Great Lessons on Marriage

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church and his wife, Grace, recently posted 18 lessons each on marriage they’ve learned as they celebrate their 18th anniversary. These are insightful and helpful, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Grace’s 18 Lessons

1. Make time with Jesus your first priority, husband second priority.
2. Be intimate often.
3. Be willing to have hard and honest conversations, and pray for Jesus to make them fruitful.
4. Pray for wisdom often.
5. The enemy is always ready to divide you during trials. Don’t let him; cling to Jesus and each other.
6. Forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive …
7. Don’t enable his sin, but pray for wisdom in timing and words, and be respectful when addressing it.
8. Be a woman of inner and outer beauty.
9. Make your home a place of retreat and rest.
10. Study your husband, appreciate, value and respect him, especially when you don’t “feel” like it.
11. HAVE FUN.
12. Pray against lies. Memorize the truth of scripture.
13. Spend regular, meaningful time together. Invest in the relationship.
14. Don’t let bitterness set in if you are hurt or frustrated; dig up the root and pray it through.
15. Be an attentive and available listener.
16. Be teachable and willing to submit.
17. Set your heart and body toward your husband and don’t let either wander.
18. Repent often and allow trustworthy people to speak into your lives.

    Mark’s 18 Lessons

    Spiritual

    1. Stay in church community and under godly authority.
    2. Stay in your Bible and always have at least a few good Christian books you are reading.
    3. Be the spiritual leader by praying with your family, modeling followership of Jesus, repenting of sin, teaching your family, etc.
    4. Serve your family and serve others as a family.

    Family

    5. Pick a good potential mom and grandma for a wife.
    6. If she respects you, the kids will too. If she does not, your family will be a grief to you.
    7. Work with her to make the home, holidays, vacations, and other times filled with fun, laughter, and memories.
    8. Just get through the rough seasons (sickness, demanding newborns, tough work seasons, extended family troubles, e.g.) by God’s grace.

    Financial

    9. Find an honest way to make enough money to give to God, be generous with others, and take care of your family.
    10. Spend some money to make her life easier (dependable car, babysitting help, decent home, e.g.)

    Practical

    11. Try to make her laugh a lot and touch her heart and soul before you touch her body.
    12. She’s not a guy, does not want to be treated like a guy, spoken to like a guy, or do what guys do.
    13. She will sanctify you. It’s not her fault that your sin is obvious in relationship with her as she’s not changing you, but rather exposing you.
    14. Syncing schedules is key: meet every week to organize your life together and plan out your life as one so you don’t live parallel lives.
    15. Date night is important so make it happen, ideally every week.
    16. Her needs change, especially when she becomes a mother, so look for new ways to humbly serve her.
    17. Encouragement is to a wife as water is to a plant.
    18. Every year gets better by the grace of God. Keep pressing forward together using the gospel to repent, forgive, and become more like Jesus.

    Which of these did you most need to hear? What lessons have you learned that you can share with us?

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    1. #1 by Ashley Stockton on August 16, 2010 - 5:42 pm

      I need to hear this: “The enemy is always ready to divide you during trials. Don’t let him; cling to Jesus and each other.” They were all great though. Thanks for sharing!

    2. #2 by Jeffery on August 17, 2010 - 2:02 pm

      Luke–

      We will celebrate 24 years in two weeks; one thing that has benefitted and blessed us is overtly discussing the importance of the institution of marriage in all its facets–we are finite and fallen, and yet this creational ordinance is (1) designed for the common good of all mankind; and (2) pictures the redemptive character of God. These two points provide great motivation to preserve, protect, and promote marriage, both generally and particularly, especially in our “any reason” divorce culture replete with serial polygamy.

    3. #3 by Quinn on August 17, 2010 - 10:30 pm

      Where in the bible and what resources can help one understand the importance of the institution of marriage and points one and two?

      • #4 by Jeffery on August 20, 2010 - 10:12 am

        Quinn–

        Not to bury you, but here are two fine resources:

        –Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long Love in a Hook-Up World, Jennifer Roback Morse

        –The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market, & Morals, ed. by Robert P. George and Jean Bethke Elshtain.

        Dr. Morse and George are believers and 1st rate scholars and they happen to be personal friends of mine.

    4. #5 by Luke Simmons on August 18, 2010 - 9:04 am

      Quinn, do you mean Jeffrey’s two points or points from the article?

    5. #6 by Quinn on August 18, 2010 - 10:23 pm

      Oops. Sorry I meant to start my question with Jeffery. :) Jeffery’s two points.

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