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February 10, 2016

3 Keys To Fortify Your Family

In an effort to draw on the experiences of those who have lived together successfully as husbands and wives, we asked married couples to participate in an informal study. More than six hundred people agreed to speak candidly about the concepts and methods that have worked in their homes. The advice is not new, but it's a great place to begin.

1. A Christ-Centered Home

Our panel first suggested that married couples should establish and maintain a Christ-centered home and meaningful prayer life. The Christian way of life lends stability to marriage because its principles and values naturally produce harmony. Christian teaching emphasizes giving to others, self-discipline, and love and fidelity between a husband and wife. It is a shield against addictions to alcohol, pornography, gambling, and other behaviors damaging to the relationship.

2. Committed Love

Our panel focused on committed love that is braced against the inevitable storms of life. We will experience hardship and stress at some point. Life will test each of us. Jesus spoke of this when He said to His disciples, "In this world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world" (John 16:33)

Marriages that lack an iron-willed determination to hang together at all costs appear secure until they are put under pressure. There are times in every good marriage when a husband and wife don't like each other very much. There are occasions when they feel as though they will never love their partners again. Emotions are like that.

Young couples assume that the sunshine and flowers that characterize courtship will continue for the rest of their lives. Don't believe it!

3. Communication

The inability or unwillingness of husbands to reveal their feelings to their wives is one of the common complaints of women. Show me a quiet, reserved husband and I'll show you a frustrated wife. She wants to know what he's thinking and what happened at his office and how he sees the children, and especially, how he feels about her. The husband, by contrast, finds some things better left unsaid. It is a classic struggle.

He must press himself to open his heart and share his deeper feelings with his wife. Time must be reserved for meaningful conversations. Taking walks and going out to breakfast and riding bicycles on Saturday mornings are conversation inducers that keep love alive.

From Dr. Dobson's book Love For A Lifetime.

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