion of giving to each other. That perpetual motion of giving and receiving is completed when we acknowledge it by showing respect towards the other.

For people who are not married, or in a relationship with another, one question that God put before me years ago was, "What would you do with a girlfriend if you had one?" When your life is absent of a significant other, you may spend time in those romantic thoughts and day dreams of having someone to walk hand in hand with, or to be with at social events, or to just spend time talking to and getting to know. All are things that should never be neglected at any point in a relationship. The long a relationship lasts, with inhabiting together with close contact, the new wears off, then how will you deal with this person?

Before any lines are crossed into marriage, which should always be considered a permanent thing and the only place for any sexual relationship, Understand that love is more than a happy feeling. Get used to practicing foregivness, submission, and respect. The love will grow from there.

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