By Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
If you haven't read the first half, you can find 30 Days To A Stronger Marriage - Part One HERE.
We now continue our journey through the “one anothers” of the New Testament, with the admonishment to put faith into action when it comes to our marriages. Part Two covers the final 15 verses (from the NASB). As before, take a moment and read each passage in context. Then, prayerfully ask God for how He wants you to respond to His commandment. Communicate this intentionally and as a blessing to your spouse…in word and in deed.
Day 16: “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” Eph. 5:19
There are so many things we can be filled with at any given moment. Yet, the Spirit of God who dwells in us, longs to give praise and worship to the Creator. What is the melody of your heart or the beauty found in His Word? Share it, speak it, write it, and sing it to the one you love.
Day 17: “…and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Eph. 5:21
We humans can be so independent. Surrender is not a popular word to be found in our personal or daily lexicon. There is a subtle, but significant difference between “being subject to” and “being subjected to.” One is a choice. Where would God have you yield today in love?
Day 18: “…put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other…” Col. 3:12-13
Forbearance is defined as the capacity to maintain patient self-control, restraint and tolerance in a situation or with another person. We often convince ourselves of our “rights” in the marriage, especially when we are wronged. Be determined to have a refraining heart today.
Day 19: “Regard one another as more important than yourself.” Phil. 2:3
We all have needs and wants and they can be critically important at any given time. “Deferring” to your spouse on a matter is a way of “preferring” your spouse and focusing on his or her priorities. Will you delay and postpone gratification so that you may show favor and blessing?
Day 20: “And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another.” 1 Thess. 3:12
There are dates and then there are cheap dates. God has given us the greatest of gifts—forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. His example encourages us to love with abundance—freely, lavishly, bountifully and without measure. Start from the moment you wake up.
Day 21: “Comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess. 4:18
Grief, pain and loss are all too familiar on this side of eternity. We live in a broken world. Most of us long for the day when we will be with God, where He will end all suffering, wipe every tear away and comfort our hearts. How can you bring a little bit of heaven to your spouse?
Day 22: “Encourage one another.” 1 Thess. 5:11
To encourage means giving the courage needed in times of trial and adversity. It is also a way to provide support, confidence and hope. Are you your spouse’s biggest cheerleader? Today is the day to champion your loved one… to celebrate, inspire, motivate and uplift him or her in Christ.
Day 23: “Live in peace with one another.” 1 Thess. 5:13
Merely tolerating someone or a situation is entirely different than pursuing harmony with those we are closest to. Resonance implies that one object will take on the attributes of another in close proximity. What measure of peace is within you that will transform your marriage?
Day 24: “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…” Heb. 10:24
Stimulation typically increases interest and activity. It often revives, refreshes, restores and reinvigorates something that has been stagnant and dying. Living water is moving water—it flows freely. What needs to be released to make a difference in the name of love and action?
Day 25: “Do not complain, brethren, against one another…” James 5:9
Tearing down and tearing apart are much easier than building up and building together. For every expression of dissatisfaction or annoyance with your spouse, consider offering ten affirmations. How will you exchange the complaint for a compliment, the grievance for grace?
Day 26: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” James 5:13
For some, the thought of complete transparency produces an anxious heart. We fear failure and/or rejection. Yet, exchanges between a husband and wife, from soul to soul and spirit to spirit, create the deepest intimacy. Will you trust your spouse today? Will you trust God today?
Day 27: “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sin.” 1 Pet. 4: 8
Marriage and passion are like fire. They require fuel and they need constant tending. The nature of fire is to consume whatever is there and then it will self-extinguish. What will you kindle in your marriage today that will keep your love hot, burning and full of Christlikeness?
Day 28: “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” 1 Pet. 4:9
Everyone knows what it’s like to feel welcomed and embraced by another. Is your spouse also your best friend? Do you genuinely enjoy each other’s company? Do you laugh and play well together? Consider a generous dose of warmth, openness and positive regard today.
Day 29: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Pet. 4:10
Stewardship means that something of value has been entrusted to us by another. It belongs to the Master, but is usually for a greater purpose. We are expected to manage our time, talent, and treasure with faithfulness. What is in your hand? How will you invest it in your marriage?
Day 30: “…and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…” 1 Pet. 5:5
In God’s upside down kingdom, humility—the epitome of the lowest place—is in actuality, the highest place. Clothes are used to cover the “flesh.” They are what is seen and more often than not, make a statement to others. What does your spouse see? May it be a humble meekness.
Marriage Without Fighting
How to Change Your Spouse
5 Truths for True Love in Your Marriage
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, is the President of LIV Enterprises & Consulting, LLC and CEO for the Alignment Association, LLC. He is the former Vice President of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), as well as the former Department Chair for Counseling Programs at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He is an adjunct professor and the Senior Editor for both AACC and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. Dr. Scalise is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with 36 years of clinical and professional experience in the mental health field. Specialty areas include professional and pastoral stress and burnout, compassion fatigue, mood disorders, marriage and family issues, combat trauma and PTSD, addictions and recovery, crisis response, grief and loss, leadership development, life coaching, and lay counselor training. He is a published author with Zondervan, Baker Books, and Harvest House, is a national and international conference speaker, and frequently works with organizations, clinicians, ministry leaders, and churches on a variety of issues. Dr. Scalise and his wife, Donna, have been married for 36 years, have twin sons who are combat veterans serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and three grandchildren.
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