God created marriage to be a great and wonderful life adventure between a man and woman and we are to be good stewards over them.

Every marriage is a work in progress, requiring adjustments continually.  It is wise for couples to realize that remodeling jobs are necessary to stay in love for a lifetime.  There is upkeep needed to care for a marital relationship in the same way upkeep is needed to maintain a home. 

With a home, there must be daily upkeep to make a home a wonderful place to call home. Creating a beautiful home requires great planning, with knowledgeable contractors, craftsmen, and decorators. Just like walls do not paint themselves, grass doesn’t mow itself, and dishes do not clean themselves, a marriage does not magically become strong and beautiful on its own.  Homes that receive consistent tender loving care are appraised at higher value.  In the same way, every marriage given consistent love and attention will become a masterpiece and sanctuary of God’s love.

It is such a rewarding experience building a long-lasting love.  Couples must have a marital strategy for staying in good shape. Couples must make a decision to build a love that lasts, using a great set of plans for building. Deciding to be positive, forgive, tackle transitions, and leave a legacy of love helps couples establish a godly blueprint of a loving marriage. These everyday tools will help couples that work on their marriage to build a marriage of love.

  • Decide to be Positive. In marriage, couples must make a positive decision to choose the way they handle circumstances, their mate’s moods, and their own emotions.  When life is challenging, couples must still choose to be positive. The love that couples are to decorate their marriage in is well stated in God’s Word:

Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message).

In addition, couples operating in God’s love continually major on positive communication.  Positive communication, filled with love, produces satisfied couples and great relationships. When couples decide to be positive, positive words will continually flow in their marriage, which builds a stronger love fueled with positivity.

  • Decide to Forgive. The most important skill in maintaining unity as a couple is decorating your marriage with forgiveness.  In marriage, couples will make mistakes, disappoint one another, and make poor decisions.  No one can deny that these things will occur. 

The apostle Paul gave us a wonderful challenge in the Word of God regarding forgiveness:    

Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.  Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you (Colossians 3:13 The Message).

In marriage, forgiveness frees you to go forward in life and in relationships.  It is a vertical, private act between you and God.

Continually forgiving your mate is all about grace and love, which covers the integrity of the relationship. Forgiveness helps couples to want the best for each other, regardless of the cost to each other. When couples grasp how much God loves them, extending grace and unconditional love to each other is easy, producing a marriage that will overflow with God’s love.

  • Decide to Tackle Transitions. Every house goes through being painted, carpeted, wallpapered, and furnished. In the same way, every marital relationship needs to be decorated for transitions.  Transitions in life can make or break a marriage. How couples handle transitions will affect the quality and stability of their marriage, challenging each other to become stronger people.

Transitions are a bit like dynamite.  They have the power to move mountains and create an easier building process, but they can also destroy the marriage you are building.  The decision is yours.  Couples can allow the transitions to tear them apart or choose to team up and tackle the transitions together.    

 There are godly ways to decorate your marriage through transitions for a long-lasting marriage of love.  Here are a few to consider:

  1. Have a daily time of prayer together, to commune with God for the health of your marriage.
  2. Have a nightly bible study to promote togetherness in the Word of God.
  3. Attend God-centered marriage enrichment groups, marriage conferences, and/or marriage retreats together.
  4. Invest in DVD’s, CD’s, and books by Christian marriage leaders to enrich your knowledge of marriage God’s way.
  5. Have godly mentors that have successful marriages in your lives.
  6. Have a weekly date night.

Transitions are inevitable in life. Couples can commit to making transitions smooth by building together to maintain love, togetherness, and intimacy to maneuver through life’s challenges. A daily confession of Ephesians 5:1-2 daily will produce love in couples’ hearts as they watch transitions become areas to break through walls to build stronger love and intimacy for the glory of God:

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that.  (Ephesians 5:1-2 The Message)

  • Decide to Leave a Legacy of Love. Couples should make it their life mission to leave a legacy of love for their children and generations to come.  In God’s Word, it states that a good man leave an inheritance to his children’s children for wealth and blessings (Proverbs 13:22 ESV).  This inheritance can be a legacy of love that passes from generation to generation. Some areas to consider as a team for building a legacy are establishing family core values, a marriage mission statement, and a family motto. As couples, you can decide how your love and life will shine.  Every family has a unique gifting that is supposed to leave a positive impact in the world.  Couples should consider living godly standards daily out loud, leaving a legacy of love that will impact all generations to come.

Marriage is truly worth the investment, utilizing the four best decisions that couples can make in marriage. Deciding to be positive, forgive, tackle transitions, and leave a legacy of love can lay a strong foundation, just like building a home, to help couples stay in love and finish the journey strong as a godly couple. 

May God bless each couple as they begin their adventure to experience more love, happiness, togetherness, and a closer walk with God using these four principles.