By Jackie Bledsoe
When speaking of marriage, the Bible teaches us to leave and cleave. We are even to “leave” the most important relationship we’ve ever had—the relationship with our parents. That means this thing called marriage is pretty serious; it has a lot of value.
I believe recognizing the true value of this relationship is one major step on your way to a lasting and fulfilling marriage. Marriage has to have tremendous value. Like the ring your grandmother gave you. Or the Little League trophy you just can’t seem to get rid of. Or the little people running around your house that call you Mom or Dad.
Once we begin to take marriage seriously and place a higher value on it, we can reduce the risk of divorce and increase the probability our marriages will last.
So, how do we make our marriages more valuable than any other relationship we have? How can we make it special or sacred? How can we give value to our marriage?
While it’s not something you can change overnight, you can start right now by embracing a few things and taking action accordingly. Here are five things that will help you and your spouse place a high value on your marriage and ultimately make it last. Consider this your first step toward a better marriage.
1. Friendship. Can you truly spend your life with someone you are not friends with? Friendship in marriage is crucial. A good friendship is developed through spending time together, communicating, having disagreements, and being selfless. Truly good friends will value marriage.
2. Commitment. A major difference in marriage and a dating relationship is commitment. “Breaking up” or “not seeing each other anymore” was never part of the design in marriage.
Committing to the marriage and committing to your spouse will give more value to that relationship than any other relationship.
3. Delayed Gratification. We live in a “right now” society. We want, and many times get, what we desire instantly. Not in marriage. Good marriages are built over time. Love and respect are grown over time.
Realizing the investment in your marriage today is going to produce better days in the future will add value to your marriage.
4. Intimacy. A mentor of mine defined intimacy as “sharing something with a person that you don’t share with anyone else.” So to be truly intimate in your marriage, some things need to be reserved only for your spouse.
Saying and doing things reserved for this one person will add value to your marriage.
5. Foundation. Any structure without a solid foundation will likely fall. A marriage must have a solid foundation. Your marriage foundation is what you believe about marriage in general and your marriage specifically. That foundation must be the same for both you and your spouse.
The marriage foundation my wife and I stand on is found in the Bible. Without it, our marriage would have fallen long ago. With it, value is added to our marriage, and it is truly precious to us.
Marriage has value, but you have to see it. Reading the statistics, listening to those who devalue or disrespect marriage, or even doing “marriage stuff” without getting married can cause us to place little value on it.
Whether you are single or married, I encourage you to place a high value on marriage. After all, nobody wants anything that lacks value, especially a relationship intended to last a lifetime.
JACKIE BLEDSOE (@JBledsoeJr) is a professional blogger, speaker, and author of the book and Bible study The 7 Rings of Marriage: Your Model for a Lasting Fulfilling Marriage from which this article is adapted. Used by permission of B&H Publishing.