Since we provided a list of the things WE DO to keep our marriage strong, we figured it was just as important to list the things we DON’T DO to hurt our marriage. Convictions are best formed before you are tempted in that area. That is why this list is so important! Most of them we formed at the beginning of our marriage. Other’s were formed after experiencing the effects of not having a strong conviction, in other words–learn from our mistakes!
Here they are in no particular order:
We Don’t Do DIVORCE
- We purposed on day one that we would never think of divorce as an option. Any trouble or difficulty would have to be faced head on, no matter how painful. And our commitment was tested. Having this conviction from the outset kept us from ever going there in our thinking or even worse in our arguments.
We Don’t Do PUT DOWNS
- By God’s grace we have never called each other a derogatory name. Adjectives that describe your spouse in a bad light, either to their face or behind their back hurts your marriage in more ways than you may know.
We Don’t Do COMPETITION
- Oh of course we love some fun competition from time to time, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We have seen couples compete for all kinds of things like having the last say on a topic. Correcting their spouse on every detail when telling a story.
We Don’t Do MOVIES/MAGAZINES/WEBSITES WITH NUDITY
- I am grateful for my husband’s commitment to guard his eyes and his heart in this aspect of our marriage. It’s hard enough as wives to not be affected by the constant barrage of our society’s idea of a perfect 10. But it’s even harder when the husband insists he “can handle it.” Tom has an open door policy on this and invites me to ask him whenever I want to know how he’s doing in this area. He has promised to always tell me the truth, even if he’s been tempted. He also makes himself accountable to good friends who know him well. I also have his permission to go to those friends for help if I feel he isn’t giving me honest answers–something I’m grateful I’ve never had to do.
We Don’t Do DECEIT
- We both realize that it is God who searches and knows our hearts better than we do. Any time we’re tempted to put a sugar-coating on our sinful behavior is simply delaying the inevitable. Our sins will find us out–the Bible teaches us–and we’ve seen this happen time and time again. It’s best to commit upfront to never be deceitful, even if the truth will hurt.
We Don’t Do LIFE APART FROM THE CHURCH
- Christ died and was raised again, so He might present to Himself a bride without spot or wrinkle. The church is the bride for whom He died. We have found a local church we love, where we are known and where we are missed when we are out of town. It is so important to continually feed your spirit by hearing the Word of God preached on a regular basis. You’ll never know what you’ve missed, as our pastor has often said.
We Don’t Do ANYTHING OUR SPOUSE IS UNAWARE OF
- Period. Unless it’s something to surprise them at a later date. If there’s a relationship at work, on-line or at church where the conversation is more than your spouse would be comfortable knowing about or have difficulty understanding, then you’ve crossed the line into emotional intimacy that is very dangerous to your marriage. We know each other’s passwords for cell phones, computers, bank accounts, everything. And we share all things jointly–no separate bank accounts.
We encourage you to take some time together and talk about your DO’s and DON’T’s. It will help you stay focused and committed when difficult days come and will serve as a barometer to check how you are progressing as the years pass.