On the Road to a Happy Marriage

Bridal showers are fitting times for the “older women” (in this case a future mother-in-law) to share some words of wisdom for a happy marriage from her treasury of experience. Following are the wise  words shared by Natali’s future mom-in-law, Sheryl, a delightful lady with wit and charm. Enjoy.

“For this bridal shower, Sandra asked me, as Natalie’s future mother-in-law, to prepare and speak a few words —Her question with this request was this: ‘What scripture do you think is THE most helpful/or important in married life.’  Wow!  That’s quite a question.   It’s true that scripture is helpful in how to handle other people in all variety of circumstance. The reality, though, as I looked back on my own marriage, the best advice I could give Natali would be to marry my husband, Bill—He has really made being married most easy, most rewarding, and least challenging of most any relationship.  So that would be my FIRST suggestion—on the ‘road to a happy marriage.’But, of course, you can’t do that Natalie; he’s already married. So you are doing the next best thing by marrying “little Bill,” who I do honestly believe will be a very pleasant person to live with.  I’ve lived with him, and I know that for a fact. As females, though, thinking broadly—what scripture would be most helpful to remember in married life.

As I thought about verses in scripture RELATING TO MARRIAGE, the most prominent ones are:

Proverbs 25:24 (also 21:9)
It is better to live in a corner of the roof, than in a house shared w/a contentious woman (which none of us want to be) and contrasted to the Proverbs 31 wife—who is described EXTENSIVELY–She is excellent, trustworthy, good to him, hard-working, compassionate—(which ALL of us want to be). I want to go back to the first woman:There’s not a lot of scripture describing the rest of the personality of the ‘bad’ wife—so she could well have many of these other virtues—She could be hard-working, compassionate to the poor, she could keep a good house, rising early, and staying up late

None of these things are mentioned—about the “bad” wife.   The reality is, none of these other things matter one whit if the wife is contentious.

**Contentiousness is not something you do, it is conveyed through speech.  As far as our good wife goes (v.26) “SHE OPENS HER MOUTH IN WISDOM/    AND THE TEACHING OF KINDNESS IS ON HER TONGUE”    So her speech patterns are quite the opposite; rather than a wrangling, argumentative attitude, she is generally wise and kind in speech. When I married, I remember thinking I was ready to have my own family, and make it “my way.”  I wanted some things specifically different from my original home, and some things like my original family.–basically, I really looked forward to having something new, that would be Bill’s and my little world.  And it’s true: when you marry, you ARE creating.  You are creating a new family, a new world. We are made in the image of God—–Made in His image, we are a tarnished, and certainly inferior creature—but, in His image, we reflect Him and His attributes.  ** He creates, therefore we create also. How did He create?  By the spoken Word.How do we create our own little worlds?—By our spoken words.

**SPEECH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CREATIVE TOOL WE HAVE AT OUR DISPOSAL*  Our WORDS, every day, with our husbands, our children, our friends—carry power and create our individual worlds  THOSE WORDS EITHER BUILD UP, OR TEAR DOWN**  We wield so much power by our use of words.  **WORDS CAN CRUSH OR RELEASE; THEY CAN BRING TEARS, OR A SMILE.And every day, words will be at your disposal:—to encourage, or depress;  As the wife and mother, you will be the weather vane—sunny or cloudy, happy or grim.    When people enter your home it will be YOU that provides the atmosphere. That’s why the word “contentious” is used to describe a really bad wife.  All the things we DO at home are the decorations; the WORDS create the atmosphere. We need to be careful of our speech, because it IS so powerful  So—I have a few suggestions for all of us:  Habits of communication are extremely hard to change—so early on in a marriage it’s important to establish good, clean habits of speech with one another:

1.  We need to speak less—When you feel a hesitation, don’t say it.  Wait.  It’ll keep. If you’re having a disagreement, wait to speak.  Those words that come out in anger can never be eliminated.  You can’t reel the projector back and record over.

2. Don’t be sarcastic with your husband.  That kind of speech, under the guise of “teasing,” is not speech that builds up.

3.  Eliminate, or at least keep to a minimum, the voice that dominates all others, and sucks everyone silently into the world it creates:  the T.V. Your voice is the atmosphere of your home.

The words you speak are a gift from God so use that gift wisely and carefully if you want to have a happy marriage.

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