Posted October 9, 2014 under Blog

The One Lesson That Changed My Marriage

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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” - Mignon McLaughlin

As Marie and I just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary, I got reminded of the one marriage lesson that changed my life and consequently, ours.

We were visiting a church in snow-covered Washington DC. Though it happened in 1988, I can still remember the moment vividly in my mind. The pastor said the following: “At the end of your life, you will find yourself in a hospital bed somewhere and the people surrounding your bed will not be your business partners and associates; they will be your wife and children. The saddest day of your life is when you look into her eyes and you both realize that you did not love her and your children the way you should have.”

It was then that the Holy Spirit used this man’s sermon to put a longing in me to make my marriage become what God intended it to be. Such is the power of a preacher whom God uses at the right season and moment.

I knew it would take years of renewing my mind to get it there, but God rewarded my desire through a simple revelation about marriage. I have grown to call it the four essential ingredients to a successful marriage.

1. Trust
Trust is the foundation of a successful marriage. Whatever you do, make sure that it builds trust. Anything that destroys the trust must be avoided or discarded.

There is nothing uglier than a jealous wife or husband. Make every effort to build trust, whether through your words or actions, in all aspects of your marriage.

2. Love
While trust is the foundation, love is its motivation of a great marriage. It’s about serving the other person and not waiting for them to serve you. It’s about dying to selfish desires and finding joy in bringing pleasure to your spouse.

Marriage is a daily journey of continually growing in joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

There is nothing more beautiful than a confident spouse who knows she is the one who brings joy, warmth, and pleasure to your eyes.

3. Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the reset button of a marriage that has hung. It allows couples to reboot when the frictions of life affect them. It’s the thing that Jesus says that makes the imperfect perfect. Forgiveness is what cleanses a relationship everyday and leaves no trace of rust that creates even more friction.

There is nothing more peaceful than a marriage further overwhelmed by a constant and immediate atmosphere of forgiveness.

4. Communication
Lastly, communication is the process to a successful marriage. Just as photosynthesis is to plants and sun, communication is the process of continual and interdependent exchange of words, ideas and actions between two people that build the relationship.

Couples are like trees and the sun; the more they communicate, the closer they lean toward each other. And there is nothing more comforting than to know that you can freely share, be heard and listened to by the person who loves you the most.

As I look back on 32 years, I am grateful to God for this one lesson that changed my marriage and my life. They are after all the same four ingredients that have made my relationship with the Lord what it is today.

To be continued....

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23 thoughts on “The One Lesson That Changed My Marriage”

  1. Thanks, Pastor! Nice read. Been following your blogs and podcast. Im attending everynation church singapore. May God bless you abundantly. 🙂

    1. joey bonifacio says:

      Thank you for reading. Watch out for the continuation of this series on the One Lesson.

  2. Catherine Ong says:

    Pastor Joey, this is one article that I need lately. I always see you and your lovely wife at the IG acct of your daughter-inlaw Carla (rica). I envy her because it seems that your family is full of love & closeness. She is well loved by her parent's inlaw. That's one thing I wish I also have, in-laws who are like you. You see, i live with my in-laws for years. 17 years to be exact this sunday. Sad to say, the house I'm living in is not a home. We seldom talk, we don't eat together. I'm a breast cancer survivor for a year now and turning 43 this 30th of October. My husband and I are not the way we used to be before. We seldom talk, I feel that since a portion of my body is gone(mastectomy on the left), things changed. Me myself felt that I'm incomplete. Can you include me in your prayers sir? I also like your The Lego Principle. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you very much. May you continue to inspire us more! God Bless You & Your Family!

    1. joey bonifacio says:

      Hi Catherine. Thank you for reading the post. For your other concerns, please email me by clicking on the email button on the Connect Box. I would like to connect you to one of our pastors who can minister and pray for you privately.

  3. Shanne Mae Ceballos says:

    This is really worth sharing and worth remembering at all times. Thank God for your wisdom and anointing Ptr. Joey. God bless!

  4. Michelle says:

    Pastor Joey your articles are always helpful and direct to the point!
    Thank you!

    1. joey bonifacio says:

      Thanks for reading. Watch out for the continuation tomorrow.

