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‘Enjoy life with your wife.’ Ecclesiastes 9:9

To strengthen your marriage you must realise three things:

(1) Marriage is one of Satan’s favourite targets. He was angry because Job’s family was a source of delight to God. So when your home is harmonious and blessed, he’ll try to attack it. He wants to be the third party in your relationship; to agitate and disappoint, using your weaknesses. He inspires unrealistic expectations and diverts your focus from servanthood to self-absorption. He fuels your imagination through unhealthy relationships until God’s presence ceases to be the goal of your union and the prevailing atmosphere in your home. Beware of his inroads and become protective over your family.

(2) Your mind-set determines your mood. Thoughts have presence. The moment someone walks into a room, you can sense conflict or contentment, jealousy or joy, etc. Attitudes are contagious; like a thermostat, they determine the climate in your home. One man noticed that certain TV shows nurtured a sexual restlessness within him, to the point where he found himself comparing his wife with the sensuality of the performers. A woman identified the timing of unexplainable jealousy towards her husband after watching her favourite soap opera. Every emotion has a birthplace, so be sensitive to any changes in your home environment and inner life.

(3) Understanding comes by listening. Love is about listening more and talking less. Listen long enough for hidden emotions to be expressed. Listen carefully enough to gain understanding. Listen accurately so you can assess your spouse’s true needs. The questions you ask can reveal how much you care, so ask them softly and repeatedly, and pray and process before you respond. That’s how to strengthen your marriage.

SoulFood: Rev 5–9, Mark 13:24–37, Ps 121, Pr 12:23–24.

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