*If you don’t practice love it will die
Bible reading: John 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 13
We have often been told what to do to make marriage successful and enjoyable but I will like us to look at things to never do if you want to secure and protect marriage and make it work.
- Don’t allow bad thoughts concerning your spouse. 1 1Corinthians 13: 5 (b) “love….thinks no evil.” Think good of your spouse every time. You are a product of your thoughts. First class thoughts produce a first class person. What you think determines what you say and what you say determines what you have. If you think kind thoughts, kind words will come out of your mouth.
- Don’t abandon; be a companion. You have sworn to forsake all others, don’t forsake him or her. Don’t be an absentee husband or wife. It is not good that a man be alone. Eat at least one meal together. Do things together.
- Don’t expect too much. He is human; she is human.
- Don’t be a boss, be a partner. Love is not proud. It is not selfish. Don’t wait to be served; be the one serving. Share everything. Don’t be selfish.
- Don’t assume, ask. Love bears all things. Most fights are as a result of misunderstanding the other person. What you don’t like is what you don’t understand.
- Don’t be led by your emotions or commotion but by your devotion to God and then to one another. Never keep malice.
- Don’t manipulate or control your spouse. People control through silence, anger or outbursts, sex, money, etc.
- Don’t cheat. Stay faithful. Extra marital attraction could be fatal. Kill it before it grows. If you don’t think it you will not do it.
- Don’t allow third parties. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.” Don’t run to a friend or family member each time you disagree. The people you are running to have their own issues too. They are just not telling you. If your spouse becomes your friend, you will not need third parties.
- Don’t despise each other. 1Peter 3:1 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;…” 1Peter 3:7 “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.” Most people tend to honour others more than their spouse. Husband love your wife and wife submit to your husband. Praise your spouse and children — in their presence — to someone else. Praise can be both private and public but criticism must always be private. Whatever you appreciate appreciates. Never try to win an argument. Respect each other’s opinion.
- Don’t neglect yourself. Always keep yourself clean and attractive. Do your best to look your best. The man must always keep his socks clean. Women, you know what to keep clean.
- Don’t leave each other; cleave to one another. Never, never think of leaving each other. Divorce is not of God.
- Don’t fight each other; fight the devil. Find out what irritates your spouse and avoid it. There is no need for provocation. Fondly touch each other often; it’s a way of communicating affection. If you don’t practice love it will die.
- Don’t reveal each other’s secrets. Never use privileged information against your spouse; he or she will never open up to you again.
- Don’t keep secrets; communicate freely. Communicate openly, truthfully and deeply. They were both naked and they were not ashamed. Discuss everything.
- Don’t deny each other, satisfy each other sexually and otherwise.
- Don’t hurt each other; heal each other. Love one another. Compliment each other. Words of affirmation work better than words of condemnation. Compliment her looks, her new hair style. Call each other pet names—names that reflect your impression and expectation. I call Mummy ‘Honey’ and she calls me the same and we just get sweeter with each passing day!
- Don’t attempt to change your partner; change yourself. Accept each other as you are. You are different for a purpose.
- Don’t compete with one another; complete one another.
- Don’t neglect your children. Give them time.
- Don’t let Jesus out of your home; keep Him in. Don’t let him go; keep Him in. We will all go home after this, but there is one person you must never let go. Keep Him in your heart, in your mind, in your house, in your living room in your bedroom and everywhere in your life. Keep Him in your conversation; keep Him in your decisions and business. He alone has the power to make things work. He alone can give you fresh wine.
The Bible gives an account of a wedding Jesus attended in Cana of Galilee. They ran out of wine at a point and Mary took the case to Jesus for intervention. He responded with an instruction that resulted in a miracle of water being turned to a much better wine than the wine that finished. When things are not working in marriage, don’t rush to separate or divorce; take it to Jesus in prayer and he will give you fresh wine and heal the relationship.
Let me close with this:
There are different people you will relate with in your marriage.
- Those who grumble when the wine runs out.
- Those who leave you when the wine runs out.
- Those who tell others when the wine runs out.
- Those who take your case to God when the wine runs out. Mary took their case to God. May the Lord surround you with people who will encourage you and intercede for you! Don’t relate with anyone who will not take your case or issue to Jesus. Some take your case to other friends, some to the media, to the court, others to the pastor.
- Those who help you get new wine. Jesus will always help you get new wine. He is the unchanging changer. He is the Rose of Sharon. He is the Alpha and Omega.
May God bless and strengthen every marriage and this nation to fulfil divine purpose, in Jesus name. Amen!