DISCLAIMER:  The advice on this webpage may not apply if there is pornography, substance abuse, adultery, addictions, domestic violence, or mental, emotional or physical cruelty in a marriage caused by the husband.  (See www.joelandkathy.com/ to read about a changed MAN.)   For a happy and unified home, both husband and wife must be submitted to God and to each other under God.  A carnal or unsaved man (or woman) can turn a marriage into "hell on earth!"  The advice on this page is good for "cooling off" when you are mad at your husband or if you just want to bring more peace and tranquility into your home.  It is NOT meant as an excuse for a man to mistreat his wife.  Husbands are to LOVE THEIR WIVES as Christ loved the church, and wives are to RESPECT (honor) their husbands.  This webpage is just about the wife's part.


 MARITAL HARMONY

An Emergency Marriage Manual for Christian Women

"The aged women....that they may teach the young women...to love their husbands."  Titus 2: 3,4

This booklet is a compilation of wise counsel Iíve received over the years from my godly parents (married over 50 years) and from close Christian friends who practice what they preach.  Iíve also gleaned nuggets of truth from sermons on marriage and the home.

Although Iíve not always--or often--been successful in following these principles, I believe they can bring peace into our homes if we would only apply them.  (My husband found this booklet a few years ago and said, "Wow!  This stuff is great!  Why don't you do this??!"  So perhaps I should just say, "Take my advice....I'm not using it!!")

This booklet is for WIVES ONLY and does not address the husbandís role or responsibilities in marriage. There are many good books on this subject...if men would only read them! Of course, an ideal marriage is where both husband and wife are doing their part to adapt and make the marriage work. CAUTION:  Do not discuss the ideas in this booklet with your husband--it will backfire.  Just try to live it

May the Holy Spirit use this booklet to encourage you and shine a light on your path when things seem dark or hopeless! 

Your sister in Christ,

Dominie Soo Bush

dombush@bellsouth.net


 
WHEN IN CRISIS...

Get above the circumstances of the moment.

Never act or speak in the heat of emotion. When you calm down, the Holy Spirit will speak to you.

Remember that at one time you felt your spouse was the best choice of mate for you.

It takes a lifetime to work out the problems in a marriage. Your marriage is still young. Itís not over until life is over.

Every marriage goes through its really hard times.

Talk heavy to the Lord but light to your husband about problems in the marriage.

Each person has areas of weakness, but you can only change yourselfónot the other person. LEAVE THE CHANGING OF YOUR PARTNER TO GOD.

Marriage is a spiritual training program designed by God. It takes His strength and love to live out a lifetime with another fallen human being. We were never meant to be able to do it on our own.

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage.

No one can fulfill the deepest needs of your heartóonly Jesus can satisfy your soul. Putting that burden on another human being will lead to disappointment.

When there is friction or disagreement between you, say little or no words, but do many loving deeds. You know what would please your partner. Your actions will communicate love, commitment and forgiveness.

Donít instruct your husband on anything. This makes him think of you as a mother-figure, which by nature he must break away from. It kills romantic feelings toward you.

Keep the long-term goal in sightóof staying together as Christians. Base your daily actions in light of this long-term goal. A divorce is a disaster that has devastating effects on others, not just on the couple. Will a divorce encourage or discourage others in their Christian walk?

Keep conversations at home "light and airy." A man will stay on guard if he thinks youíre going to bring up problems. One of your goals is to create a secure emotional climate at home so that your husband will feel it is safe to talk to you about things. When he is ready to talk, LISTEN. He will think you are wonderful. Let him initiate these conversations, or wait for a time when there is a good feeling between you.

Women think things are going well in a relationship when they are talking about it. Men think things are going bad when you have to talk about it.

Donít use the word "divorce" under any circumstances. It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You made a commitment to this man before God for better or for worse.

Donít put all your "emotional eggs" in the marriage basket. It puts too much stress on the other person and you go to pieces if they disappoint you. DONíT MAKE EACH OTHER THE FOCUS.

Let your spouse think independently of you.

Keep your marriage relationship "in the Lord," just as you try to keep a good testimony outside of the home. Stay close to the Lord in the matter of your marriage. Get on your knees or on your face before the Lord and tell Him all about it.

God is more concerned about us than we are about ourselves.

The woman is the stabilizer in the home. She sets the emotional climate in the marriage. You will need the Lord to stabilize your emotions throughout the day.

Donít let Satanís lies get into your thinking. BE ON GUARD AGAINST NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND. Take any such thoughts to the Lord at once and release them.

Go to the Lord instead of to each other on sensitive issues.

Keep encouraged. These principles will work.

In communicating with your husband, make suggestions with optionsónot commands. He is not a child. This approach will promote a more favorable response from him, if used consistently.

Men want to relax at home. Make your home a havenóa refuge from the world and its demands. They do not consider "heavy" discussions relaxing, whereas women enjoy analyzing and talking about relationships. Instead, fulfill this need by seeking out women friends who are of like mind in the Lord for meaningful discussions.

