By Dr. Ed Young

I’ve counseled couples for decades. And I’ve seen three types of marriages…

  • Hawaii marriages. These relationships are warm, romantic, growing, and beautiful. Think hammocks. Hawaii marriages are great.

  • Colorado marriages. It’s bitterly cold in the winter, but crisp and beautiful in the summer. Colorado marriages are up and down. On average, they’re lukewarm.

  • North Pole marriages. It’s the tundra — hard, no emotions, metallic, mechanical, dead, lifeless, and boring. These marriages are basically just an endurance battle.

Whatever kind of marriage you have, God can redeem and strengthen your relationship. His Word gives you the supernatural formula for building love that lasts a lifetime.

Here are God’s six ingredients for a successful marriage:

  1. Acceptance: “Accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us” (Romans 15:7). I’ve been told that 70% of married people married their opposites. You’re different from your spouse – just accept it! No one is right or wrong; you’re just different.

  2. Attention: “Fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). You have to give attention to the one you love.

  3. Adjustment: “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). You’re not going to change your mate. Only God can change somebody. You have to adjust to one another.

  4. Amnesty: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). There has to be time-out time. There has to be forgiveness.

  5. Appreciation: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We don’t need to nag; we need to brag. There has to be appreciation for one another.

  6. Affection: “Greet one another with a holy kiss”(Romans 16:16). Just as food nourishes your body, so do a gentle touch and other physical expressions of love nourish your soul.

If you want love that lasts a lifetime, put these six ingredients into practice. If you want to move away from a tundra kind of marriage, to at least a Colorado marriage, and even all the way to a Hawaii marriage, just follow this prescription. And I guarantee your marriage will live again.