Find below thirteen principles for youth ministers that you’ll want to take note of to improve your marriage.
1. Every day of every year of marriage, the primary question is, How do we best join the Father in using this marriage to bring more glory to His Son? The second most important question always is, How do we best join the Son in using this marriage to bring His kingdom here on earth? (Happiness in marriage is the primary goal only for the lost.)
2. True love is valuing and working toward the joy and well-being of your spouse more than your own. True love also is completing your spouse so he/she can accomplish his/her mission on earth.
3. Your mate has many wonderful characteristics. Your mate has many unpleasant characteristics. You get to choose which you will spend most of your time thinking about. That choice will lead to joy or misery.
4. Forgiving your spouse over and over every day leads to peace and joy. Choosing not to forgive your spouse over and over leads to pain and resentment.
5. You can choose not to speak negatively about your spouse with others, both when your spouse is present and not present. Speaking negatively, even in jest, always hurts and always weakens intimacy.
6. You can choose never to raise your voice or speak abusively to your spouse. Anger cannot make you do anything; it is a choice. Angry outbursts can be forgiven, but they leave permanent scars.
7. Holding in resentment to “keep the peace” never works. Your spouse always will detect something is wrong and may react poorly. When things are calm, state your feelings without attacking the other person. (“I feel ___ when you ___.”) Then make a clear request (not a demand) for a change.
8. Your spouse always will know if you are trying to reform him/her. It is impossible to be so sly the other person does not know. Tiny hints of body language and voice inflection will be enough to show you are trying to get your spouse to change, and your spouse will resent it and probably will react poorly.
9. When you two have talked through an incident, have resolved the issue, and have made amends, then agree you never will bring it up again, even if it would provide good ammunition in a future argument. (The same principle should apply to those memories you are tempted to replay in your mind.)
10. You are not responsible for the emotional baggage you bring from childhood to adulthood. But you are responsible for continually seeking insight into issues that likely are hidden, courageously addressing them, and then turning in new directions that are not harmful to your spouse or children. (Those who live oblivious to their unresolved issues are destined to pass down those same issues to future generations).
11. Never expect your spouse to fulfill you completely. It can never happen. Only Christ can.
12. Praying together is essential and is a celebration of your deepening relationship with Christ and with each other. Not praying together could easily be a sign that faith is shallow and that the marriage is not truly built on Christ alone.
13. Imagine a triangle with Christ at the top and you and your spouse in the other two corners. As the two of you grow closer and closer to Christ, you will be drawing closer and closer to each other.