Dear Friends,

I’ve spent 30 years with this incredible woman of God!  August 5th Kathy and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Laguna Beach, California with some dear friends.  Kathy delights me in every way.  I am in awe that the Lord, in His great kindness, has allowed me to share my life with her.  After losing Donna when she was killed by a drunk driver, I am overwhelmed that the Lord would provide this miracle in the person of Kathy.

On our anniversary we had a chance to remember some of the highlights from the past 30 years together…and there are many.  God has been so good to us!

The key thing is that our marriage has flourished.  Our love for each other has grown year after year.  You see, the devil gives you his best shot first and then disappointment from then on.  But our gracious Father in Heaven makes it so that it just keeps getting better and better…if we will obey His instructions.  Many couples spend more time working on their wedding, than working on their marriage.

Did you know that marriage comes with a manual?  God invented marriage and then wrote a book to explain how to make marriage work.

HERE ARE SOME CONCEPTS THAT CAN HELP YOU FIND THE DELIGHT IN YOUR MARRIAGE:

  1. KEEPING YOUR FOCUS—A marriage that is not founded on the solid rock of faith in Jesus Christ will struggle to succeed.  This doesn’t simply mean that both husband and wife are Christians, but that each of them is focused on obeying the Lord and determined to bring honor to Him.

Matthew 7:24–25 (NLT) “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.

  1. ESTABLISHING PROPER ROLES—Marriage will not work to the extent that the Lord desires if the husband and wife do not fulfill their proper roles.  If the wife determines to be the head, the marriage will struggle.  If the husband fails to lead, the marriage will faulter.  Lest I get too much pushback in light of our modern culture, I love what the mother said to her daughter, Toula, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “Let me tell you something Toula, the man is the head, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.”

Colossians 3:18–19 (NLT) Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

  1. SHARING INTIMACY—God created marriage to be the source of the greatest human intimacy.  Intimacy is making a connection on a heart level.  If your marriage is not the primary source of connecting on a heart level you are headed for disaster.  A healthy marriage persistently pursues all three levels of intimacy:  physical intimacy, emotional intimacy and spiritual intimacy.

Genesis 2:24 (NLT) This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

  1. HEALTHY COMMUNICATION—Can you remember the hours you spent talking when you first met?  Healthy communication is not simply exchanging information but communicating for the purpose of connecting.  This intimate communication must continually happen if your marriage is to flourish.

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

  1. CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS—Marriage creates conflict.  Because we are fallen creatures, it can’t be entirely avoided.  Confession, forgiveness and restoration must be continually practiced in order to have a marriage that delights. When I was a Junior in High School the movie Love Story was released.  The most famous line of this movie was, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  This is not only sappy…it’s wrong.  Love means having to confess to one another and seek forgiveness and restoration.  To a marriage this is like breathing.  The Lord only knows how many times in the past 30 years I’ve had to ask Kathy to forgive me.

Colossians 3:13 (NLT) Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

This list includes only some of the most significant instructions included in God’s marriage manual—the Bible.  Several years ago, I endeavored to collect many of the most important Bible verses on the subject of marriage and arranged them with notes, outlines and articles on marriage.  I call this material simply “A Marriage Manual.”

Here is a link where you can download a free PDF of my “Marriage Manual”: https://onwardchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Marriage-Manual-2018.pdf

As I consider the privilege of doing life together with my incredible wife, I am reminded of two Scriptures that capture my thoughts,

Proverbs 18:22 (NLT) The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 31:10 (NLT) Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

I am in awe of God’s grace in bringing Kathy into my life!  She delights me in every way!  May the Lord in His mercy give us many more years to share together.

Onward delighted,

Pastor Gary