The Family Togetherness Week of Prayer culminates this Sabbath, September 11. As such, it is a special day to pray for marriages, families, and relationships.
More fervent prayer is needed as marriages and families have come under increasing attack from society and within the home.
One of the threats is the possibility of divorce. Based on estimated research, 40-50% of first marriages in the US will end in permanent separation. The same case goes with 60-65% of second marriages. Concerning this, the reported factors include lack of commitment, infidelity, and conflict and argument.
Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen marriages and families. Pastor Ted and his wife, Nancy, share some of these in this episode.
The first is to have a commitment to God and your spouse. In particular, remain connected to the Lord. By then, He guides and gives you the wisdom to manifest that commitment to your spouse. With this, you endure together through thick and thin. Short-term problems won't threaten your marriage.
The second is to have clear and thoughtful communication and effective conflict resolution. Specifically, understand one another's perspective by sharing your thoughts and listening to what your spouse says.
In connection to this, The Adventist Home has a counsel on page 106. It says, "Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other."
As such, God doesn't delight seeing you end up in aggression or violence. Instead, love and be kind to one another, as said in Ephesians 4:31-32. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
Moreover, faithfulness is another asset in strengthening your relationship. Support, trust, and care for each other. Stay intimate.
In addition, spend time together as a couple and a family. It helps build a strong bond and friendship among your members. Take time to have wholesome recreation together. Eat meals together. Also, have family worship. Sing and pray together. As the old proverb goes, "the family that prays together stays together."
To sum it all up, stay committed to God and your spouse. Then, communicate thoughtfully and clearly. Also, remain faithful to one another. Support each other. Lastly, spend quality time together. And don't forget to put God at the center.
In closing, ponder upon 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."