Sunday, August 9, 2009

"The Marriage Experiment" By: Kelli Zaniel

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men.” Proverbs 2:10-12

If you have ever experienced the following, then this is the experiment for you. You return from the salon only to have your husband respond, “wow, I can’t tell they cut anything!” After wiping crusty noses all day, scrubbing toilets and discarding of the dog’s hidden treasures, it’s now time to evolve into a sex goddess in under 20 seconds. Have you received an improper response to the infamous question that every girl has asked, "do these pants make me look fat?” I am not a marriage expert but I do know that awareness of your spouse’s specific needs and how to meet them is the oxygen to any successful relationship. Forecasting how your significant other will respond to certain situations is a challenge. You can’t live with someone every day without episodes of occasional friction. In this experiment, lets ask ourselves, are we compatible or combustible?

Let’s explore marriage as if it were a chemistry experiment. Follow these important precautions when handling combustible materials in a relationship. Handle with care as some elements are flammable and can cause serious injury to the heart.

· Communicate in a well-ventilated area. Keep away from ignition sources;

· Be generous and willing to share (1 Timothy 6:18). Do keep in reach of children;

· Do not be disrespectful (1 Peter 2:17) to each other as volatile language may vaporize and ignite; and

· Keep all combustible materials, such as anger (Ephesians 4:26), jealousy, pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13) away from your source.

Another way to “mix well,” is through adjustment. Sometimes, we are required to adjust ourselves in certain areas in order to please our partner. We must say “no,” to self, and “yes,” to the needs of our spouse. This is the kind of relationship God wants with us. He desires for us to take up our cross daily, relinquish our selfishness, adopt selflessness and submit to righteousness. We must encourage our spouse daily as God desires to encourage us (Hebrews 3:13). A marriage must be nurtured in the way we are to nurture our relationship with God. It takes work, discipline and commitment. James Dobson wrote, “only when a person begins to develop a deep appreciation and admiration for another will an intense awareness of needs, strengths and character emerge.”

No junk or combustible materials allowed. Make a commitment to develop a renewed awareness of your partner’s needs, wants and desires. Familiarize yourself with the situations (or materials) that carry the potential for an explosive response. Be of one mind and live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11).

God is the heavenly chemist of marriage. He carefully designed and constructed each part. He knows which elements will successfully react and those with unstable properties. The Bible provides the proper solution for achieving a successful and God-centered relationship between husband and wife. For the success of your marriage experiment, your Heavenly Father recommends you gather the following materials: endurance, encouragement, unity (Romans 15:5), peace, consideration, humility (Titus 3:1-2), kindness, compassion and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32). We may have an occasional spill but if we follow each step of the marriage experiment the way God intended, we can neutralize our combustible materials before they begin to fizz and bubble over.

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