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|Tip#1 – Find your PLACE
||Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes
- Ecclesiastes 4:9‐12 (two are better than one)
- James 1:5 (if you lack wisdom, ask of God who gives generously)
- Psalm 127 (unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain)
- Proverbs 18:22 (he who finds a wife finds a good thing)
- Philippians 1:6 (He who began a good work will complete it)
- Genesis 2:18, 24-25 (not good to be alone; two become one)
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (love is patient, kind, does not envy... love bears, believes, hopes, and endures)
- 1 John 4:19-21 (We love because he first loved us)
- Proverbs 3:5‐6 (trust in the Lord with all your heart)
- Matthew 19:5-6 (what God has joined together, let no one separate)
- Matthew 7:24‐27 (the wise man builds his house upon the Rock)
- 1 Peter 3:7 (live with your wives in an understanding way)
- Amos 3:3 (can any two walk together unless agreed)
- Ecclesiastes 9:9 (live joyfully with your wife)
- Proverbs 5:18-19 (rejoice in wife of your youth; let her satisfy)
- Psalm 127 (unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain)
- Hebrews 13:4 (the marriage bed is held in high regard; honor it)
- Matthew 12:25 (a house divided cannot stand)
- How long have you been married?
- What are the main areas that initially drew you to your spouse?
- How are you and your spouse different?
- Tell me about your marriage so far. What’s your experience been like? What surprises have you encountered?
- What role models did the two of you have for marriage growing up? How are those models similar? How are they different?
- What would you like to imitate from your parents’ marriage? What would you like to do differently?
- What’s one small step you’d like to see taken in your marraige and how can I help encourage you in that?
- The Bible says a couple “leaves and cleaves” to start the new marriage. How have you been able to do that?
- Can you tell me about your relationships with both sets of in-laws? Are there any area specific areas of concern so far?
- Do you understand the essential roles of husbands and wives in marriage according to the Bible? Can we discuss that?
- Are there any specific areas of conflict that have arisen? How are the two of you handling those things together?
- What can you tell me about the financial area of your marriage? Do the two of you have a plan for the future? Do you have a monthly budget that will help you reach your goals?
- Have the two of you discussed children? Are you on the same page or is that an area you’re still working through?
- What surprising discoveries have you made so far?
- Have you learned things about yourself that may have been a little uncomfortable to realize? What are those?
- 5 Lessons I’ve Already Learned as a New Wife by EA Lepine
- 5 Lessons I’ve Already Learned as a New Husband by James Lepine
- The 50/50 Myth by Dave Boehi
- Respectfully Leaving Your Parents by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
- Do You Have Unrealistic Expectations for Your Marriage? by Paul David Tripp
- The Missing Ingredient by Dennis Rainey
- Walking With God in Your Marriage by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
- Twenty-five Great Expectations for Your Marriage by Dennis Rainey
- Nine Steps to Defeat Isolation in Your Marriage by Dennis Rainey
- Making Those Early-Marriage Adjustments by Dennis Rainey
- How to Start a Marriage Right (Online Video) by Dennis Rainey
Other Ministry Links
- Click the title The Language of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs to find the audiobook in FamilyLife's online store.
- Starting Your Marriage Right by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
- Click the title For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn to find book in FamilyLife's online store.
- Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
- Click the title Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage by Robert Lewis and William Hendricks to find book on Amazon.com.
- Click the title For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women by Shaunti Feldhahn to find book in FamilyLife's online store.
- Click the title Your Money Map by Howard Dayton to find book on Amazon.com.
- Click the title Preparing for Marriage to find book in FamilyLife's online store.
- - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 221
“Compatibility is not necessary for oneness—sacrifice is—and that’s something every man and wife has to learn.”
- - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 122
“If, after marriage, a wife fails to share in her husband’s vision or participate in it, or if she becomes apathetic toward his work, or even resentful of it, then that marriage will fall into deep trouble within a surprisingly short time.”
- - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Intimate Allies, p. 218
“The failure to shift loyalty from parents to spouse is a central issue in almost all marital conflict.”
- - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 15
“If you are married, or soon to be married, you are discovering that your marriage is not a romance novel. Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin.”
- - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 125
“When Scripture speaks of ‘cleaving,’ the idea in the Hebrew is to cling, hold, or keep close. Two are joined together face to face, becoming one flesh … Cleaving, however, is more than sexual. Cleaving also means spiritual and emotional closeness. This is a salient passage for husbands—full of insight. Your wife will feel loved when your move toward her and let her know you want to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile.”<
- - Lou Priolo, Pleasing People, p. 45
“An important part of leaving and cleaving has to do with abandoning parental beliefs, lifestyles, values, and traditions that are not clearly delineated in the Scriptures. Unless both husband and wife agree, such extra-Biblical standards should not be automatically carried over from one family to another.”
- - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Building Your Marriage to Last, p. 20
“One of the most underestimated influences on your new marriage is your family. When most couples marry today they assume that their marriage is between two people who want to become one … As you will see in the years ahead, your family’s impact on your new family must not be minimized, but rather understood and planned for.”
- - Heather Jamison, Reclaiming Intimacy, p. 63
“Many young adults faced with financial pressures don’t realize, as I didn’t at the time, that happiness doesn’t come with what you have but with how you perceive what you have. The ultimate solution to financial stress comes only through placing your trust in God as your provider and source of contentment. In the Bible, Paul had learned to be content with much or little. Young couples in new marriages have the opportunity to grow spiritually by developing the virtue of contentment.”
- - Dennis Rainey, Preparing for Marriage, p. 8
“No other human relationship can approach the potential for intimacy and oneness than can be found within the context of the marriage commitment. And yet no other relationship can bring with it as many adjustments, difficulties, and even hurts.”
- - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 252
“There is no question that marriage limits how much we can do, but it multiplies what we can become. If a man or woman focuses on spiritual growth rather than achievement and accomplishment, they’ll see the marriage relationship as providing a wonderful environment for Christian mission.”
- - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, p. 133
“If there’s one thing young engaged couples need to hear, it’s that a good marriage is not something you find, it’s something you work for. It takes struggle. You must crucify your selfishness. You must at times confront, and at other times confess. The practice of forgiveness is essential. This is undeniably hard work! But eventually it pays off. Eventually, it creates a relationship of beauty, trust, and mutual support.”
- - Robert Lewis, The New Eve, p. 98
“The deepest language of marriage is spiritual language. Nothing draws a couple closer and keeps them closer than a shared spiritual life … Laying a common spiritual foundation will be the single most important thing you can do for your marriage.”
- - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 212
“Today, I know a lot of young couples who are frustrated with each other and their marriage because neither partner knows how to correctly relate to the opposite sex. Nobody has ever told them. They are trying to build an intimate relationship, one that’s supposed to last a lifetime, from scratch or, at best, guesswork … These young people don’t realize that behind much of their quarrels and dysfunction and anger is what they don’t know, not who they’re married to.”
- - Stu Weber, Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart, p. 270
“Marriage is the greatest human development program on the face of the earth. Cultivate it and keep it.”
- - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, p. 138
“The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God. Women who get married for the purpose of finding happiness are setting themselves up for almost certain disappointment; they seldom find what they are looking for.”
- - Chip Ingram, Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships, p. 142
“God’s plan for you, whether you’re married, single, or about to be married, unless He gives you the gift of singleness, is to be in a warm, loving marriage relationship, characterized by open communication, a lot of hard work, deep commitment, setting boundaries, and doing it God’s way.”
- - Robert Lewis, Rocking the Roles, p. 79
“Most men are not necessarily unwilling to meet their wife’s needs; they simply are unaware of what those needs really are.”
- - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Intimate Allies, p. 217
“Leaving means starting a whole new relationship in which the core loyalty is not to parents’ priorities, traditions, or influence but to an entirely new family that must set its own course, form, and purpose.”
- Great job seeking wisdom from others so early in your marriage. That shows you really want your marriage to last a lifetime!
- Read any of the helpful Scriptures listed in this guide and let’s discuss.
- Read one of the helpful articles listed in this guide and let’s discuss.
- Remember that you are not alone if you experience conflicts early in marriage. It takes time to truly get to know one another.
- Remember that simple habits, good or bad, can set the course. Be sure to do the simple things well–like praying together each day, offering praise instead of criticism, etc.
- Realize that differences can actually foster oneness instead of coming between you. It’s all in how you approach those differences–trying to change one another or to accept and balance one another.
- Please realize that over time God will use your spouse to make you more like Jesus Christ. Be receptive to that process.
- Consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway. It’s a great way to learn God’s blueprints for a healthy, lifelong marriage relationship.
- Pray every day together, even if it’s just for a moment or two.
- Choose now to never even consider divorce as an option. Commit to work through differences or disagreements.
- Be ready to forgive often, and to need forgiveness often. Good marriages are often the story of two great forgivers.
- Become a student of your spouse. Learn every day something new about how to offer more grace and encouragement and love.
- When things get stressful, consider a short TV fast, maybe even 48 hours, to re-establish meaningful connection with your spouse (Ephesians 5:16).
- Be sure to get involved in a local, bible-believing church for spiritual growth and accountability.