Do not work off of emotions! Emotions go up and down. You upset yourself and everyone around you when you convey these strong feelings. Learn a balance.

Love deeper at home than anywhere else.

Give yourself room to be human and make mistakes, just as you do for others. Allow your husband to be human also.

Men will never be like women or women like men. Donít expect him to understand you perfectly.

Donít put all your emotional needs on your husband. Learn to lean on the Lord. He can give you wisdom tailored precisely for your own marriage relationship, which is different than anyone elses.

Yield yourself to the Lord. Yield your rights. Your primary focus should be on the Lordónot on your husband.

Confess resentment and bitterness as sin. They are in the same list of scripture as drunkenness, adultery, witchcraft, etc. Sins of the emotions may be hidden to others, but they can destroy you from the inside out. Ask God to take away those strong feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness. Let go of them.

Learn to go Godís way. Our way wonít work and was never meant to.

Be on your knees daily regarding your marriage and stay alert. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Satan is sneaky. He will catch you off guard when you least expect it.

Donít let Satan get an advantage over you through negative thoughts or by tempting you to wrong responses to evil.

Think before speaking. Never let your tongue run loose.

We would never learn forgiveness if there was nothing to forgive. Look at the hurts suffered in marriage as an opportunity to learn Christ-likeness. Jesus learned obedience to the Father by the things He suffered here on earth.

DONíT PLAY THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOUR HUSBANDíS LIFE! Get out of the way of what God may be trying to do.

"Submission is ducking so God can hit your husband!"

There may be a "teachable moment" that you can utilize in the future, but in the meantime, learn your lesson first. GOD IS YOUR HUSBANDíS TEACHERóNOT YOU.

If there is something you feel your husband needs to learn, pray about it earnestly and keep your life right. If you try to instruct your husband, you become a hindrance to what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in his life.

You are not alone in your struggles. Many other Christian women have learned these truths through their marriage problems also.

Adultery does not necessarily lead to divorce.

Men crave respect. Women crave love. If you want love, give respect.

Be willing to examine yourself.

What are you worrying about? You donít have to worry. God is in control. Take your hands off. Place your security in Christ. Trust God for peace.

Forbearance is the capacity to endure something disagreeable or below ones standard.

Joy does not come from the absence of problems, but in the presence of Christ. Do you allow circumstances to control your joy?

An unsaved husband and a carnal saved husband act the same way. Donít envy other peopleís marriages. You donít know the whole story.

Beware of the counsel of the unsaved. They are generally wrong, even though it may sound logical and right at the time. If acted upon, it can ruin your effectiveness for the Lord.

You donít have to be a doormat. Itís okay to tell your husband whatís bothering you ONCEómaybe twiceóbut try not to mention it after that. He knows how you feel, and anything you say after that will seem like nagging. Leave it to the Lord to change him. See it as an opportunity for the Lord to develop the spiritual fruit of patience in your life.

Pray "warfare" prayers for your husband and your marriage. Donít let the devil rob you of your joy.

Fast and pray for your husband and your marriage when there is demonic attack. Satan knows that a husband and wife who are one in the Lord will be able to fulfill Godís will on earth, so he will do anything he can to break this holy bond.

The enemy isnít your husband, but the devil. We donít wrestle against flesh and blood, but against evil spiritual forces.

Be happy in the Lord by yourself. This is NOT DEPENDENT upon what is going on around you.

Try not to involve third parties in your marriage problems, if possible. It makes it harder to resolve things between you two. When you are distressed, go to another room if you can and get down on your knees and pour out your hurts and frustrations to the Lord. Open your Bible and find comforting or uplifting passages to read. Sing a praise song to the Lord in your heart. Get your mind off your present situation.

If your feelings are still raw or raging, calm yourself by reading for awhile in a good Christian book on marriage until you feel encouraged to go on. Donít be looking for things your husband needs to do to improve. Look only for things YOU can do to improve. Your relationship will change if only one person changes, because the other person unconsciously changes to accommodate changes in their mate.

God can give you grace to ignore any unkind words or actions from your mate. If you feel you must say something to defend the "line of respect" between you, do so immediately. Be firm, be kind, be brief, then forgive him.

Where there is verbal abuse, remind yourself that GOD LOVES YOU! Those words are the attacks of Satan. They are not from God. You do not have to let them into your inner being.

Just because someone calls you something doesnít mean itís true. You are an "umpire," not a "catcher." Just say, "I donít agree with that" or "I donít accept that."

If you know in your heart that your husband has a legitimate complaint, be enough of a woman to admit your faults. Apologize to your husband with sincerity, humility and dignityóthen ask God to help you.

Your husband is not always wrong in his assessments of you. He may even have some helpful advice. The Lord can speak to you through him. Donít be too proud to receive constructive criticism. A strong woman can admit error.

