Written by JB & Shugie Collingsworth
Recently one of our children was moaning about a poor test grade. With
a desperate look and a plea for sympathy, he suggested, "I don't think
I have ever been taught how to study. I really just don't know what to
It sounded like an excuse, but I decided to start where he was and
told him we would help him learn how to study. I asked, "Did you read
the material more than once?" "No," he replied. I continued, "Did your
teacher give a study guide?" "Well, she gave us terms to define but it
was not required, so I did not do them."
"Okay," I replied, "Let's start with the obvious and figure out what
studying is. It really is not rocket science. Read the chapter at
least twice, with a highlighter in hand, marking each term as you come
to it. Then type up the terms and
define each so you can use this sheet to review in preparation for the
next test. Ask if the teacher offers tutoring or group study time and
plan to attend."
This child's schedule began to change gradually and he actually put
into practice some of these simple, basic suggestions. Guess what?
Next test he made a much better grade and he was so proud of himself!
Why am I telling you this story? In marriage we sometimes complain and
blame our unhappiness on our spouse.
Usually that is time to go back to basics and put into practice some
of the simple clear instructions God has given us in the Bible. Here
are some suggestions for you to put into practice today.
1. Be nice to your spouse! It is amazing how relationships improve
when we decide to be nice and kind and thoughtful. Not only will your
presence and your deeds of
service pour out a blessing on your spouse, you will find yourself
much happier for having been nice.
2. Watch your tongue. We choose our words and they have the power to
build up or tear down. Can you determine to choose words wisely, at
least for a day? God's word instructs, "Let no unwholesome word
proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for
edification . . . , that it may give grace to those who hear,"
That instruction is for you and me!
3. Turn away from temptation and evil. God knows we will have
opportunity to behave badly, but He has given instructions for our
good and for the success of our
marriage and family. Obey God when He says, "... deny ungodliness and
worldly desires and live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the
present age," Titus 2:12. In
Ephesians 5:4 we find, "Do not let immorality or any impurity or greed
be named among you, and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or
coarse jesting, which are not fitting..."
4. Read a Proverb a day. Whatever the day of the month is, read that
Proverb. And commit to obey what God says through the passage each
day. We should know by now that God is much more trustworthy than we
are. We do ourselves a favor when we follow His instructions rather
than our selfish whims.
5. Never forget you are not on your own! You will find joy and
contentment when you lean on God and allow Him to accomplish His will
in your marriage, both in the good times and in the unavoidable bad
times. So, allow Him to rule in your life and anticipate His
"Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might," Ephesians 6:10.
"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me," Galatians 2:20.
"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 13:14.
"I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may
dwell in me...for when I am weak, then I am strong," 2 Corinthians
These are just a few of the basics, but we trust you will see a change
for better in your marriage when you put these suggestions into
practice! May God bless you and your marriage.
JB & Shugie Collingsworth travel around the country, coaching churches
and couples on how to build strong marriages. Their ministry is based
in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.