Working to keep marriage H.O.T.

By Shane Rhodehamel - Contributing Columnist

Four churches in February are participating in the Sermon Series, Keeping Marriage. Dove Church, Faith Family Church, First Church of God, and Wilmington Church of Christ explore how all followers of Christ should fulfill their responsibilities to keep marriage. Visit one of the churches listed during the month of February and listen to these messages, join question and discussion groups, and have an opportunity to win a weekend marriage retreat.

Every great relationship and every effective marriage has to be built on a foundation of real sacrificial love. The God kind of love. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when he feels disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when she feels unloved.

Emerson Eggerich asked 7,000 people the question, “When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected” and 72% of the women said “unloved.”

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

So I am gonna give you some keys to effective relationships and marriage. I am gonna tell you how to have a marriage thats HOT!

The first is H-honor each other. To honor is to hold in a place of high regard, consider a privilege, saying and doing what is best for the other, fulfill a promise or keep a commitment.

The second is O-overlook differences.

Have you noticed that men and women are different, you likely have different backgrounds, different personalities, different strengths and different weaknesses, when you put focus and attention on your differences in a negative light, it eats away at the trust, when you focus on each others strengths and stay thankful that your spouse is such a compliment to you, you build trust and work as a team.

The third is T-take time together.

There is no substitute for time in a marriage, after marriage most couples stop doing the things that caused them to build the love and trust that made them want to get married in the first place. There is no quantity of time that will take the place of quality, focused time. Find out what things your spouse wants you to be present for and move heaven and earth to be there for her!

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Marriage is God’s idea, God created the marriage relationship, God knows the best way to maintain a Holy, Happy, Healthy, and even HOT marriage. Let me tell you this, if it’s not hot in the kitchen, its not gonna be hot in the bedroom, if you are not willing to take out the trash, don’t expect any special favors. If you won’t wake up early to help with the kids, don’t expect her to stay up late for you. Wandering eyes lead quickly to wandering hearts. The sexiest thing a guy can do is serve Jesus with his whole heart, ladies if you want your guy to love you sacrificially, stop nagging him and try encouraging him toward greatness.

If you are struggling in your marriage right now, seek God together, talk to someone you know and trust. Don’t settle for a status quo marriage.

If you are not married and want to be, focus on Jesus and becoming the type of person that your future spouse would be attracted to.

If you are broken and busted, disappointed or disillusioned? Allow God to bring healing and restoration to your soul and know that He has a great plan for You!

By Shane Rhodehamel

Contributing Columnist