This week I am exploring Dr. Ed Wheat’s “Prescription for a Superb Marriage” found in his book Love Life for Every Married Couple (Zondervan, Chapter 13).
The prescription involves a practical course of action for husband and wife that is both uncomplicated and effective. You will be able to remember it readily because it is called the B-E-S-T, an acronym representing the four positive elements that will transform any marriage. These are not steps to be tried one at a time, but four measures to be taken simultaneously and maintained consistently. If necessary, they can be implemented by either partner alone. In many cases, one of you will have to make the first move without any promise of cooperation from the other. So, if you want the best marriage possible with the mate you have chosen, then give your partner the best: Blessing, Edifying, Sharing, Touching.
Even though these are to be done simultaneously, not as steps, each one will be explored individually one day at a time to give you time to think about what it really is and how to put it into practice in your own marriage.
Again, as Dr. Wheat says, you may have to do this alone without any promise of reciprocation from your spouse, but if you follow this prescription, chances are good that your mate will reciprocate in time.
Only you know what the health of your marriage is. If your marriage is fairly healthy, you can expect it to be great in a short amount of time. If your marriage is not healthy, it will likely take longer and you will have to be even more diligent to practice this prescription daily, and maybe many times a day, before you see a significant change in your marriage.
You bless your mate by the words you speak to and about him or her. As you speak to and about your spouse, listen to yourself. Do you speak kindly to your wife? Do you say “please” and “thank you” when she has done something special for you? Do you speak well of your husband? When you get together with your friends, do you talk about your husband’s latest blunder or do you speak of how he works hard to take care of you and kids or how much you appreciate that he’s a good father?
You bless your spouse by the things you do for him or her each day. Do you pick up his socks without grumbling? Do you wash the dishes after supper without your wife asking? Think of some practical things you can do for your spouse that will speak of your love for your mate without saying a word. Even if your spouse doesn’t take notice of it right away, don’t give up. Keep doing things for your mate and soon you will find pleasure just in doing them whether he or she notices or not.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Your spouse will be blessed by knowing that he or she is appreciated for who he is or for what she does for you. When was the last time you told your wife that you appreciate that you have clean clothes and socks every day? When was the last time you told your husband that you appreciate that he takes care of the car when it needs repaired. Maybe these two examples don’t fit your marriage, but take time each day to show your spouse that you notice the things that he or she does and you appreciate him or her for it.
Pray for your spouse. This life is hard. For some it’s very hard, and each new day can bring new challenges. Take the time to pray for strength, wisdom, and endurance. If possible, pray together and let your spouse hear your thanksgiving and intercession on his or her behalf. Let your mate know that you thank God for him or her and for your marriage.
Life is hard. There may not be anyone else in your mate’s life who expresses thanksgiving or gratitude or blessing. And if there is someone else, especially a co-worker or a member of the opposite sex blessing your husband, you do not want him or her being the person that blesses your spouse the most. Many marriages have been ruined by a relationship that started out as an emotional affair.
Bless your mate today. If he responds, great! Keep it up.
If she doesn’t respond, do it all over again tomorrow and the next day and next day and the next.
Yours for the celebration of marriage,
The Anniversary Shop, modern and traditional anniversary gifts.