Husband & Wife for Life: Introduction
Today we begin a series of lessons on the subject of marriage. My wife Ranae and I were blessed to hear one of my favorite preachers--Glenn Colley--deliver some wonderful lessons on this theme last summer. Colley's presentations were focused on the marriage of the preacher and his wife and how they could make improvements in their marital relationship. The majority of what he had to say, of course, is applicable to any marriage. Much of what I'll be sharing in these lessons comes from the notes I took from his outstanding lectures. I understand that not everyone listening to or reading these lessons is married, but there are things to glean from this study even for the unmarried. In particular, young people who are contemplating marriage would be wise to study this subject. I also recommend that husbands and wives consider and discuss these lessons together to maximize the benefit for them.

Let me begin by asking some questions: Do you ever take time to evaluate your marriage--even to an informal degree? Is your marriage better now than it was in the beginning? Is it better now than it was five years ago? Is your relationship with your spouse continually improving, or is it on the decline? Making these evaluations may be difficult, but what's your gut feeling? Is your marriage going in the right direction?

Ranae and I have been married for nearly 7 years. We've been friends for nearly twice that long. If you ask her, she'd agree with what I'm about to tell you. Our marriage is better now than it has ever been, and we have every expectation that it will be even better in the future! It is my hope that you can say the same for your marriage. However, if you can't, don't despair! Your marriage can be as good as you and your spouse are willing to make it (but there is a price to pay). It's up to you and your mate to improve your marriage. Additionally, let us remember that possessing the knowledge to improve our marital relationships is useless if it is not put into practice!

It is my personal belief that the stronger a person becomes as a Christian, he or she will naturally be a better spouse and the marriage will directly improve. The more mature I become in my faith, the better Christian I should be. Consequently, I should also become a better husband and father. I see this as the key to the growth in the relationship Ranae and I share. We've both done some maturing in the past seven years. We've become more knowledgeable of what God expects of us. We're both less selfish now than we were then. We have more shared experiences now, and thus, more ways to relate to each other. We both have a better understanding now of what thrills and aggravates the other.

Please don't misunderstand me. Our life together as husband and wife has been good from the beginning because we did our best to found our marriage on principles of Christianity (we have to give much credit to our parents for the godly values they instilled in us). But, our marriage is even better now! Don't think for a minute that our marriage is perfect. It's not, but we strive toward that goal and you should too! It's just like our individual lives as Christians--we ought to strive toward sinless perfection, even though such will never be a reality here (cf. I John 1:8)! Ranae and I will continue to try to mature, grow in knowledge, and become less selfish. We'll never have a flawless marriage, but we intend to keep improving! It is my prayer that you share the same commitment toward your spouse and marriage. There are things we can all improve, if we desire such and work diligently toward that end.