Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series on marriage.  I am by no means an expert, but this subject is something I am truly passionate about and I feel that God has placed a message on my heart that needs to be shared.  My husband and I have been blessed to be together since 1981 and during that time, as in all marriages, there have been some ups and downs.  Things haven’t always been flawless.  But, I’m happy to say there have mainly been “ups” in our relationship and the years have been filled with incredible joy and love.  I must admit, however, that I’ve made my share of mistakes.  When challenges came, I didn’t always handle them the way I should.  Some of my missteps have been minor, but some I wish I could erase from my memory forever!  However, through it all, God has been faithful!  He has taught us to always value each other and to remember that God has given us a true gift in one another. 

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, 
let no one separate.”  Matthew 19:6

Below is a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” of things that God has taught me throughout the years.  Some came easily to me, but others were learned the hard way.  This list is by no means complete as each day God is teaching me more and more.  I humbly offer this to you with the prayer that it will come as encouragement to you in your own marriages.  We can love for a lifetime.  There is hope.  There are miracles.  I have experienced them first hand.
  • Do decide to stay in love. Love is a choice we make to obey God.  (John 13:34)
  • Do love intentionally.  Love is a verb not simply a noun. (1 John 3:18)
  • Do appreciate him... and show it! (Philippians 1:3)
  • Don’t ever take him for granted.  (1 Corinthians 1:4)
  • Do always show respect, even when you don’t agree on something. Disagreeing is not an excuse to be rude. (Ephesians 5:33)
  • Don’t ridicule or talk him down in public  - or in private for that matter! (James 4:11)
  • Do remember why you first fell in love. (Song of Songs 2:3-6)
  • Don’t complain (there’s another word for that, but…) (Proverbs 25:24)
  • Don’t nag - it doesn’t do anything but annoy. (Proverbs 27:15)
  • Don’t try to change him.  That’s not your job.  It’s God’s.  (Jeremiah 32:37)
  • Do remember, you aren’t perfect either. (Romans 5:23)
  • Do forgive. “A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” - Ruth Bell Graham. (Colossians 3:13)
  • Do encourage him.  What is important to him should be important to you.  (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Do help each other.  Marriage is a partnership. (Genesis 2:18)
  • Do point out his strengths & positives, not his weaknesses. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Do Listen.  Focus on Him when he is talking. (James 1:19)
  • Do discuss things - don’t scream things. (Ecclesiastes 9:17)
  • Don’t be deceitful – even in the little things for little things will grow.  Tell him about that new blouse you bought – don’t hide it the closet and when he discovers it say, “Oh, that?  I’ve had that for months!” (Colossians 3:9)
  • Do share and communicate.  (Proverbs 12:14)
  • Don’t be lazy in the relationship.  Remember all those things you used to do when you first met him?  Keep doing them! (Proverbs 20:4)
  • Do go on dates with him – Dates don’t have to cost anything!  A walk and a picnic is a perfect time to reconnect.  Or, serving dinner in front of the fireplace or adding a few candles turns boring into romantic. (Song of Songs 1:2)
  • Do have fun together – Plan outings, try new things, play! (Isaiah 55:12)
  • Do be deliberately spontaneous!  Plan romance – that’s ok!! (Song of Songs 7:1-13)
  • Do random acts of kindness. (Luke 6:31)
  • Do discover his “love language”.  What you might like isn’t necessarily what he likes.  I love words of affirmation, but I know that my husband feels loved when I do special things for him. (Psalm 119:36)
  • Do things that he likes.  You’ll find that as an added blessing, he’ll start to do things you like, too!  (1 Peter 4:10)
  • Do be nice!  Why save our best side for strangers? (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • Do laugh together. (Proverbs 17:22)
  • Do pray together and for each other. (Matthew 18:19)
  • Do thank him. Don’t let a kind action go unnoticed. (Romans 1:8)
  • Do compliment him.  (Ephesians 4:29)
  • Don’t give up – nothing is impossible with Christ. (Matthew 19:26)
  • Do greet him happily and joyfully when he arrives home.  Our dogs do this…why don’t humans? (1 Peter 4:9)
  • Do enjoy today, look forward to the future and don’t dwell in the past. (Isaiah 43:18)
  • Do love, love, love! (Colossians 3:14)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Through Christ,


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  1. This is a wonderful do/don't list, Joan. Our marriages are worth every moment of love and care we give them.


