DIVORCE- PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE Seven Ways to Make Your Wife Your Best Friend
The Love Doctor
This week we are excited to bring you the Men in the Arena Podcast interview with Clarence Shuler (aka “The Love Doctor”) about his book, Keeping Your Wife Your Best Friend. Clarence was filmed as a marriage expert for one session of Oprah’s “Love Goals” reality show in 2020. He and his wife of 35 years, Brenda, are members of Family Life’s Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway speaker team, and he regularly speaks with Gary Chapman about his book, The Five Love Languages.
This Marriage Last Marriage
This morning I saw a selfie and post from a beautiful gal who was in my youth group two decades ago. The overwhelming sadness in her eyes compelled me to stop scrolling and read. Her post was her divorce announcement. By the undertones of her words, I almost audibly pondered, “I wonder what he did?”
It was clear something had wounded her soul.
In a world where divorce is expected by so many, there are some simple (not easy) things a man can do to make a marriage last a lifetime. As I have said hundreds of times, I am married to the most faithful (she is a holy woman), fierce (she is a warrior queen), relentless (she drives me crazy at times) woman who is my best friend and the most important person on the planet to me.
But our marriage has been hard. We have fought for every inch of ground—usually each other! Today, we are reaping the rewards (most of the time) of our hard work. Without Jesus, we both agree we may not have made it to almost 30 years!
Divorce Is Not an Option
I will not marry a couple for two reasons: if they refuse pre-marital counseling, or if divorce (under any circumstance) is ever an option. A relationship may start with love, but it ends with grit—a stubborn refusal to quit. Falling in love lasts a very short time. Rising into love lasts as lifetime. Get used to the commitment of love before you jump into marriage without counting the cost.
At a wedding, I will often ask congregants to replace the word “love” with their own name when reading out of 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. Try it: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Shanna and I have never fought to NOT divorce. We fight to win, instead of NOT to lose, which is why I liked Clarence Shuler’s, Keeping your Wife your Best Friend. I enjoyed the book but found some true nuggets at the end of the book when he wrote, “The last seven years of my marriage I have been practicing seven principles that are revolutionizing my marriage. Revolutionizing is the correct word because it’s a process as most marriages will always be in progress. The seventh practice is only about three years old.”
I was listening to a man called “The Love Doctor,” who has been married over 35 years, and he was wanting to share how his marriage is being revolutionized.
Don’t you want to find out what practice(s) you’re missing?!
Seven Practices to Revolutionize Your Marriage
Practice 1: Read and apply the truths of the Bible together.
How will you ever know what your best marriage can look like, without reading from the author of marriage?
Practice 2: Pray with your spouse.
From the book, Couples Who Pray, we read: “Virtually every one of the categories measuring marital bliss escalated significantly when couples simply prayed together a lot versus prayed together sometimes. In some cases, the swing was 15 to 30%.”
A national research study (1980) cited in Retrouvaille’s International Handbook established that married couples who attend church together weekly and read the Bible or pray together daily have a divorce rate of approximately 1 in every 1,105 marriages.
The most recent research from Dr Phil’s book, Relationship Rescue says that praying lowers a couple’s divorce chances to one out of ten thousand.
Do we need to say more?
Practice 3: Be a pleasure to be married to.
This was the most impactful statement for me. I have not been a pleasure to be married to in 2021. We formed new LLC, are undergoing a home update, workload is crazy, to name a few things, and quite frankly, I haven’t been a pleasure to be married to! Ask Shanna!
But I’m making changes so that it is a pleasure to be married to me. How about you? What would your wife say?
Practice 4: Develop a consistently adjusting attitude.
Listen. Understand. Don’t overreact. Adjust your attitude when things are going south. Completely listen to your wife to gather the context of what she is saying. Your bad attitude is your problem. Not hers. Give yourself and attitude adjustment when needed.
Practice 5: Love is a Verb
Shanna is a flight attendant, which means she regularly leaves the home for her hour commute before 5:00am and gets home after midnight. I make sure that she comes home to a clean house, kitchen candles lit, and a made bed (unless I’m sleeping in it).
I love Shanna.
Practice 6: Sexual Sensitivity to Your Wife
Practice 7: Become a Student and a Servant of Your Bride
It doesn’t matter if you’re a high school dropout or hold a master’s degree, every man should have a Ph.D. in knowing and serving his wife. No one should know your bride better than you—not her parents, not her friends, and not her relatives.
You! You are the one! Master the art of knowing, loving, and serving your bride.
Boots on the Ground
Becoming His Best Version,
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