Do your part in the marriage whether the other person does theirs or not.

Try to understand your mateís point of viewónot just your own.

Calm down and try to solve matters between yourselves. If one is not ready to talk, WAIT until they calm down. If angry feelings and words surface when you begin to talk, calm down and try it again at another time. YOU DONíT HAVE TO SOLVE EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY. Try to restore a measure of good feeling between you despite unresolved issues.

God is the answer to ALL our needs. Keep asking the Lord for guidance. He is the best source of help. Work things out between you and the Lord, even if you canít work it out between you and your spouse. Get Godís peace for the situation. If the apostle Paul and the early Christians could have hearts full of joy and peace in the midst of their pain and hurts, then so can we.

God and you are the best marriage consultants. Men donít want their wives talking to others about the marriage relationship. Try not to do this. Your goal is to be best friends with your husband. This involves trust.

If you must talk about him, find an older Christian woman who has wisdom in this area. She can be a big help, but be willing to hear that you may need to change also.

All marriages need consistent nurturing.

Try to depend more on the Lord to "fix" your husband. Focus instead on what you need to do to become spiritually and emotionally mature so that you can be a blessing to others. It's easy to focus on the faults of those around us while ignoring our own sins and shortcomings. (Remember that you won't give an account for your husband or anyone else at the Day of Judgment--just for your own thoughts and actions.)

Some suffering is the result of seed we have sown in the past. Godís law of sowing and reaping: we reap later than we sow, more than we sow, and in the same kind as we sow. THERE IS ALWAYS A HARVEST. God will not be mocked. You canít sow bad seed and then pray for "crop failure."

Women can cry tears when they are hurt, depressed or frustrated, but men have been taught from childhood not to cry. He may want to lay down and cry away the hurt, but as a man, he feels he cannot. When a man is hurting emotionally, he may erupt in anger. Donít take it personally or react to it. If the anger is out of control, do not attempt to reason with your husband. WALK AWAY AND WAIT UNTIL HE IS CALM. GIVE HIM TIME TO COOL DOWN.

Men find it extremely hard to reveal their weaknesses to other men, so if your husband can confide in you, this can give him an outlet for his emotions. Be compassionate and non-judgmental while you are listening. Minister comfort. He will love you for it.

Donít offer opinions unless you are asked. When you are alone with the Lord, pray for your husbandís emotional needs.

Die to SELF dailyóor every 5 minutes, if need be.

Let God use your trials to mature you.

Cry out to God. He hears the prayers of the righteous.

Donít make mountains out of molehills. Responding to passing moods can create problems in your relationship with your husband. Try to ignore mood shifts and little tensions that arise. Donít analyze issues until they build to volcanic proportions.

Wait on the Lord. Wait for His timing. Your time is always the wrong time.

You donít have to react. You can choose your response.

DONíT PUSH! Leave your husbandís spiritual growth in the hands of the Lord.

Chinese proverb: "You canít make a rice plant grow faster by pulling upwards on it."

Donít BOSS your husband.

Donít get on each otherís backs about anything.

"Show him Christ, not Dominie." (insert your name)

Time solves all problems.

"There are good ideas and God ideas. Ishmael was a good idea."

The Holy Spirit will guide him--not you.

What the Lord doesnít change, learn to accept and live withóand if possible, enjoy or even appreciate.

You canít change anyone but yourself. You canít control anyone but yourself, and thatís a full-time job.

Love the man with all of your heart. Itís the PERSON you love, not what he does or says.

The Lord steps in IN HIS OWN TIME. Our time is always the wrong time.

"God is never late, but Heís rarely early." Let God stretch your faith.

Donít fret, be anxious or worry. Cast all your cares on the Lord. Sing and be happy, despite the circumstances.

Donít add to your husbandís stresses with demands or pressure.

Avoid these like the plague:

~ willfulness

~ disrespect

~ putting pressure on him to change

~ self-righteousness

~ not being a true friend

~ having a controlling attitude

~ demanding

Your husband has pride in himself as a man and in his home. Donít talk about him to others.

Handle EACH DAY in the Lord. Know where the problems are coming from (the devil). Put on the whole armor of God. Live in His presence. You can be happy in the Lord despite your circumstances.

"Marriage is like a 3-ring circus: first thereís the engagement ring, then thereís the wedding ring, then thereís the suffering."

DONíT BE A JUDGE OVER YOUR HUSBAND OR A MOTHER. Donít belittle him.

"Rome wasnít built in a day."

Never bring up the past. Drop it like a bowling ball. We are to forget the things that are behind.

Your home can be a battleground or heaven on earth.

There is a lot of pressure on the man. He feels responsibility for the family, and knows when he is failing to meet those needs.

STOP LECTURING YOUR HUSBAND! Let the Word do its work.

Speak gracious words.

