The Greatest Marriage Advice Ever

Sometime in the year before my wedding, I received “my greatest marriage advice ever.”

It came from a deacon at my church. I was young–really young–and he was about my father’s age with children my age. After visiting with his family, he followed me to my automobile and gave me these powerful words–“Marriage is great but you have to work at it.”

I’ve never forgotten those words. They have affected almost all of the decisions Martha and I have made about our relationship.

If you want an exceptional marriage, you have to work at it. In other words, you have to want it. If you want it badly enough, you will work hard to have what God intended for you.

What else should you do to strengthen your marriage?

First, make a renewed commitment to have a better marriage. There’s something powerful about making an open decision to “do better.” Be sure to tell your spouse what you want to do. Share with a Godly, trusted friend or a pastor what you are determined to do.

Marriage begins with a commitment, but it shouldn’t be the last commitment you make.

Second, determine to be kind, compassionate, and tender-hearted. Choose to forgive and overlook the imperfections of your spouse. This is what the Bible tells us to be toward other believers (Ephesians 4:32). Shouldn’t that include the believer who is closer to us than any other?

At the same time, we should get rid of all of those things that hurt relationships–things like envy, jealousy, malice, selfishness, and resentment (Ephesians 4:31).

Third, don’t expect perfection. Whether you are male or female, perfection is impossible.

I often tell couples planning to marry that what they’ve always dreamed about is an impossibility. Marriages aren’t perfect, but they are a blessing.

Don’t expect perfection. Do expect to give it your best.

Fourth, trust God in your marriage as you do other parts of your life. Ask Him to bless you and your spouse.

Pray for God to bless your spouse. Instead of praying for her or his change, pray that you would change. Instead of asking God to make your spouse better, ask Him to make you better. Do this, and you will be surprised what takes place.

It’s hard to find something better than a marriage between two believers who seek God and determine to please God through their marriage.

I pray you will have that kind of blessing.

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2 Comments


  1. Bruce Kite
    Feb 15, 2018

    Incredibly simple; impossibly difficult: without Christ. I’ve often counseled couples by telling them that marriage is the hardest work l’ve every done, but the greatest paycheck I’ve ever gotten! Thanks, Doc, for this encouragement. Wouldn’t be surprised if your outline showed up in a Cheyenne pulpit soon. Bless ya!


    • Waylon
      Feb 16, 2018

      Thanks, Bruce. Cheyenne? We drove through their last summer. We love Wyoming.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. — Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV)