God has given us a formula for a successful marriage in His Word. It is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, a passage of Scripture that speaks of the attributes of love.
The first thing we read in these verses is that love is both patient and kind. Patience is a one of the fruit of the Spirit. When you demonstrate patience in your relationship with your spouse, when you work at persevering through tribulation, you are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you and in your marriage. Kindness is also a fruit of the Spirit and an attribute of God. When you show kindness to your spouse, whether or not it is deserved, it allows you to become more like Jesus. Love that is patient and kind can help to strengthen a marriage.
Love is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. These things are works of the flesh and war against the Spirit. They should have no place in marriage. They can only lead to destruction, tearing apart a marriage. By walking and living in the Spirit, by working at keeping Christ at the center of your marriage, you can be successful at avoiding these things.
Love is not irritable. Irritability can be hurtful and drive a wedge between you and your spouse. No one likes to be around a person who is irritable. Irritability is something that we should all strive to control. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. All of us at sometime in our lives may be hurt or wronged by our spouse. But real love, the kind of love that God shows us, is willing to forgive and forget. We are commanded to forgive. But forgiveness by itself is not enough. You must also forget. You must not keep a record of wrongs. When you are willing to forgive and forget, healing can take place in your relationship with your spouse.
Love never gives up. It never loses faith and is always hopeful. Jesus has told us that we will have trouble in this world. When trouble comes in your marriage, when things aren’t going the way you would like, it may be tempting and even the easy way out to just give up and walk away. But, love does not give up. When you love someone, you must always hold on to your faith in God and remain hopeful that He will help you through your tough times. When you do that, you allow your love to be the kind of love that endures through any circumstance, good or bad.
When you follow God’s formula, when you strive to have this kind of love, your relationship with your spouse will be what God intends it to be and God will bless your relationship now and for all the years of marriage that He blesses you with.