As a pastor and author on marriage issues, I'm often asked, "What does it take to make a great marriage?"
It's a great question, and while there's no shortcut to building a solid, lifelong relationship, the recipe is simpler than we might think. I'm going to take EVERYTHING I've learned about marriage from my years of research and ministry and boil it down into the simplest description possible. Here's what it takes to have a great marriage…
If you take everything you need for a great marriage, and boil it all down into only four vital components, I believe it would be these four below. If you're missing any one of these, make it a priority to strengthen it. Even if you're strong in three of these areas, missing ANY one of these is enough to sink a marriage, so don't overcompensate in one area as a substitute for the absence of another. Deal with the issues. Don't make excuses; make solutions.
Your marriage will thrive when you have a committed focus to growing together with your spouse in these four areas:
The first component of a great marriage is faith. As a follower of Jesus and a believer in the Bible's teachings, I'm firmly convinced that if you will build your foundation on this foundation, you'll be able to weather any storm life throws you way. Some of the deepest frustrations in marriage can happen when a husband and wife aren't equally committed to their faith. This is the point where people like to disagree and debate with me the most, but I'm more convinced than ever that the strongest marriages have the strongest faith.
The strongest marriages have a strong friendship at the foundation. When the friendship aspect of the marriage is overlooked, there's an emptiness and a loneliness.The best marriages exist between best friends.
Marriage also requires strong partnership. The key word here is unity. Unified "partners" share common goals, household duties, parenting responsibilities and a focus for creating a shared legacy which will outlive them both.
Friendship and partnership are both important but without consistent and mutually-fulfilling sexual intimacy, the marriage will be missing a vital component. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it's nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it!