1. Do not have unrealistic expectations for one another.
If you got married thinking your husband or wife would be perfect, then you are in for, or have already experienced a terrible disappointment. No one but Jesus is perfect, and setting unrealistic expectations can be fatal to your relationship. You should expect realistic things from your marriage. You can expect your husband or wife to love, honor, and cherish you. You can expect them to be faithful, to protect and to provide. You cannot expect them to do things exactly the way you want them all the time. You can’t expect them to never get angry with you and you cannot expect them to never hurt your feelings. We are all sinners and therefore cannot have a perfect relationship. Your relationship will be as wonderful as you want it to be. You have to work at it to make it work.
2. Never use the D-word.
Never ever threaten your spouse with divorce or separation. This is a sure-fire way to destroy trust. The Bible says divorce is acceptable if there is abuse or infidelity, but if you are threatening divorce every time you disagree on something or argue, you are really damaging your relationship. Marriages are built on trust and it is hard to trust someone if they are always threatening to break the covenant you have made with them that is supposed to last a lifetime. Marriage is serious business. It is sacred, holy, and ordained by God. It is not something to take lightly.
3. Be vulnerable.
Be vulnerable with your spouse. Let them into your heart. Share your thoughts and feelings with each other. If you aren’t willing to share your hearts with one another then you are missing out on true, beautiful intimacy with your spouse.
4. Don’t go to parents.
When you are having problems, don’t take them to your parents. Parents are biased and will typically not give you the kind of help you need. It is too easy for parents to take sides, and defend you. It is so important to go to a pastor, or a godly couple for advice when you are going through a rough patch. I am not encouraging you to discredit your parents’ advice, but I do think it is important to keep your problems between you and perhaps a counselor or Christian adviser.
5. Defend your spouse.
If someone is speaking negatively about your spouse in front of you, speak up! You are their other half, their champion, and you should never let someone put them down in front of you. I have learned that is important not to complain about your spouse to others either! Speak of your husband or wife with praise, and do not let others do differently either. It can be really easy to fall into criticizing your spouse to others after an argument or something, and friends are easy to talk to and willing to listen, but it is a dangerous thing!
6. Don’t abstain from sex.
The Bible very clearly tells us not to withhold sex from our spouse…
1 Corinthians 7:5-“5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”Of course there are things like illness and other physical conditions, but it is important to follow God’s will for sex within your marriage. We are supposed to protect our marriages from Satan, and one way of doing this is guarding our spouse from temptation. This verse clearly states that abstaining allows Satan some room to wiggle in there. Sex within marriage is a beautiful gift from God, it is very important to the relationship, and helps couples truly become one in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual sense.