When things are tense at home, sometimes SILENCEóNOT talkingóis the answer.

The mouth can get you into trouble.

When unkind words or actions occur, ask the Lord to help you forgive and take the memory of it out of your heart. Do not allow your mind to dwell on wrongs done to you.

FORGIVE for your own benefit.

Resenting is a temptation. Donít give in to it. It will kill his love for you if you bring up the past.

Soft-pedal problems and tone down the marriage when things are tense.

"If love is blind, marriage is the eye-opener."

Donít react in the flesh. Be obedient to the Word.

Love your husband unconditionally regardless of his behavior. This is the way the Lord loves you. RETURN GOOD FOR EVIL. The Lord will use it to prick his conscience if you donít say anything.

When your husband disappoints or angers you, give your "riled up" feelings to the Lord and wait for the right time to bring this up to your husband, if you feel you must. Say 10 times an hour, "Lord, I give you my Ďriled upí feelings."

Get your eyes off your husband and onto the Lord.

Do a "focus check" during the day periodicallyóare you focusing on the Lord and rejoicing in Him, or are you trying to work things out on your own? Learn to depend more on God and less on SELF.

The Holy Spirit is the greatest force in the world. Do not seek any counseling that is not based on the Word. Even with a professing Christian counselor, be sure you are obeying the commands of scripture and the voice of the Lord rather than the suggestions of another human being. Does the counseling give me peace in my spirit? Does it shed light on my way? Is it in accordance with Godís Word? Will it cause me to sin if I act on it? Does it feel right?

We must forgive 70 x 7 timesóeven for the same offense. FORGIVE! It feels so good!! Do it for yourself even if you canít do it for the other person.

At times you may need to confront your husband with what he is doing wrong, just as he can help your spiritual growth by pointing out your "blind spots." The scriptures say to "speak the truth in love." But try to do this carefully and prayerfully. Men have an "ego" to contend with that women do not have. Men almost always prefer NOT to talk about a problem, whereas women NEED to talk about it! In a loving relationship, both should listen to the other, but that is not always the case.

Couples often grow closer after a "healthy" argument that clears the air. Ignoring problems and stifling feelings is not good for a marriage relationship--at least not from the wife's point of view! However, there are certain situations where pointing our your husband's faults will hinder his spiritual growth, and sometimes GOD CAN DO THIS FASTER WITHOUT YOUR HELP. It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when to pray!

What are you doing thatís making him so angry at you? You may or may not be the cause, but do check your heart for attitudes of disrespect, control, selfishness, nagging, etc. toward him that may be triggering some of these episodes.

Make a list of your husbandís good points. Let your mind dwell on these qualities.

God gives the wife more grace.

Sometimes your husband isnít reacting negatively to the Lord but to you! Donít be a hindrance to what God is trying to do in his life.

Live for Jesus, not Self, every day.

J-O-Y is "Jesus first, Others second and Self last." (Are you spelling JOY or YOJ?)

A famous preacher once said, "Without Jesus all we do is get on each otherís nerves"...to which one of my girlfriends remarked, "Even WITH Jesus, we still get on eachotherís nerves!!!"

There is no one so perfect that it doesnít take Godís grace to live with them every day.

Donít offer your opinions too freely.

Meekness is grace under pressure.

"Youíve been through a lot, but you still havenít learned to have a meek and quiet spirit." (Rebuke from a pastor friend.)

Practice OVERLOOKING and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE instead of resenting, preaching and nagging. Focus on Christónot the circumstances.

LET GOD take away the bad from your husband. If you do it, it will just come back.

If you talk to people about the problem, it gets bigger in your mind. Also, you donít talk to God about it as much.

"The floggings will continue until morale improves."

Learn to trust the Lord. Submit to the Lord, and He will work out everything for your good.

Donít get onto your husband about his weaknesses, otherwise he may do the same with yours.

Slay any feelings of PRIDE or SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

OBEY your husband! There are few times when it will conflict with Godís will. Have a sweet spirit about you.

Donít neglect Godís Word! This is the source of your strength. God is trying to get His Word into your life, not just into your intellect.

Be sympathetic toward your husband.

The husband is the head of the home, not the wife.

Even if the wife is "right, right, right," she must not tell her husband, "I told you so."

The Holy Spirit can do a much better job of showing a person their sins than we can. The Holy Spirit will lead your husband to repentance much faster when you become forgiving.

Beware of having an "UNBRIDLED TONGUE."

Stop criticizing your husbandómentally or verbally.

REVERENCE your husband.

Any "preaching" you do will backfire.

Get rid of a "fault-finding" nature.

The Holy Spirit will speak loud and clear if we donít get in the way.

Treat your husband with respect. If you act like a mother, he will react like a child. Donít play the parent role.

God doesnít need your help to change your husband.

Sometimes the best thing to do is bite your tongue and put your mind on the Lord or something else, and pray for the person who is acting badly.

