Candace Cameron Bure:
Actress, producer, New York Times’ bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Candace Cameron Bure is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Known to millions worldwide from her role as “D.J. Tanner” on the iconic family sitcom “Full House,” Candace continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as role model to women of all ages. Here she shares:
3 Keys to a Healthy Marriage
A healthy marriage is a marriage with sex. Just because I'm a Christian, doesn't mean I can't talk about sex, you know! On the contrary, as a married couple, this is one of the most important details of our marriage. If the sexual intimacy isn't there, I can guarantee the relationship isn't there in any other form. Sex needs to be high on the priority list for a balanced marriage. I won't go into detail, because there are plenty of marriage books out there, but when the physical relationship is lacking, so is everything else. I know from experience that it just makes everything that much more agreeable.
Another key for our marriage is that Val and I regard each other as higher than ourselves. In other words, I have to put Val on a pedestal and treat him like royalty, even if he doesn't always deserve it. And he doesn't, trust me (just as I don't always deserve the love and respect with which he treats me). But I listen to Val and he listens to me. We don't always get it right, but we try to pay attention to the details. What are his likes and dislikes? What's important to him that might not be important to me? Do I still honor him by doing those things or putting an importance on them? Do I smile at him and make an effort to kiss him each morning and evening? Do I tell him I love him often? How should I tell him-or show him-I love and respect him?
Each person's love language is different, and it helps immensely to know what your spouse's love language is. If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, I highly recommend the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It's a wonderful tool in helping decode what makes your spouse (and children) feel most loved. Just don't be surprised if your spouse's love language is totally different from yours.
The final key for a healthy marriage is prayer. In fact, I believe prayer is the most important way to keep a marriage balanced. I pray for Val every day. I really do. I pray for him specifically in ways I'd love to see God work in his life. And no, I don't pray that God changes him to be the way I want him to be, but I pray that he will grow and become more mature in the qualities and characteristics that God has already given him. I want him to become more and more the man that God intended him to be, just like I want to become more and more the woman that God has intended me to be.
Each day I pray for a strengthened marriage and for a wonderful physical intimacy. I ask God to give us a union that will stand the test of time, that with each trial we face it would only strengthen our already tight bond. I pray that our love will continue to grow together as we grow as people. I pray that Val will have a compassionate heart for others, that he will have a constant thirst for God, and that he will be a strong spiritual leader for our family. To me, nothing is sexier than a man who honors God. There are many other things that I pray for, and when I write a book about prayer someday I'll tell you all about them.
A Biblical Marriage
If your marriage is not where you would like it to be, I encourage you to try some of the principles I just described. And you know what? I didn't make them up. They came straight from the Bible.
Yes, the Bible tells married people to have sex ... and lots of it. First Corinthians 7:3-5 says, “A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually-except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (HCSB). Sex in marriage is good, my friends! In fact, it is commanded.
God's Word also has much to say about putting others' needs and desires before your own. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” I love that this verse tells it like it is. God knows that we're all tempted to be selfish and conceited and that we want our needs to be met. But we actually find that we will be more fulfilled and blessed when we put someone else's needs before our own. We often do this for our kids, but it's imperative that we also do it with our spouses.
It comes as no surprise that the Bible tells us to pray. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 commands us to “pray without ceasing.” What? How is that possible? I don't think it means we have to pray every single minute of every day, but that we should make a habit of prayer. Make a practice of praying for your spouse. You can't imagine what might happen when you do.
"Candace Cameron Bure: Marriage Counseling" is excerpted from of Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure. Copyright 2014 B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.