Take promises seriously
Marriage is based on promises, sometimes called vows. These promises are the most important part of the wedding ceremony whether it takes place in a church or is a civil ceremony and takes place in a hotel, a registry office, a castle or even on a beach. As young children we are taught to keep our promises and the promises of marriage are special and profound.
The promises that the bride and groom make to each other are heard by witnesses at their wedding ceremony. The witnesses are usually family and close friends. The witnesses at the wedding ceremony are really promising to support the couple if they ever go through difficulties in their marriage. Our wedding promises are also heard by God, who will help us if we ask Him.
The promises made can be summarised: to love each other, forever and whatever the circumstances. You might like to listen to the vows in the clip.
Most marriage counsellors agree that open and honest communication is vital for a successful marriage. It would therefore be unwise to commit to marrying someone if you felt you could not really be open and honest with them. Of course, communication should deepen as you get to know a person and you begin to find out how the person feels about certain situations and actions.
One of the outcomes of not keeping sex for marriage, is that once sexual intimacy becomes part of a ‘going out’ relationship, it tends to dominate the relationship and the couple do not get to know each other so easily. They are therefore unable to assess whether they can really communicate with each other on a deep level. You might like to listen to the testimony of a lady who found this out.
Communication involves listening, talking and understanding. Talking is not just the opposite of being silent, but the ability to talk with meaning and purpose. Listening is very important (Proverbs 18:13  and James 1:19 ), and for many people more difficult. But it shows your husband or wife that you value their thoughts and opinions, and are prepared to share their anxieties.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
It is good to listen for the emotions behind what a person says and be prepared to talk things out, especially if there is any hint of bottled up resentment or hurt. Understanding what makes a husband or wife behave the way they do or feel the way they do, opens up communication in a deeper way.
…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,