Cultivating a Beautiful Marriage
By Micca Monda Campbell

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
I Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)

Have you ever secretly compared your husband to another man or your wife to another woman? Perhaps you’ve wished they were more thoughtful, spiritual, or a better dresser like “so-and-so.”

If so, let me reassure you. The grass is not greener on the other side. Trust me. That man you’ve got your eye on doesn’t clip his toenails either. Nor does that woman rub her man’s feet while feeding him grapes after a long day of work.

Your spouse and mine are the people we fell in love with. No, they’re not perfect. Maybe all they need is a bit of tender loving care. Instead of comparing and complaining about our partner’s shortcomings, you and I should try nurturing our mates lovingly in the area they need most. We might be surprised by the results.

I heard an encouraging story about an attractive millionaire who married an ordinary woman. The marriage instantly became the talk of the town.

“Why would he marry her when he could have any woman he wanted?” The people whispered among themselves. “It won’t last. She’s just not good enough for him.”

The man took the ordinary woman away for six months on an exotic honeymoon. When he returned, there appeared to be another woman on his arm. She walked with confidence and poise. The countenance of her face glowed with beauty.

“Now that’s the kind of woman a handsome man should be with,” announced the town’s biggest loud mouth.

As the happy couple causally strolled past the gossipmonger, she got a closer look. To her surprise, it wasn’t someone new holding the gentlemen’s arm at all. It was the average woman he had married months ago—completely transformed!

The wise millionaire had taken his common bride away and nurtured her inward beauty. He lovingly spoke positive and encouraging words to her day and night until she believed she was beautiful. The once ordinary woman now carries herself with confidence and exudes the exquisiteness that her husband saw in her all along.

His secret, you ask? He took time to care for and fertilize her confidence until she grew into the grandeur display she was always meant to be.

You and I shouldn’t dream about taking off our shoes and walking around on the neighbors’ grass. Instead, we should try fertilizing our own yard. We might be surprised how it blossoms into a thing of beauty.

Dear Lord, Thank you for my mate. Protect my thoughts and help me to see them as I once did. I’m not perfect either. I don’t want to judge my spouse. Instead, I want to encourage them to be all they can be. Today, I will put away any discontentment, any anger, any lustful thoughts toward another, and work at building a beautiful relationship that brings joy to our marriage and glory to Your Name, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Micca Campbell’s blog

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

Capture His Heart/Capture Her Heart, by Lysa Terkeurst

Application Steps:
You and I can cultivate our marriages by choosing to see the good in our spouse or by acknowledging their effort to improve. Build up your spouse with encouraging words. Tuck a poem or card under their pillow.

Be their cheerleader and offer your support often. For instance, if they are trying to get fit, go on a walk with them. Nurture and support your spouse, and at the same time, you’ll be cultivating your marriage.

How did you support and nurture your spouse in the beginning of your relationship?

When is the last time you dated your spouse? What’s keeping you from a date this weekend?

How can seeing the best in your spouse improve your marriage relationship?

Power Verses:
1 Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 13:4, 7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A timely message indeed. My husband just told me last night that over a year ago, during a very vulnerable time in our marriage he committed adultery. I thought I had stepped into a novel. I love my husband and I made a committment to him before GOD and man to do so - through the good times and the bad. He has repented and I believe him. However, the prayer at the end of the post today was much needed. It said everything I needed to hear. It said to me, "I love you. I know you. My grace is suuficient for you. Abiding in me and I will abide in you. How great is our GOD YAHWEH?!! HE is perfect and faithful and I praise him and thank HIM for loving me and my husband enough to bring us through. Blessings and mercy abound. In the arms of Jesus.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous #1 what a timely message. I have been struggling a great deal for a long time now in my marriage. My husband has been unemployed three different times after layoff in the last 12 years. After each layoff he has been out of work for at least a year. I can say that he has not contributed to the support of our family during this time. I have worked two jobs since 1996. As you can hear in my words I am frustrated and discouraged. It is difficult to encourage and support him when what appears to be no interest of his to work as long as I can work and keep us going. We are currently sending our youngest of 3 children to college. A few days ago I read in one of your devotions about loving and submitting even through times such as I have shared with you. HELP, I find this very difficult if not at times seems impossible. I pray that I can forgive him and honor God's word regarding submission.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great message. I can't say that my husband doesn't show me affection daily there is no problem there. It's me why am I so stand distant is this area. We've been married for 16 years with a 5 year old son. Finaces are a big problem right. God is great and words of the father always come just at the right time. I will honer God in this area of my life.Thanks so much for this devotion

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonumous #2. I told my husband of my adulterious affair a few years ago...and a few years after the fact. I make no excuses for my actions. I was selfish. My husband being the man of God he is was angery, distraught, disappointed, and in shock (and I am sure a few other words could describe his reaction and feelings) not only at the fact that I had an afair but that I hid it from him for so long too. He didn't divorce me and we slept in seperate rooms for awhile. He still has trust issues with me.
I had to promise never to do it again. I have kept that promise, however I haven't been 100 committed to him. I have flirted with other guys and have thought about other men in my head...which God says is the samething. I have recently rededicated my life to Christ and have been praying a prayer very simular to the one in today's devotional. In fact today was the first day I had a quite time with God in years.
I am thankful for my husband and his forgiveness, love, devotion, and close relationship with Christ.
He has never said a bad word about me to anyone and we have been together for 13 years and married for 9 of them. I also pray that the Lord helps me to love my husband and to submitt to him and to honor him like a wife should.
Thank you for the message today. I needed the affirmation.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this ministry. I found it last night and it has been such a blessing to me..i can't read enough and there are so many things that pertain to my life both present and past...As for the Post at hand..I too want to be the loving, caring, supporting wife God wants me to be. I have always believed God brought the two of us together, finally, after two bad marriages for me, and one for him....In his first marriage, she cheated on my 2 marriages i did the cheating, regretfully i admit..but
i am 100% committed to my husband and we will be married 10 yrs. this year. I know my husband loves me and he knows i love shortcomings is not the hold/kiss/rub affection but the more intimate affection part (if u
know what i mean) this has always been an issue for me though and now that i am getting older, it is
getting worse...The other issue I have is the submit to him part, as to how to be me, who I am,whom God
created, yet still pleasing to my
husband...I quess what I am trying to say is that i have become to a certain extent who he wants me to be..mainly due to the fact that he is very opinionated and so called
always right (99.9%) but wont admit he acts this way... Another new disaray is that we are spending a lot of time with his family since we recently relocated closer to them and he is acting more like his brother every day and to my dismay does not treat his wife at all with the love and respect she deserves after 35 plus years of marriage... Gee sorry i just am going on and on...please forgive me...anyway anyone who has some help, comments, or advice for
me will be greatly appreciated...
I am on a journey with My Lord, one I have never taken before and your ministry is truly helping me to grow and understand so much about my life as a Christian and wanting to live each day doing God's Will not mine...May God Bless All of You at Proverbs 31 Ministries...I intend to share this with many family members and friends...I thank God he led me to
this website. Praises to My King, My Master and My Heavenly Father. Where would I be without Him.

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