Bisi Adewale
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” Matthew 7:24
Years back, a total of 6,000 successful couples were asked the secret of their strong marriages in a research that took about twenty-five years to complete. During this research conducted by hundreds of marriage counsellors, it was discovered that almost all of these 6,000 couples have some things in common, which happened to be the secret of their blissful homes. If we too can put them into our marriage, it will turn our homes to heaven on earth. They are:
(1)?Commitment. Commitment is a state of being willing to give a lot of time, energy and resources to one’s spouse. Commitment is being there for him/her when there’s every reason not to. It also means to be responsible to one’s spouse for defence and protection. “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” 1Corinthians 7:33

Successful couples are dedicated to promoting each other’s welfare and happiness. The sampled couples were committed to their marriage vow. They made their marriages top priority. They invested time and energy on their homes. There’s no marriage without its own challenges but commitment enables them to weather the storm. No marriage, no matter how good it seems, can be successful without the commitment of the parties involved. Without commitment, marriage will be in danger. Marriage is not a sprint; it is a marathon race, it requires courage, discipline and commitment to make it a success.
(2)?Spiritual Well-being. These happy couples were all children of God devoted to making the Bible their final authority in life. They were men and women of prayer. They didn’t joke with prayer. They allowed God in their homes and give Him the leadership role. Once the presence of God is missing in a marriage, the devil will be at the driver’s seat, driving such homes into stormy water. These couples secured the presence and peace of God while other heavenly benefits reigned supreme in their homes. “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” Isaiah 54:14
(3)?Time Together. Togetherness is compulsory for a marriage to thrive. Research indicates that couples who do things together tend to be closer. If your marriage must be strong, you must live together, talk, sleep, play, pray and eat together. Mind you, many things in life are competing seriously with your time to the detriment of your marriage. If care is not taken, your marriage may suffer. To make your home a success, make your spouse part of your daily schedules, regardless of how busy you are. Your marriage is very vital therefore put it into your daily routine.
Time is not negotiable in marriage; spend quality time together and generously. John Maxwell said, “A marriage can’t survive forever on leftover”
Time spent together as a couple is not a waste. It is the best way to fan the embers of love in your home. Investment of time is the best investment in your home.
(4)?Positive Communication. It takes a spark to set a house on fire. A careless spoken word can wreck the ship of any marriage. That is why H. Norman Wright in his book, Communication, Key to Your Marriage said “each person must be responsible for his own tongue-training programme. Controlling the tongue needs to be a continuing aim for every husband and wife because everything that is said either helps or hinders, heals or hurts, builds up or tears down. Husbands and wives who enjoy strong fulfilling marriage relationship have good communication skills – spending much time, saying positive words, sending positive messages and signals”.
Try as much as possible to avoid negative communications like “I hate you”, “I regret marrying you”, “you are a fool”, “you are an idiot” etc but make use of positive communication like “I love you”, “you are beautiful”, “you are unique” “I am fortunate to be your husband/wife”, etc Negative communication will bring frustration and sorrow into your home while positive communication will draw you closer to your spouse in love. So train your tongue to utter positive words concerning your spouse.
“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
(5)?Appreciation. Strong marriage is one where couples appreciate each other. They build each other up psychologically, giving sincere compliments and enhancing each other’s self-esteem. Appreciation means going out of your way to notice all the little things your partner does and letting him or her know you appreciate it.
To be appreciative, you must condition your mind towards it, focusing on the positive sides of your spouse, pointing to startling qualities of your spouse, showing genuine concern, laughing to his/her jokes, and offering helping hand.
These couples appreciated each other’s contributions at home, commended each other’s look, dressing, gifts, and qualities. Appreciation builds love and positive feelings towards each other. “A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth” Proverbs 12:14a
(6)?Forgiveness. Forgiveness is a strong pillar in a successful marriage since we cannot but offend each other. Couples that cannot forgive each other cannot build virile homes. Forgiveness reduces tension at home and removes strain from marriage. It paves way for intimacy. So makeup your mind to forgive your spouse no matter what he/she does to you. Forgiveness helps to stop the cycle of evil and shuts the devil completely out of the home.
(7)?Trust. A good marriage is based on trust, which is a bond that binds couples together. It makes them indispensable to each other. Trust destroys negative thinking and breaks the backbone of suspicion. It strengthens love and enhances intimacy in marriage.
(8)?Faithfulness. Faithfulness helps to build trust. To be fruitful in marriage, we have to be faithful. Lack of faithfulness brings extra-marital affairs, leading to STDs, suspicion, erosion of love, external attack, fear and marital collapse.
(9)?Love. Marriage without love is like a car without engine oil, it will soon knock down. Love makes the home stronger and better. It is the corner-stone of any successful marriage. It strengthens the family and boosts the relationship.