wedding-happy-bride-groomWedding bells may be ringing this time of year, but statistics reveal that all too often the beauty of a wedding day turns into the disaster of divorce. With the average wedding costing $27,021—according to a survey from theknot.com—it’s important for couples to know how to make that honey moon feeling last longer than it takes to pay off the wedding.

Follow these five tips for a marriage that can last a lifetime:

1. Determine it’s going to succeed. Remove any alternative other than success from your marriage. That means no matter how big the disagreement, you’ll not use the word “divorce.” If you preset in your minds that it will succeed, you’re more likely to have a marriage that works.

2. Get past the superficial. Arguments are typically not really about leaving a dirty sock on the floor or dishes in the sink. Those are just symptoms. Get to the root of the issue and find out what’s really bothering your spouse. Then, you can address what needs attention and have healthy discussions.

3. Form a strong partnership. Couples are strong when they’re united. Stay connected on your goals, desires and decisions for your family. Then, make sure you’re united when setting and achieving them!

4. Don’t be passive or controlling. Don’t make the mistake of falling into familiar patterns of a passive husband and controlling wife. If the men step up and stay involved in their family, the wives don’t have to worry and control. Let the husband be the hero and the wife support him.

5. Let God have the last word. Relationships can get a whole lot easier when you don’t have to worry about whether you or your spouse is right. Leave it up to God and let his word be the last word.

The wedding is the fun part. Then you need to work to keep your marriage healthy. Incorporate God into your marriage and bring hope to the home.

Steve Gray, pastor of World Revival Church in Kansas City, Mo., has been married to his wife, Kathy, for more than 37 years. The pair ministers together around the world, helping to restore marriages, relationships, finances and hope to millions of people.

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