I have learned so much from Pastor Jerry Malone and his wife Judy. I asked them to send me a short essay on how to thrive in marriage and this is what they had to say, I hope you take their words of wisdom and cherish them in your heart:
Three things we suggest, to enjoy a Christ-centered marriage. Touch is first. Hug gently or lovingly touch each other each day. It is surprising how many couples live together day after day without this vital experience. It may be a morning, momentary embrace with a slow, first kiss experience, when time stops and all other thoughts are secondary . . . . or a warm touch on the shoulder as one rushes out the door.
Next, we must read aloud a verse or section of Scripture to each other each day. Read aloud, because our lips must move, our vocal chords vibrate and the other person (and God) hear the sound of our professing voice. Romans 10:9 states, “. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart . . . .” We have our time with God every morning and we share quotes from what we are reading, highlighting what the Spirit is teaching us for the day. We teach each other (Ephesians 5:21) and we learn how God has used His word to begin our days.
Third, pray together. Pray thanksgiving prayers and prayers of praise; humble prayers of confession; or bold prayers expecting to see God’s miracles during the day. But pray together, listening to each other and supporting each other. It seems to us few men pray with their wives at all, let alone pray together each day. My favorite verse on marriage is 1 Peter 3:7: “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” One of the most important purposes of marriage is that it is a prayer team!
Finally, remember that marriage is the earthly illustration of our eternal relationship with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32); so live it well!
Jerry and Judy Malone
Married June 26, 1971