Apart from your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, your marriage is the most important relationship in the world. When things go wrong in your life, it’s your family that will be there for you. Your co-workers or friends will not be there for you. Through thick and thin, it’s your spouse who is going to be there at your side. The institution of marriage is very important to God; God ordained it and it displeases God when one doesn’t work on his/her marriage. God hates divorce.
Boundaries in marriage are very important. Boundaries have to be raised with co-workers, with church members, with relatives and other people we get connected to on a daily basis. Don’t ever go for lunch/dinner or even for a coffee break alone with the opposite sex, these are the boundaries you need to place for the protection of your marriage. If you are having a meeting with an opposite sex that’s unavoidable and related to work, keep the door open, don’t have closed door meetings – try to call a co-worker to join you in the meeting. Don’t counsel or try to solve the problem of an opposite sex, send them to someone of the same sex who can help or call your spouse and tell them to help them. There are people, who would insist that you help them since they cannot open up with another person, don’t fall for that trap. If they cannot open up with another person, then they can keep it to themselves. Why do you think they should open up with you? When they make you feel that you are that special person they would open up, sense the danger and run away from the scene like Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife.
When you start communicating with the opposite sex and share your problems you are opening a window there on one side and on the other side erecting a wall between you and your spouse. The moment you stop working on your marriage and stop fighting for it and don’t do anything about it you must know that your marriage is in danger zone. It’s important to place a boundary when you sit around the opposite sex (not advisable to sit and chat alone with the opposite sex) you don’t discuss anything that you won’t talk if your spouse was around. Remember the wedding ring in your finger is the other person (your spouse) that’s not present there.
Jimmy Evans said “Earlier days when your spouse is at home, you are together with your spouse at home. But these days when your spouse is at home, even though you are physically at home, most of the time you are in two different places. He is with his laptop and she is with hers and they are even cheating sitting in the same room. It really happened! A husband and wife chatted with each other sitting in the same room on different names not knowing that they were chatting with each other. When they found out, they divorced”.
Joni Lamb said ‘Marcus often keep his laptop in a position where it is at the entrance of the room so that everyone who comes in and goes out can see it, not because I have asked him to but because he wants to be transparent’.
Total transparency is important in a marriage, have the same face book if you are having one and let your emails/smart phones/phones be open to your spouse, don’t keep it protected with a password not known to your spouse. Most of the time people who want to protect their marriage use the same face book account and also use the same email address – this is the best way to be transparent. If you have something to hide or if you keep deleting your emails because you don’t want your spouse to read them, there is something wrong there. Don’t deceive yourself; you are already hiding things from your spouse because something is not right. If you think you have to hide things from you spouse, don’t do it. You may hide harmless things but once you learn to hide things, it will lead to hiding other things which are sinful. Your mind will justify hiding things from your spouse as the right thing to do – that’s the devil leading you to a trap. There was this man who kept his laptop in the trunk and had all his phones password protected. The wife and her family were really worried and finally they found out that he was into big time sin and they divorced.
Harmless flirting goes on and its dangerous. There is a pure spirit the man gets on where he doesn’t welcome anything. Everywhere you go, you are giving a spirit and when you create boundaries, you don’t break down that defence of that spirit by flirting. What’s harmless flirting? When you comment on the cloth the other person is wearing and tease them and joke about them and make them laugh and laugh at their jokes, show off your manliness or your best smile or show off your innocence by the way you act and wink at them – you are kind of flirting a little and it might be harmless to you but it leads to something else. Don’t enjoy doing something you won’t do or say if your spouse was present. You may not know it but you will be kindling a spark of attraction in the other person and you are at fault for creating that spark. That’s the spirit you will be leaving behind that will cause all the trouble in your marriage. That’s unfaithfulness to your spouse – period.
99% of the time, a marital problem is faced because of selfishness. When you get married, you’ve got into this covenant relationship with your spouse and from then on, you are no longer two but one. So, there is no ‘my time’ or ‘my privacy’, it’s ‘our time’. When you say, ‘it’s my time and you can’t question me on that….’ then you are stealing from ‘our time’ and making it ‘your time’. ‘Our time’ means, even if you are not with your spouse, you are open and transparent about that time that’s being spent by yourself. You are accountable to your spouse in telling them what you do with that time. That’s why husbands ask their wives, how long will you take at the mall? Or they give them permission to take as much time they want…but they have to give the permission. That’s why the wife asks the husband, when will you get back home? Why were you late? It’s because it’s our time and we need to be accountable with our time. Since you are one, when you become two by separating or due to division in the house, it is painful because one becomes two. Division causes one to become broken into two pieces, that’s painful. That’s why divorce is painful.
You must work daily on your marriage. They’ll fire you from your workplace if you won’t work hard daily to achieve your target or your points. Nothing in this world will work for you without working on it. Your car won’t run long unless you keep servicing it and checking on it. Why do you think marriages will work for you without doing anything to keep it going? Outdo each other to show more concern and love. You can’t have a successful marriage by doing your own thing all the time. Sacrifices are necessary to sustain a marriage relationship. It’s not always – ‘give me that break’, ‘give me this break’, ‘give me, give me, give me’! It’s sacrificing your time for your spouse’s happiness and the other way round. When she makes you a good breakfast, make her a good dinner. When she helps with the household chores, give her a break by doing the household chores yourself. When she takes care of the babies, do the washing for her. When he does the lawn, massage his back for him. Keep doing things for each other thus keeping the spark in the relationship. You didn’t enter into a relationship with this man or woman to live alone, for life you are to live together and not alone doing your own thing. If you wanted to be independent and do your own thing, you should have stayed single.
Always try to get into your spouse’s shoes and see how it feels from inside there. Without patience and love a marriage will never work. And the most important relationship that will bind you and your spouse together regardless of the storms that try to come against your ship is a solid relationship with Jesus Christ and a good foundation on the Word of God. A marriage that is built on the rock Jesus Christ will not be shaken as Jesus will keep correcting you and as you humble yourself and take in that correction you will be able to keep building your marriage. Never go to be angry – that’s obeying the Word of God. When you disobey the Word, there will be consequences you will have to face.
Taken from ‘Marriage forum’ on Day Star Television by various Marriage experts.