  2. shannonquigleyOctober 27, 2012

    what a great list with verses connected. thank you!

  3. I agree...as with any relationship, when we treat it well, it flourishes!

  4. Thanks Shannon! I pray it is an encouragement to you!

  5. Brenda yoderOctober 28, 2012

    This was a great list!

  6. Thank you, Brenda! It is not complete...as each day God is teaching me more and more. For that I am truly grateful! My husband read the list and wanted to write his own! So, I'll be posting that in the days to come! Blessings to you!

  7. A really encouraging, wonderful list to share, Joan.
    I make a point of thanking my husband for everything he does for us, and it always makes him smile :) We laugh a lot, and share in each other's interests. Praying and reading devotions together has been wonderful for us, and know that this places Jesus firmly in the centre; the third strand that holds us together in His love.

  8. Hi Anita! You hit on the key element of a successful marriage: placing Jesus firmly at its center! He is what holds us together throughout anything that comes our way. Blessings!

  9. Hi Joan - my marriage is very important to me and what i love most about your post is how practically and straight-forward you have laid it out. Thank you! I will be printing this out and putting it on the inside of my cupboard door. EVERY bit of biblical, Godly advice is worth focusing on for the sake of one's marriage. I will be saving this post to my list of favourites (a tab on my blog) so that others too can find it. God bless and I am really looking forward to your next post in this series.

  10. friskychileOctober 29, 2012

    A great post Joan; love all your thoughts and verses to refer to! Marriage provides us with lots of happiness but also challenges, and when we keep God in the heart of the relationship, we will live and be blessed and fulfilled in the good times and the bad times. :)

    Many wonderful blessings for your week!


  11. Wendy @ E-1=AOctober 29, 2012

    Thank you for this excellent list Joan.

    I hope you don't mind if I add a link to this post on my Inspiration page here:http://encourage-1-another.blogspot.co.uk/p/inspiration.html

  12. Oh, what a lovely list - a labor of love!


  13. I love this list (and post) Thanks Joan for taking the time to put it together.

  14. Sharon ClaassenOctober 29, 2012

    Wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you for sharing this list with us...I'm looking forward to you sharing more of your thoughts and wisdom on marriage.

  15. Thank you, Tracy! God loves marriage and wants us to flourish in ours! I love how He puts instructions for success in His word! The next post will be a guest writer -- my husband! He wanted to get on board with this series and write his own list! I'll have it up on Wednesday. Blessings to you! Joan

  16. Keeping God at the heart of our relationship with our husbands is key! When we do that, we can get through any storm that comes our way...God has shown that to us first hand! =) Have a blessed week, too!

  17. Hi Wendy! I'd be honored for you to add the link. I am passionate about marriage and if this list helps even one person, I will be blessed! God loves us and He loves marriage. He wants us to succeed in them! And with Him...all things are possible! Blessings!

  18. Thank you, Rina. Yes...it was a labor of love -- and a sweet labor at that! My husband and I have learned many things about marriage and love over the years, and through it all, God has been faithful! We are blessed to have Him at our center!

  19. Thank you, Salina! For a while now I have had this desire to go deeper into marriage on my blog. It is a desire that has become stronger and stronger over the past few months. I feel that God has placed this desire on my heart and that He wants me to share some of our testimony in order to give hope to other women in their own marriages. The time has come to speak honestly and openly and to share the miracles that God has done in our marriage and will do for others in theirs. In His grip, Joan

  20. Thank you, Sharon! As I wrote below in my comment to Salina (below), I feel that now is the time to share what is on my heart about marriage. My husband and I are witness to God's healing hand and to the message that there is hope for marriages, even in this day and age! Roy wrote a list of his own which I will post mid week, and then after that, I'll be diving into our testimony and what God says about marriage. Blessings to you, Sharon! In His grip, Joan

  21. Laurie CollettOctober 29, 2012

    Such excellent advice, Joan! Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!

  22. wonderful list, Joan! I haven't been by in a while and have missed reading your posts! With such a high divorce rate in this country, we are wise to follow these dos and don'ts. Have a blessed week!

  23. Thank you, Laurie! I am hoping that by sharing what God has shown and taught me, others will be encouraged! Blessings, Joan

  24. Hi Ann! Thanks for stopping by...I know how it is trying to keep up with everyone's blogs! :-) I hope all is well with you! I agree...with the sky rocketing divorce rate, it is good to look to God's word and to share what He has taught us! Blessings!


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