Be a peacemaker even if the other person is in a foul mood. If you do this right, you may even get an apology from the other person.

To whom much is given, much is required. The more God shows you, the more He expects of you. You must BE STRONG when the other person is weak.

Adapt to your husband.

"Getting married is like buying a record album. You buy if for the songs on one side, but you also get the songs on the other side."

Trust in Godís Word will make you solid like a rock. Your emotions will no longer push you around.

Build your relationship with your husband on the spark of affection that was between you at the beginning. Never forget that.

Concentrate on your own spiritual developmentónot that of others.

"Love suffers long and is kind." To become long-suffering, you must suffer long.

GOD WILL MOVE WHEN YOU GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Any thoughts of suicide are from Satan. Do not let him play with your mind. Talk with a loving Christian friend. Sometimes we need "God with skin on."

Donít let a problem be the biggest thing in your life. Let the WORD be the biggest thing. Put your problem in the hand of God. Refuse to think about your problem. Donít act and talk like there is no God!

Plead the blood of Jesus over specific situations in your life.

Say NO to the devil!

Fret not. Cast your cares on the Lord. He cares for you!

Compliment your husband.

Things go better at home when you are submissive to the Lord. You do this by being submissive to your husband. Itís not always easy.

Live so that your husband will praise you to others.

Donít stoop to his level when heís behaving badly. Stay in divine order. It doesnít help if you both are out of Godís order at the same time.

Donít take on the responsibility for your husbandís spiritual development. Thatís not your job.

"Marriage is not reform school."

When your partner is acting badly, silence is the best thing.

Donít push your husband to the wall verbally or emotionally. This will cause him to fight you even harder.

Men have died for "religious freedom." Remember this when you are tempted to plead with your unsaved or backslidden husband to attend church with you. Donít push! Itís best to just live your beliefs before him and pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit to draw him.

The four "Aís" of getting along with your husband: Accept, Adapt, Admire, Appreciate.

Let the Lord show your husband where he is wrong.

After a bad episode, just act like nothing is wrong the next day. Let the marital boat stop rocking. Wait until things are calmer to discuss what happened.

Be kind, loving and level-headed.

Itís better to have harmony at home and lose money than to have strife over money.

Donít read secular self-help books. They are dangerous! Be sure you are on strong ground spiritually if you must read them. Compare everything with Godís Word. True happiness lies in putting God first, not Self.

Donít get puffed up with pride toward your husband when you are right and he is wrong.

Pray in faith believing. Donít pray faithless, whiny "woe-is-me" sounding prayers. We have a great God!

Be the kind of woman every man dreams of marrying.

An unforgiving spirit is an ugly thing.

God doesnít need your brains, personality, talents or college degree. He just needs your availability and willingness.

Have a FORGIVING SPIRIT toward your husband.

Have faith in God.

Trust in the Lord and not in man. "Pray away" your hurts and anxieties. Refocus on the Lord and His purity and goodness. ("In Thy presence is fullness of joy...")

HOLDING A GRUDGE is of the devil.

Donít try to walk alone in life. Put your hand in Godís hand.

Donít take yourself too seriously. Cultivate a sense of humor. Take a light approach.

Donít try to analyze your husband. Just love him.

Let him know heís #1 in your life.

Donít be ignorant of Satanís devices. Win some spiritual victories today.

Sympathize.

Donít be controlling.

How you live shows what you really believe.

When you make an issue out of things, the problem grows larger than it has to be.

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-closed afterwards."

Donít pay attention to things your husband says that irritate you. Meditate on precious portions of scripture. Make melody in your heart to the Lord.

Maintain a cordial relationship with your husband no matter what.

Take a lemon and make lemonade.

Blaming others is a cop-out.

Seen on a refrigerator magnet: "Youíre the reason Iím medicated!!"

God canít flow through you until you are dead to Self and to your will. You must do this daily. Have no plans, no agenda.

A man needs time to think things through. He is not a woman.

Donít feel you have to give an answer to every comment your husband makes.

Keep it light.

Wait for maturity.

Just let a lot of things go by without comment.

"The grass is always greener over the septic tank."

Unless your life is in danger, stick it out.

Let your husband find Godís truth his own way. Advise, but try not to lecture.

Donít force doors open.

Let your husband think a course of action is his idea, not yours. Then he will do it willingly.

When things are not going well in marriage, the hardest words are not "I love you" or even "I am sorry." They are: "I WAS WRONG" followed by "PLEASE FORGIVE ME."

Life goes on. ("And it came to pass....")

Chinese proverb: The institution of marriage is like a besieged fortressóthe people on the outside want to get in and the people on the inside want to get out.

