A counseling outline
|TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR HUSBANDS |
|1. Treat Your Wife With Strength and Gentleness.
2. Give Ample Praise and Reassurance.
3. Define the Areas of Responsibility.
4. Avoid Criticism.
5. Remember the Importance of “Little Things.”
6. Recognize Her Need for Togetherness.
7. Give Her a Sense of Security.
8. Recognize the Validity of Her Moods.
9. Cooperate With Her in Every Effort to Improve Your Marriage.
10. Discover Her Particular, Individual Needs and Try to Meet Them.
|TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR WIVES|
|1. Learn the Real Meaning of Love.
2. Give Up Your Dreams of a “Perfect Marriage” and work Toward a “Good Marriage.”
3. Discover Your Husband’s Personal, Unique Needs and Try to Meet Them.
4. Abandon All Dependency Upon Your Parents and All Criticism of His Relatives.
5. Give Praise and Appreciation Instead of Seeking It.
6. Surrender Possessiveness and Jealousy.
7. Greet Your Husband With Affection Instead of Complaints or Demands.
8. Abandon All Hope of Changing Your Husband Through Criticism or Attack.
9. Outgrow the Princess Syndrome.
10. Pray for Patience.
|BASIC ELEMENTAL NEEDS||CHANGE THESE TO READ:|
|1. We want, consciously or unconsciously, to have all of our needs met.
2. We want to control or change those about us so that they will meet your needs.
3. We all yearn for unconditional love.
|1. Instead of demanding that all of my needs be met, I will seek to meet the valid needs of my marriage partner.
2. Rather than trying to change others, I will recognize that I cannot change anyone else. I can change only myself, and when I change, others tend – in time – to change in relation to me.
3. Instead of expecting unconditional love, I will face the fact that no one can give this kind of limitless love consistently [except God]. I will give love rather than demanding or expecting it, believing that love begets love.
Although these “commandments” are important descriptions of healthy responsibilities in marriage, we will discover that we don’t have the ability to demonstrate this commitment consistently. Then, how can a marriage succeed? The entertainment industry inundates us with not-so-subtle appeals to look for the fantasy romance. The painful consequences that follow this storyline are documented in our society’s divorce rate.
What is God’s alternative? As we confess and repent of our fundamental self-centeredness and believe in our identification with Christ, we can draw upon the resources of God’s Spirit. He wants to reveal His gracious love to and through us:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”
Although cultural opinions are subject to change, God’s design and purpose remain constant:
“And He [Jesus] answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'”
If you’re married, may God illumine your mind and stir your heart to understand and love your spouse!
 The lists of commandments and needs are from The Art of Understanding Your Mate by Cecil G. Osborne (Zondervan, 1974). Please refer to this book for the corresponding explanations and applications.
“Scriptural Counsel” notes – JBW
Biblical quotations – New King James Version
Grace oriented books on marriage include He Said, She Said (Bill and Anabel Gillham) and Marriage! The Journey (Anne Trippe).
Related Grace Notes on marriage: https://gracenotebook.com/how-to-find-fulfillment-when-married-part-1/