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Are you in love, married or single and dating? Either way, relationships are such an essential aspect of our daily lives. Their success or failure has a significant impact on our happiness and our everyday functioning. Therefore we need to learn how to build and have strong relationships. I would love to share with you just five important key aspects of what forms the foundation to a lasting relationship and a happy marriage. Yes, I said a happy marriage. It is possible to have a beautiful marriage full of love and happiness, and we need to learn how.

Lay down your life

Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

In this small piece of scripture is the key to having a successful marriage. You need to lay your life down for your marriage partner just as Christ did for us, and we do for Him as well. It is no longer about you, or what you want and need, it is all about your spouse and what they want and need. This applies to both husband and wife! Nothing else teaches us to die to self more than the marriage, and praise the Lord for that. Is it easy to do? No. It will shape you and challenge you in many ways that will transform you into a better you. You will get better every day at serving and loving your spouse, just as Jesus loves and serves us.

Unfortunately, we are too busy today expecting our partner to fill us and make us happy, but if I make sure my partner is filled and they make sure I am filled, we will both be filled and happy. "But I don't want to fill my partner if he/she is not filling me as well." This attitude is not scriptural to have. Yes, you can, if you sow the seeds, you will start to reap them. Christ was our example in

Romans 5:8 (NKJ)

"…in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ."

This scripture explains, that when we did not want anything to do with God, He still chose to love us and lay down His life for us. Is it too much to ask that we do the same in our marriages? If you take the first step, your spouse will follow.

Love Languages

Everyone knows that after a few months, the feeling of being in love starts to fade away. So how do we stay in love for years and years to come. The answer is with the Love languages. Each one of us has an emotional tank that needs to be filled by our spouse. This tank has the effect of making us feel loved and special. This tank also runs low and needs to be filled continually, to go weeks and months without investing in your spouse's love language is very bad for your marriage. You have to know at least the top two love languages of your spouse and invest in it on a weekly basis. The power in doing love languages is amazing and will change your marriage forever. Love is and always will be the most powerful thing in this world. I will encourage you to buy a book called "The 5 Love Languages" to better your knowledge of your spouse's love language.

There are 5 love languages; the book contains a test to help you determine your love language.

  • Quality Time

  • Words of Affirmation

  • Physical Touch

  • Gifts

  • Acts of Service

The condition of your heart

We have all learned that the issues in our hearts affect the people around us, and most of all, our marriages. Our behaviour is influenced by hurt/trauma or unforgiveness that is caught up in our hearts. God created marriage to be a space where someone gets so close to you that they see all the good and the bad, this means that our spouse is affected the most by the condition of our hearts. As Christians, God encourages us to continually sit with Him and better/grow ourselves by working through issues that are in our hearts. It is not fair to your spouse if you are not spending time with the Lord to deal with matters in your heart. Never let your issues become a wilderness experience for your spouse. They will love you and pray for you through this journey of dealing with matters in your heart, but that must not mean that you can postpone it or struggle with the same thing for 5 to 10 years. God will help you if you are faithful to spend time with Him. In our house this is a rule, if you discover there is a matter in your heart that you need to deal with, it is your responsibility to make sure you seek God to work through it.

If you are not married yet make it a priority first to heal your heart and build yourself up in God so you can be a blessing to the person you are in a relationship with. We must always want to bring someone closer to God and build them up and never tear them down and pull them away from God. This will also help you not to be dependent on a partner for your acceptance because you have found it in the Lord.

Learn how

Unfortunately, some of us have been brought up in broken homes, and as a result of this, we have never learned how to love someone the right way. We can only rise as high as we have been taught. You are not going to know how to love your spouse the right and Godly way unless you learn how. I spoke about laying down your life. "How does one do that?" I want to encourage you to buy the book called "The Love Dare" and do the 40-day challenges. This book helps you to practically learn how to love someone the way God wants us to love our spouse. It will challenge you, but there is nothing better for us then to learn how to die to self and love your spouse unconditionally. We learn a lot about God's love when we start to love so purely.

The most important thing

You need to understand that marriage is something given by God, not man. It is Godly, and without God, it can not prosper. It is not human for someone to love another person according to 1 Cor. 13. It is not human to lay down your life for another. These are all Godly things, and for us to start doing Godly things, we need supernatural help, and we get that infilling of the Spirit when we sit with God in our Quiet time. Now I know that you are not as committed to it as you should be, so when are you going to start committing to it? Don't wait until your marriage is failing or your life is falling apart. You chose to give your heart to Him, but if you don't know Him and you are not spending Quiet time with Him to build the relationship, then you are not experiencing this Christian life to the fullest. I am pleading with you to please start having your Quiet time on a daily basis where you sit with God and worship, pray and read the Bible. You and your spouse both need to do this to have a beautiful and happy marriage. Keep each other accountable to sit with God daily.

Bonus tips

  • A man wants you to have a good relationship with his mother

  • Men value your words the most – always praise them, never talk them down

  • Words of praise are the key to a man's heart

  • He wants you to trust him to lead the family because your support helps him to do it

  • Honour him as the king of your house – by talking right about him in front of other people

  • Men have many fears, but if his wife believes in him, he gets the strength to be a man of God

  • Men need time to rest – make sure to give him space to do that something that lets him rest

  • Listen to him when he provides you with advise and apply it

  • Be his helper, not his mother – a mother will instruct, a helper will guide

  • Married ladies – make a fixed time at least twice a month where you will initiate to have intimacy with your husband. They enjoy it more when we have initiated it. They feel special, wanted and adored by you.

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