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Marriage That Works Is Work

James Rudy Gray

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Marriage is a human relationship designed by God. In this potentially great partnership between a man, a woman, and God, failure too often occurs. A couple gets married with the expectation that it will last for a lifetime. Most probably expect a happy experience. What our high divorce rate reflects is that marriage is hard work. It takes commitment to God and to our mate. It involves knowing and accepting who we are and who we married. It includes growing to appreciate the differ-ences that exist between us.

The hard work is not the act of getting married. That is relatively easy in our society. The hard work is building a relationship that works. In this kind of marriage, several things become focal points for our dedicated effort: growing in intimacy, communicating effectively, understanding personality, birth order, and gender differences, enjoying and controlling the power of human sexuality, realizing the significance of money, and learning to be friends.

I have served the Lord Jesus in vocational ministry for forty-two years, thirty-seven of those years as a senior pastor. During the same time period, I also worked as a Christian counselor for twenty-eight years and along with my wife, Anne, have led marriage enrichment retreats and seminars for the past twenty-six years. The work before you is the result of those years as a minister, counselor, seminar leader, and husband. Over the years, I have discovered some basic keys that seem to unlock the passage for building a strong and healthy marriage. Please don’t get me wrong. Building a good and godly marriage takes work. However, it is not simply that we work at our marriages but how we work at them. We can work harder or we can work smarter. No marriage will ever be perfect, but a marriage where two people know Christ, believe His Word, and love each other can work — if husband and wife are willing to do the work it takes. 

My wife and I pray that this book may be a tool in God’s hands to bring health and strength to your marriage as you work at it together for His glory and the good of your marriage.

James Rudy Gray

James Rudy Gray, in addition to serving as editor of The Baptist Courier (the news magazine of the churches of the SC Baptist Convention), is a National Certified Counselor.

He holds B.A., M.A., Th.M. and D.Min. degrees and has served Christ in vocational ministry for more than forty years as a pastor, writer and marriage retreat leader. He and his wife, Anne, are the parents of three adult daughters, and they have three grandchildren. Together, they have helped more than a thousand marriages over the past three decades through counseling, retreats, seminars and preaching.

To schedule a marriage seminar or retreat or speaking engagement, contact Dr. Gray at jrgray1953@gmail.com.

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