"What we do every day is what we believe. All the rest is religious talk. It doesnít cost anything." (Peter Lord)

I do NOT believe in being a doormat or an enabler of sinful behavior. I think it is sad that some women have let their husbands treat them so poorly and not put up a fight or shown themselves any self-respect! Other women have ruined their marriages by going to the opposite extreme and being demanding and bossy. (Yech!) But if you don't help your husband with serious flaws, who will? God may have put you in his life for this purpose. But be tactful. The male ego is a fragile thing. Sometimes the new understanding you and your husband can have about each other will occur after a fight or argument. Just try not to make these too frequent in your marriage, or the sweetness will go out of it. None of us are perfect. If your husband is not respecting your legitimate needs, then by all means, speak up! He may actually be unaware of how you feel, since he can't read your mind. Speak directly (and respectfully) to your husband so that he can understand you clearly. Men generally don't like to "give in" on an issue, so try not to press the point, but be firm if it's a critical and serious problem. Men don't respect doormats, but they also don't respond well to "drill sergeants".....so try to strike a happy medium.

No two marriages are identical. What works for one couple may cause strife for another. Battle (if necessary) through the rough times, hold on in the tough times, and be happy during the good times.

Heard on an old TV show (cute): "I believe in marriage....if it weren't for marriage, people would have to fight with perfect strangers!"

An elderly evangelist quipped: "It doesn't matter who you marry. After the third day, they're not the person you thought they were anyway." (The adults laughed; the teens looked puzzled.) About the benefits of long-term marriage: "When you're 70 years old and seriously ill, who else is going to take care of you?" (This may not seem important in your 20's, but it sure means something to older folks.)

I hope these thoughts on marriage (some serious, some funny) have been helpful....and since you are reading this, I want to CONGRATULATE you on being MARRIED and not living with (shacking) with someone, which isn't the same thing as marriage. Men think this way: "Why buy the cow when the milk is free?" So ladies, you have done right by having your man to commit to you and vice versa. Marriage (between a man and a woman) is God's way. (There are some beautiful love stories in the Bible!) I wish all of my readers a happy and functional marriage that grows sweeter as the years go by.

NOTE: If you are experiencing verbal, physical or emotional abuse, you have the right to protect yourself and your children. Tell your parents, pastor, family, friends or the police, if necessary. The Womenís Shelter in your area has valuable information and assistance available.


Below are some excellent inspirational articles, poems and scriptures that relate to marital harmony. These have been very meaningful to me--

UPROOTED BY DISCONTENT
 
"And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."
I Timothy 6: 8

A little girl walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance. "Itís so pretty!" she exclaimed. As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. "This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!" she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the water faucet to wash away the soil. If wasnít long until the flower wilted and died.

When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, "You have destroyed my finest plant!" "Iím sorry, but I didnít like it in that dirt," she said. The gardener replied, "I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower."

Often we murmur because of the circumstances into which God has sovereignly placed us. We fail to realize that He is using our pressures, trials and difficulties to bring us to a new degree of spiritual beauty. Contentment comes when we accept what God is doing and thank Him for it. Contentment enables you to grow where God has planted you.

Our Daily Bread, 9-9-92


BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED!

"Bloom where you are planted!"
Thatís what I say each spring,
As on my knees I dig and poke
And transplant each flowíring thing.
 
They look so droopy and forlorn,
So fragile and forsaken;
Will they withstand the shocking change
As from the warmth theyíre taken?
 
I leave them in their earthy nest
And I know it wonít be long,
In spite of setbacks for awhile
Thirsty roots will grow quite strong.
 
"Bloom where you are planted!"
Thatís what the Lord says too,
When He transplants His children dear
And theyíre forced to start anew.
 
"Bloom where you are planted!"
Though it be dark or bright,
Some blossoms give their fragrance best
In the darkest hours of night.

"Bloom where you are planted!"
Be strong, be not afraid.
The winds may blow and sun may beat
And your spirit droop and fade.

"Bloom where you are planted!"
You will withstand the strain.
Godís life within will guarantee
That His plants will remain.


HOW THE LORD SUSTAINS

Christian, when thy way seems darkest,
When thine eyes with tears are dim,
Straight to God thy Father hastening,
Tell thy troubles all to Him.
 
Not to human ear confiding
Thy sad tale of grief and care,
But before thy Father kneeling,
Pour out all thy sorrows there.
 
Sympathy of friends may cheer thee,
When the fierce wild storms have burst,
But God only can console thee,
When it breaks upon thee first.
 
Go with words or tears or silence,
Only lay thee at His feet:
Thou shalt prove how great His pity,
And His tenderness how sweet.
 
Far too well thy Savior loves thee
To allow thy life to be
One long, calm, unbroken summer,
One unruffled, stormless sea.
 
He would have thee fondly nestling
Closer to His loving breast;
He would have that world seem brighter,
Where alone is perfect rest.
 
Though His wise and loving purpose
Clearly yet thou mayíst not see,
Still believe with faith unshaken,
All will work for good to thee.
 
Therefore, when thy way is gloomy
And thine eyes with tears are dim,
Straight to God thy Father hastening,
Tell thy sorrows all to Him.

