By Dr. Teena Welborn

“Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3.

In last year’s Marriage Issue, I wrote about the importance of putting your marriage first above parenting. This year let’s discuss several steps to ensure, as a married couple, we are doing that.

“Eight steps to a Lifelong Marriage” by Adam Robichaud

  1. Build and maintain a solid foundation in Christ.
  2. Spend regular time in prayer as a couple.
  3. Speak highly of each other.
  4. Enjoy regular time together.
  5. Forge an unrelenting commitment to each other.
  6. Keep strong boundaries.
  7. Humbly serve each other.
  8. Own your struggles and get help.

To me, this is an amazing list for couples. As Christians, we are strong in some of these areas but not all. If you are achieving all eight of these consistently, you can probably say your marriage has no problems.

Let’s dive deeper. When both have a solid foundation in Christ, there is usually no question of “when and if” we tithe … attend a small Bible study … go to church … or serve.

When there is not a strong foundation, it is a struggle to be on the same page. As a couple, it is important to discuss and create boundaries of what a solid foundation looks like. As a married couple, it is difficult to stay strong in a world that is so against Christian values. Husbands and wives should be in a small group studying the Word, putting church gathering first (no excuses), serving together, and tithing (since it is part of worshiping Him).

Another issue I hear about in today’s marriages and even in our churches is that social boundaries are not being set. In my opinion, we should never be alone with the opposite sex. That includes business trips, lunches, dinners, in Sunday school rooms, offices … It’s just not a good idea. I know there are times when it is unavoidable, but we should not make it a habit, especially repeatedly with the same person. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is attacking our families, so be cautious and protect your marriage.

Praying together is an amazing idea, but I realize that can be difficult if you were not raised in a home with open prayer. I feel it’s a bond that is necessary for a strong trusting relationship. If you would like to start but don’t know how, start small. Dedicate time daily to hold hands, say a silent prayer for one another, and share what you prayed. Another idea could be to choose a scripture to read aloud, then pray silently for one another. It will become easier as you pray, and eventually one of you will want to pray aloud. It doesn’t have to be long and fancy, just pray together.

Teena Welborn

Dr. Teena Welborn is a retired educator and author of “Raising Whosoevers to Be the Heart of Our Schools.” Dr. Welborn and her husband of 37 years, Cliff, live in Florence, Mississippi, where they raised their three boys. They are members of First Baptist Florence. She can be contacted at