My wife and I have been married for two years, are expecting our first child, and are so thrilled by what God is doing within our lives. Although we still have many years ahead of us, and a ton more to learn about each other, here are eight things we’ve learned to keep our marriage strong and lasting.

1. Put God first.

Putting God first will inevitably keeping your marriage strong and secure. The disciplines in which God can teach each individual will not only keep your marriage on the right path, but will also help each other grow closer to one another while growing close to God. (Proverbs 3:6)

2. Put your spouse before you.

Regardless of how your relationship is run, there is no need to take advantage of one another for your own benefit. Walk through each day in a posture of selflessness, and ask yourself what you can do for your relationship, not what your relationship can do for you. (Leviticus 25:17)

3. Abstain from pornography.

Pornography doesn’t only kill love, but it also kills marriages. When a man or woman watches pornography in a marriage, they are indirectly telling their spouse, “You aren’t enough.” Inevitably, one will begin to compare their spouse’s body and sexual performance to what they have viewed on a tv or computer screen. It’s not worth it. (Hebrews 13:4)

4. Respect one another.

Respect and honor are key to any  relationship. I’ve never encountered a healthy relationship that didn’t include love and respect. All relationships will fall short of this in some way or another, but the strive for love and respect is something that will keep any relationship healthy, no matter the circumstance. (1 Peter 2:17)

5. Don’t go to sleep angry at each other.

My wife and both agree that this is one of the more important things we’ve applied to our marriage. No matter how mad, frustrated, or confused we are about something, we always make sure to make amends before we sleep. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and the last thing we want to do is close our eyes frustrated at one another. Life is too short. (Ephesians 4:26)

6. Always be willing to forgive.

We forgive because Jesus first forgave us. In order to have a marriage that lasts, forgiveness and grace is something that one cannot live without. Don’t hold past mistakes over each other’s heads, nor should you constantly bring up their past mistakes in arguments. Allow grace to coat any conversation you have with one another. (Colossians 3:13)

7. Constantly pursue one another.

Your dating life shouldn’t end just because you’re married. Constantly pursue your spouse as if it’s the first few months you’ve been with them. Surprise them with gift, go out of your way to show them you care, and do everything you can to make them feel appreciated and loved. (Ephesians 5:25)

8. Admit your failures.

Nobody likes a liar. Honesty and transparency are key to any lasting marriage. Admit your failures, be open about your insecurities, and let your spouse feel comfortable to confide in you when they make mistakes. (Proverbs 19:11)

Your marriage matters, and doing everything to protect it should be your #1 priority. Click To Tweet