“Husbands…be considerate.”                                     1Pe 3:7 NIV

“Wives…be…worthy of respect.”                              1Ti 3:11 NIV

A couple celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary was asked the secret to their success. The husband replied, “The day we got married we agreed that if an argument arose I’d go out and stand on the porch until I cooled off. And it worked like a charm; fifty years of being outdoors in all that fresh air was exactly what this relationship needed!” If you’ve been spending too much time out on the porch, here are three ways to strengthen your marriage: (1) Commitment—“You’re first.” Speaking those words on special occasions is easy, but you need to speak them seven days a week. A movie star who’d been through several failed marriages told an interviewer, “I’ve given up trying to find the right person. Now I’m working at becoming the right person.” That formula always works! (2) Concern—“What do you need?” Husbands and wives are as different as chalk and cheese. And to complicate things further, their needs change according to the season of life they’re in. So when you ask, “How are you today?” slow down and listen. Your wife may not want you to solve the problem, but to share it. Closeness in marriage isn’t an accident. It’s a decision you make, and keep making every day. (3) Coping—“We can work it out.” Marriage may alleviate the problem of loneliness, but it presents the challenge of getting along with another person. It teaches you that you can’t always avoid conflict, but you can make it work for you. The truth is, unless there are two winners in a marriage, there are none at all.