Anonymous


IN PRUNINGS OFT

In prunings oft
The heart cries out for mercy
As, cut by cut,
The soul is tested deep,
Til Christ, the wondrous Gardener,
Comes to comfort
And whispers in the darkness,
"I will keep..."
 
ĎTis then we see the plan
Behind the prunings;
For, walking in the soil
Of sorrowís calm,
The Gardener searchesó
Finds the fruit He wishes,
And holds it
In His tender,
Nail-scarred palm.
 
He prunes in love,
This Jesus,
Lord of gardeners;
He sends the pain,
The fruit-producing scar;
For in the wake of sorrow
Comes the harvestó
A richer crop,
A fruitage greater far.
 
He knoweth best;
His wisdom
Is omniscient;
Beneath His pruning hand
The soul is still;
For in the fragrant presence
Of this Gardener,
The soul doth learn
Surrender....to His will.

Author unknown


JESUS CONSTRAINED HIS DISCIPLES TO GET INTO A SHIP...
Matthew 14:22

Jesus CONSTRAINED them to go! One would think that if ever there was the certain promise of success in a mission, it was here. Surely, here, if anywhere, a triumphant issue might have been confidently predicted; and yet here, more than anywhere, there was seeming failure. He sent them out on a voyage, and they met such a storm as they had never yet experienced.

Let me ponder this, for it has been so with me, too. I have sometimes felt myself impelled to act by an influence which seemed above meóconstrained to put to sea. The belief that I was constrained gave me confidence, and I was sure of a calm voyage. But the result was outward failure. The calm became a storm; the sea raged, the winds roared, the ship tossed in the midst of the waves, and my enterprise was wrecked ere it could reach the land.

Was, then, my divine command a delusion?

Nay; nor yet was my mission a failure. He did send me on that voyage, but He did not send me for my purpose. He had one end and I had another. My end was the outward calm; His was my meeting with the storm. My end was to gain the harbor of a material rest; His was to teach me there is a rest even on the open sea.

                                                                George Matheson


THE MAGIC OF LOVE

Love is like magic
And it always will be,
For love still remains
A sweet mystery!
 
Love works in ways
That are wondrous and strange
And thereís nothing in life
That love cannot change.
 
Love can transform
The most commonplace
Into the beauty and splendor
And sweetness of grace!
 
Love is unselfish
Understanding and kind
For it sees with the heart
And not with the mind.
 
Love is the answer
That everyone seeks
Love is the language
That everyone speaks.
 
Love canít be bought
It is priceless and free.
Love like pure magic
Is a sweet mystery.

by Helen Steiner Rice


STORY TOLD BY A PREACHER'S WIFE

There was a woman who complained to the Lord that her burden was heavier than anyone elses and that she simply could not bear it any longer. So the Lord told her to go into the room where He had all the burdens being carried by other members of her congregation. He said she could spend the afternoon trying on other peopleís burdens and trade hers in for one she could handle more easily.

The woman was overjoyed and quickly discarded her burden. She decided to try on the smallest one there. She picked it up, but was surprised at how heavy it was for its size! She knew she couldnít carry it around for very long, so she looked for another burden that might be lighter. She spotted one in the corner that might work out, but much to her amazement, it itched and prickled very badly! She had to take that one off too.

All afternoon the woman tried on various burdens unsuccessfully. Finally, she found one she felt she could live with! The woman said happily, "Lord, Iím ready to go now. I found a burden I think I can manage." "Good," said the Lord, "Thatís the same one you came in with!"


SCRIPTURES THAT WILL HELP A MARRIAGE

"Charity (love) SUFFERETH LONG, and IS KIND; charity ENVIETH NOT; charity vaunteth not itself, is NOT PUFFED UP. Doth not BEHAVE ITSELF UNSEEMLY, SEEKETH NOT HER OWN, IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED, THINKETH NO EVIL; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; BEARETH ALL THINGS, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity NEVER FAILETH."  
 I Corinthians 13:4-8

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  Ephesians 5:22-25

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, IF ANY OBEY NOT THE WORD, they also may WITHOUT THE WORD be won by the conversation (behavior) of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the HOLY WOMEN also, WHO TRUSTED IN GOD, adorned themselves, BEING IN SUBJECTION UNTO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: WHOSE DAUGHTERS YE ARE, as long as ye DO WELL, and are NOT AFRAID with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."   I Peter 3:1-7

"NOT RENDERING EVIL FOR EVIL, OR RAILING FOR RAILING: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing."  
I Peter 3:9

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath SUFFERED for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the SAME MIND."   I Peter 4:1

"And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity SHALL COVER THE MULTITUDE OF SINS."   I Peter 4:8

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are OF GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS."   Philippians 4:8

"I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Philippians 4:13

"...FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."   Philippians 3:13

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."   I Peter 5:7

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, AFTER THAT YE HAVE SUFFERED A WHILE, MAKE YOU PERFECT, STABLISH, STRENGTHEN, SETTLE YOU."   I Peter 5:8,9

"Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."  Proverbs 14:1

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but GRIEVOUS WORDS STIR UP ANGER."   Proverbs 15:1

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day...."  Ephesians 6:12,13

"Be not overcome of evil, but OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD."  Romans 12:21

"Pray without ceasing."   I Thessalonians 5:17

"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."   Proverbs 31:25


Below are some of my favorite hymns.  I hope they encourage you as they have encouraged me...

