Justin and I attended the XO Marriage conference this weekend. It was our third year in a row attending this conference at Gateway Church in Southlake. Jimmy Evans is the founder of https://marriagetoday.com/ and is a marriage guru who puts on the XO marriage conferences with his team. His God given wisdom and insight into marriage has saved thousands of marriages. You can watch his program on the Daystar channel if you want to see for yourself. We are blessed to have him as a leader at our church, as Gateway in Southlake is our home church. The XO conference is attended by couples from all over the country. It is the largest marriage conference in the world. Over 80,000 people benefitted from this God centered marriage conference this past weekend. It was simulcast in over 500 churches across the globe. Needless to say, it was AMAZING! Justin and I both feel that each year we have walked away with information and tools that have helped us become better spouses to one another. 

One of the final presentations at the conference was by Jimmy Evans. He spoke about growing together as a couple, rather than growing apart. He provided us with 10 decisions we all need to pre-make in our marriages. These ten decisions, as outlined from Jimmy Evans are below. The commentary under each is my own personal insight or what I gleaned from Jimmy Evans this weekend.

1. We are married forever and divorce is not an option.

Threatening divorce, even it the heat of an argument is not OK. This word needs to be banned from every married couple’s home. The threat of divorce weakens a marriage. It instills fear, angst, and distance between a couple when a spouse threatens divorce.

2. We will not go to bed angry.

Don’t ever go to bed angry at one another. It allows for satan to have a foothold in your heart and mind. Don’t allow the enemy to win. Satan is that enemy, your spouse is not the enemy, so always make up before you go to bed at night.

3. We will never agree to disagree.

When you marry, you become one. A team of one. Come to agreement on major life issues. When you agree to disagree you are creating a separation in your oneness. If you can’t come to an agreement on something of significance and you have come to an impasse then it may be wise to seek Godly counsel. You can talk to a pastor or a Christian counselor. Find help that is Christ centered, so you know they are coming from Godly truth and not worldly ways.

4. We will celebrate each other’s differences.

God made each of us unique. We need to celebrate the uniqueness of our spouse because that is how God created them. If you were the same, then one of you wouldn’t be needed! Praise your spouse for what makes them special and unique and how God created them. When you praise them, you are praising God and his creation as well.

5. We will all honesty without punishment.

If your spouse comes to you with an issue and you blast them for even bringing the issue up, then you have a problem. Your spouse should always be able to come to you with an issue or problem and feel they can talk openly with you. Be open and honest with your spouse, and allow them to be open and honest with you without fear of retaliation or punishment for their honesty.

6. We will be sexually and emotionally faithful.

Affairs begin in the heart first. It is a heart problem that leads to infidelity. Protect your heart from emotional infidelity which leads to physical and sexual infidelity. Adultry begins when you turn your heart away from your spouse. Is there contempt for your spouse or a hardening of your heart? If so, you need to address this heart issue, perhaps with marriage counseling, before it leads to your heart turning to someone else.

7. We will connect to a local church and make Godly friends and connections there.

Find and join a local church that preaches from the bible and believes in the trinity- God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Go beyond regular church service and get plugged into the church community by serving. Attend a small group or bible study within the church so you can make friends with other believers. The people you surround yourself with will be of influence in your life. Connect in the church with fellow believers and you will find others who are likely to have the same values including a high regard for marriage and the vows you all have taken.

8. We will make decisions together.

Decisions should be made together as a couple. Major decisions should be discussed and both spouses provide their opinions and thoughts. You work as a team to make decisions together.

9. We will prioritize our marriage above all.

Christ is the foundation for marriage first and foremost. Your marriage is built on Christ’s foundation and is a Holy union. Your marriage is the most important earthly relationship you will ever have. Cherish and value that relationship by making your spouse a priority above all else, including children.

10. We won’t make emotion based decisions.

Most divorces are the result of emotion based decisions and not severe problems worthy of divorce. Learn to set emotions aside when it comes to important decisions. Divorce and adultery occur when you allow emotions to cloud your judgement. When you are having difficulty keeping your emotions in balance it is time to seek a professional Christian counselor for help. All people and marriages NEED counseling at some time. The wise will seek help whereas the foolish keep trying the same way and will get the same results.