By Kenneth W. Hagin
Having a great marriage begins with how we accept, receive, and act on what is in God's Word about this holy institution. First, our personal relationship with God must be strong for our marriage relationship to be strong. To develop and maintain a godly marriage, we must develop and maintain a close relationship with God. His Word must be final authority in our lives if we are to enjoy the success He intends for us.
When people need advice in any area of life, they can turn to the Bible. What does God say about marriage? We'll start with one of the most famous couples— Adam and Eve—and learn a few lessons from their marriage.
GENESIS 2:18, 22–24 (NIV)
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. . . ." Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
From these verses we see that God originally created man with the ability and the need for relationships. First, man had a relationship with God Himself. But God said that wasn't enough for man. Man was also designed to have a marriage relationship.
Man had an ideal environment in the Garden of Eden. His every material need was supplied. He was secure and protected. Yet in the midst of his ideal environment, Adam needed help. God created woman to dwell alongside man and be his lifelong helper, companion, partner, and counterpart.
We can learn some things about marriage by studying the account of Adam and Eve and seeing how they related to each other as husband and wife. One area in which we can learn from them is communication. Adam and Eve didn't always communicate effectively with each other. Eve didn't bother to talk to Adam before she ate the forbidden fruit. She didn't ask Adam what he thought about Satan's ideas and suggestions concerning God's command.
Adam was irresponsible in that he failed to communicate with Eve when she was tempted. He didn't tell her, "No, don't eat of the tree. Let's obey God." And Adam obviously didn't communicate much with Eve when she gave him the fruit, because he ate it too!
Open, loving communication is a key to a healthy marriage. In such a relationship, each partner can be truthful without the other becoming offended. That means that in certain situations, you are able to look at yourself and say, "My spouse is right, and I am wrong." When you can receive what your spouse has to say and then honestly admit you need to change, you're on your way to a great marriage!
God gave us a spouse to provide godly counsel and help us make good decisions. That's why Adam and Eve should have communicated better with each other. From their mistakes we can learn that we need to communicate effectively with our spouse.