4 Keys to Finishing Strong in Your Marriage

Finish Strong

I recently heard the story of a Godly leader I respected that fell into sexual immorality.

When I first heard the story I couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t think there was any way THIS guy would have fallen. He was a rock. He loved God. He taught God’s word.

But unfortunately I learned it was true. And the effects this event had on his wife and kids were devastating.

20 Ways To Protect Your Marriage

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

20 Ways to Protect

You’ve probably got insurance on your car—which you lock pretty much everywhere, maybe with the addition of a swanky alarm.

And let’s think about it. You’ve got safeguards, insurance, and forward-thinking measures for your health. Your house. Your mortgage. Your cash. Your kids (carseats, seatbelts, bike helmets, savings accounts…).

We protect what’s valuable.

But ADT’s got nothing for affairs, broken hearts, or lonely marriages…

Goals Date Night

This year has the potential to be the best year yet in your marriage.

You probably have good intentions for this to happen, but unless you are already moving in this direction it probably won’t come to be. Andy Stanley says it this way:

“Direction not intention determines your destination.”

Tonight, we want to help you get moving in the right direction.

One of the ways to start this process is to lay out a plan. We plan our vacations, we plan in our businesses, but few people have a plan for their marriage. God wants you to be intentional in laying out a plan for your marriage to be better this year than ever before.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Below is a guest post from my friend and fellow marriage champion Glen Solberg. Glen lives in Little Rock, AR and serves on the staff of FamilyLife.

In every occupation I have been in, there has always been some element of “continuing education”. When I was working with computers, I took classes to keep up with technology. When I was a Physical Therapist, we were required to take continuing education classes to maintain our PT License.

When it comes to our cars and houses, the same is true. We must do “routine maintenance” on our cars to keep them running properly. And we must put money into our homes to keep them up and keep major repairs from happening.

So here’s a question for us married folk: “Why do so many couples think that once they are married they can just COAST in their relationship?”

Many couples we talk to seem to have the “Well if it ain’t broke, then we don’t have to fix it” attitude—naively thinking that not being INTENTIONAL is OK in marriage. But this attitude in marriage only leads to one thing—ISOLATION. And from isolation, often extramarital affairs begin with devastating results. We see the isolation TOO FREQUENTLY and the resulting devastation.

The “default” for marriage is doing nothing—COASTING. The best analogy I have heard is that being married is like paddling a canoe on a river. But not just any river—one with a waterfall nearby and a strong current pushing us toward the falls. We must be paddling upstream (being INTENTIONAL) all the time or the current will move us toward ISOLATION—where the “Falls of Marriage” are waiting to take us out.

QUESTION: Where are you as a married couple? Ask your spouse after you do your own self-assessment.

CHALLENGE: Set a night this week or next to meet with your spouse for a date. During your time together, tell your spouse of your desire to be INTENTIONAL in your marriage. Brainstorm one or two ways you can do this in the next month. Then follow-thru! Your marriage is worth it!

IDEAS TO SHARE: Have a regular date night every week or every other week where you spend time building your relationship. Join a small group at your church that focuses on marriage and do your homework each week. Read a book on marriage together and discuss each chapter, putting action steps into place as you go. Find a marriage retreat (such as the Weekend to Remember or The Art of Marriage) and make plans to go—then take steps afterward to do things differently than before.