In honor of National Marriage Month in February, we are dedicating this blog to marriages. The VCLi SALT curriculum has some excellent lessons on the topic of marriage. There is even a pre-marriage counseling course that will soon be available on the web.
Actually all the VCLi SALT lessons can apply to marriages. Marriage is the place where we are often tested in our commitment to live for God. Check out the material on marriage.
Here is one pastor’s story.
“I remember frequently saying from the pulpit ‘If you want the perfect marriage, just copy my wife and me. We have the perfect marriage!’ As I was sharing those words my wife would be thinking ‘God if he would just die, my life would be much better’.
Marriage was perfect for him because his controlling leadership style and his wife’s people pleasing tendencies always produced what he wanted. Because she never shared how she was really feeling; he was oblivious of her loneliness and unhappiness in their relationship.
This is their testimony today:
“We can’t imagine life without each other today. Every year we grow more and more in love.”
As they started applying the biblical principles they had always known and even taught, their married lives changed for the better. He doesn’t describe his marriage as perfect anymore and she has learned to share her thoughts, feelings, and desires without fear.
That reaction is what makes SALT a life changing tool. SALT is an appeal to change the way you think. When our thinking really lines up with God’s word, we will change the way we act and respond accordingly.
They have always been devoted to God but now they also share their souls as well as their bodies with each other. They accept their family roles as the husband being a loving leader and a wife being a loving support.
They are achieving intimacy spiritually, psychologically, and physically.
Below is a summary of the initial marriage teaching from SALT.
You were created as a three-part being – spirit, soul, and body. God designed marriage to bring intimacy in all three parts. When a couple’s spirits are devoted to God, they experience spiritual intimacy. When their souls understand each other, they experience psychological intimacy. Physical intimacy creates closeness
While men generally focus on physical intimacy, women tend to focus on psychological intimacy. God’s plan is that we focus on all three parts of our being.
Here are some tips for maintaining Spiritual Intimacy which produce greater devotion to God and each other:
- Pray together
- Read the bible and talk about it with each other
- Attend and serve at church together
- Do bible studies and devotionals together-SALT is and excellent tool for doing this
Here are some tips for maintaining Psychological Intimacy which produce understanding of each other:
- Make time for talking
- Share what you think about, how you feel (emotions), and what you want or desire
- Tell your spouse things you appreciate about them
- Always avoid negative and cutting remarks
Here are some tips for enhancing Physical Intimacy:
- Give Hugs
- Hold Hands
- Make yourself as attractive as possible for your spouse
- Ask your spouse what kind of physical intimacy they prefer and think of each other as more important than self
- Remember sex is for marriage only
Ephesians 4:31-32 is an excellent scripture to practice in a marriage relationship.
“Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others (like your spouse) should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ” (Living Bible)
Our prayer for you is that if you are struggling in your marriage, God will draw you nearer to Himself and reveal His word in your life. If you have a good marriage, that God’s word will make it great. And if you want to be married, that God will become your provision as you wait on Him.