 

PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND

Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, help me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm,
Through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me home.
 
When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near.
When my life is almost gone,
Hear my cry, hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

 

MY SOUL HAS FOUND A RESTING PLACE

My soul has found a resting place
Not in device nor creed.
I trust the Ever-Living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
 
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea.
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

 

IíD RATHER HAVE JESUS

Iíd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
Iíd rather be His than have riches untold;
Iíd rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
Iíd rather be led by His nail-pierced hands.
 
Chorus:
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sinís dread sway.
Iíd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
 
Heís fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
Heís sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
Heís all that my hungering spirit needs.
Iíd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

 

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS LIKE JESUS

No one understands like Jesus,
Heís a Friend beyond compare;
Meet Him at the throne of mercy,
He is waiting for you there.
 
Chorus:
No one understand like Jesus,
When the days are dark and grim,
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus,
Cast your every care on Him.
 
No one understands like Jesus,
Every woe He sees and feels;
Tenderly He whispers comfort,
And the broken heart He heals.
 
No one understands like Jesus,
When the foes of life assail,
You should never be discouraged,
Jesus cares and will not fail.
 
No one understands like Jesus,
When you falter on the way;
Thoí you fail Him, sadly fail Him,
He will pardon you today.


 BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Fascinating Womanhood

by Helen Andelin

Most of this is very sound advice. The testimonial letters are wonderful! If you think your marriage is bad, read what some of these ladies have to say! You will conclude that there is hope for your marriage after all.  The author gives insights into how men think, and you can use this knowledge to improve your relationship with your husband.
 
 
Help Me, Iím Married
by Joyce Meyer
 
Particularly helpful for women who have been abused as children and later find themselves unable to relate to a husband in a healthy manner, because they are controlling, hateful, difficult to live with, etc. even when they donít want to be.
 

Men Are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti
by Bill and Pam Farrel

Men compartmentalize their thinking, but for women everything in their lives is inter-connected with everything else. This book is very enjoyable reading and helps husbands and wives understand each other and their differences better.
 
 
Stepping Heavenward
By Mrs. E. Prentiss

This is the diary of a young woman named Katy, who lived in the 1800ís. The journal begins when she is 16 years old, high-spirited, and critical of her mother who has warned her against getting involved with a certain young man....who later breaks her heart. Katy goes on to marry a doctor, but within a few months, his father and sister must move in with them, due to financial problems. This ends Katyís ideal of a happy home. Through learning to live with these critical family members, her own poor health, raising 5 children, experiencing the death of several beloved family members, continuous financial stress and other life problems, Katy matures as a woman and grow closer to God.  Her diary continues to the end of her life. There is so much transparent honesty and hard-earned Godly wisdom in this book.....I could hardly put it down!!
 
 
Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1
by Mrs. Charles Cowman

Best devotional book I know of for anyone going through trials. It was given to me by a retired missionary to Japan. I read this book every day for 4 years. It contains a scripture for each day and some very wise and comforting thoughts about suffering.
 
 
Men Are Clams, Women Are Crowbars
by David Clarke

Why men donít like revealing things about themselves to their wives!  Great book on understanding communication in marriage.


Thank you for reading my marriage booklet.  God impressed on my heart to write these thoughts down around 1990, but I have done so only recently. The original booklet called "MARITAL HARMONY" was distributed in hard copy, but I realized that more people could read it if put it online. 
 
Dominie Soo Bush
 


Quote from a pastor:

"If itís free....itís advice.

If it costs money....itís counseling.

If it works....itís a miracle!"

(Let's pray for miracles!)



DISCLAIMER:  The advice on this webpage may not apply if there is pornography, substance abuse, adultery, addictions, domestic violence, or mental, emotional or physical cruelty in a marriage caused by the husband.  (See www.joelandkathy.com/ to read about a changed MAN.)   For a happy and unified home, both husband and wife must be submitted to God and to each other under God.  A carnal or unsaved man (or woman) can turn a marriage into "hell on earth!"  The advice on this page is good for "cooling off" when you are mad at your husband or if you just want to bring more peace and tranquility into your home.  It is NOT meant as an excuse for a man to mistreat his wife.  Husbands are to LOVE THEIR WIVES as Christ loved the church, and wives are to RESPECT (honor) their husbands.  This webpage is just about the wife's part.


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