  5. Cristianne Del Valle says:

    This is really inspiring Pastor! My husband & I just got married last July 2014! And we had the privilge to hear you preach in Victory Pioneer. The topic was about Family! And I'm just so happy that you emphasized your priority -- your wife next to God! And my husband was so touched by it and encouraged to love me even more! Same as I am to him! It's really great that at our very earliest time of marriage we heard your message & same like your experience last 1998, it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to us but this time, through you! Happy Anniversary po!!! God Bless your marriage & your family even more!!

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      Thanks for reading Christianne. May the Lord continue to strengthen your marriage.

    2. joeybonifacio says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment Christianne. May the Lord continue to strengthen your marriage.

  6. Lynette Menezes says:

    We have to keep reminding ourselves that trust, love, forgiveness and communication don't come naturally to our self-seeking souls. We love because He first loved us.

    1. joey bonifacio says:

      Hi Lynette. Great to hear from you. Will we be seeing you next week in KL? Watch out for the continuation of the series tomorrow.

  7. Grace O.D. says:

    I think, above all 4, Respect is the builder to have trust, love, forgiveness & communication. These 4 shall run through on how you deliver yourself with courteous regard.
    1. He / she trust you but he / she does not respect your beliefs / feelings, where will good marriage comes from?
    2. He / she said, he / she loves you but how can he / she continuously doing the same arguments. Respect him / her because that man / lady deserves to be love with honour
    3. He / she is always ready to forgive and he/ she is ready to do the same mistake again, where's respect?...
    4. He / she have constant communication, because you RESPECT each other's feelings and point of views...

    1. joey bonifacio says:

      thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

  8. Carol says:

    As always, your posts are practical and helpful.
    As we approach 17 years of marriage, this is a timely reminder not to get tired, weary or complacent, but to continue journeying faithfully in the marriage that God has blessed us with.

  9. Jimmy says:

    Dear pastor Joey
    I am writing from Lima, Peru. I am a member of EN Churchs.
    I just got married and I am very grateful for this article.
    I think that love ours wifes as Jesus loved the church is a challenge to all men.
    You have been a blessing.
    I hope to meet you personally and thank you. I keep reading your blog as always.
    I hope to have a marriage like yours from here to 32 years.
    God bless you

  10. Yinka says:

    4 great ingredients ps Joey. Trust, love, forgiveness and communication.
    I'm also thinking of these words:
    "Trust is the foundation of a successful marriage. Whatever you do, make sure that it builds trust. Anything that destroys the trust must be avoided or discarded. There is nothing uglier than a jealous wife or husband. Make every effort to build trust, whether through your words or actions, in all aspects of your marriage." Profound!
    Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Annabelle Martin says:

    Hello Pastor Joey,

    Thanx for sharing your blog.....I so blessed with it and getting and
    learning some thoughts that I can apply it into my own.....actually I want to read more about this kind of blog....for me to understand more
    about married life especially on the higher level of the relationship as with the age.....thank you and God will bless you of more years to come and for both of you to be use by God..

  12. Reymar Guadania says:

    I thank God for your life Ptr. Joey! God bless you more and more!

  13. Gina Tancinco Rosimo says:

    thank you for delving on very important topics like this-marriage! Makes a lot of sense to me too who's been married for almost 19 years! Lately, we're often asked to stand as wedding sponsors where these little nuggets of wisdom would surely come handy when we minister to these young couples who look up to us

  14. Cza says:

    Great insight Pastor Joey! I'm learning a lot from your blogs about marriage even if I'm still single. I believe that this is very helpful for every relationship that we have specially in our relationship with the Lord. So inspired to apply all that I've learned. 🙂

    I speak blessing and abundance for you and your family Pastor! 🙂

  15. Princess Legaspi says:

    Hi Pastor Joey, I always read this blog of yours... I've been so jealous lately and this article brightens me up. But I always make sure every time I feel so jealous with my husband and his friend I pray... Thanks to you...

  16. Dennis Valle says:

    I'm so blessed with this series Ptr. Joey. Me and my wife really need this. Eventhough were far apart. Thanks and God bless.

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