books on healing marriages: Love is a decision and I promise you forever

Quoted “If your marriage relationship doesn’t have a destination, how will you know when you arrive? And why wait for love to materialize out of stardust, when you could choose excitement and romance now?

“There is a simple yet profound plan for a marriage of depth and warmth and excitement! Plan, you ask? Exactly! Good marriages are no accident.

Six elements to staying in love, included in Love is a Decision, are:

  1. Making your spouse feel truly honored.
  2. Learning the art of touching tenderly.
  3. Keeping courtship alive in your marriage.
  4. Re-opening a heart closed by anger.
  5. Building or rebuilding trust in a relationship.
  6. Becoming best friends with your family

These six elements are the keys to Love. Love is not an emotion, love is not a feeling, love is not happen-stance. Love is a Decision. Love is waking up every day committed to honoring your mate by implementing the above six keys. If you want to have a great relationship, guess what, it’s up to you.” (Love is a decision by Gary Smalley with John Trent)

love is a decision


Excerpts from I Promise You Forever
by Gary Smalley

I promise to focus on your value instead of weaknesses

“Promise this dear person in your life that your love is stronger than his or her faults. He is a treasure you will honor and love in spite of his faults. She is more precious to you than anything in your life even if she does have a few flaws.”

“In the words of Jesus himself, ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21). You decide what is valuable to you, and your emotions will fall in line and validate that choice.” (pp 42-42)

I promise to work with you for a win-win solution to our differences

“I want to do a lot of things, but I can’t just do whatever I want because I’m married to a person who has beliefs, needs, and feelings of her own. We love each other and neither wants the other to feel trampled on.”

“So we operate by this rule: When we disagree, we don’t move forward until both of us feel good about the solution. When my wife says to me, ‘I don’t want to move forward until you’re happy,’ I relax. She doesn’t want me to lose. And because I love my wife, I don’t want her to lose either. We use these three steps:

1. We communicate honestly and openly without judgment. We listen to the other’s feelings, needs, and beliefs, and openly communicate ours. We don’t try to change or pressure each other. We listen for the heart beneath the words.

2. We place on the table ideas and alternatives, discussing their pros and cons and testing each for acceptability to the other.

3. We find solutions that both partners like.” (pp 54-55)

I promise to honor you

“Honor is a way of accurately seeing the immense value of a person made in God’s image. God created each one of us a a one-of-a-kind person with unique gifts and a unique personality. He sees each of us as precious and valuable because He sees the innate worth He built into us.”

“Honor is so simple. It means to value another person highly as extremely important and of great worth… Honor is not earned; it’s a gift. It isn’t purchased by your mate’s actions… You give honor because you choose to give it… It’s a decision you make…”

“When you married, you received a treasure of unfathomable worth.” (pp 12-14)

I promise to install an emotional security system for our marriage

“What I am talking about here is… the security to truly open up and be known at a deep, initmate level without fear of being blamed, criticized, judged, or condemned.”

“A safe marriage is one in which each partner loves the other simply because he or she needs it.” (pp 18-19, 25)

I promise to listen and communicate with love

“I will value every word you speak as a window to your heart. I will honor your opinions, feelings, needs, and beliefs so that you will feel free to speak honestly and openly with full security in my love for you. I will be open with you in communicating my heart and will consider your feelings and needs in all my words.” (p. 45)

I promise to learn what your needs are

“How do you discover what your mate’s needs are? Well, you might consider just asking.” (pp 62-63)

I promise to remember you are God’s gift to me

“When you look for the good and honorable in your mate, you will find it. God instilled His glory into each of us.”

“Regardless of what we believe about someone, whether positive or negative, we will find evidence to support that belief… If you choose to see your mate as a wonderful treasure, you will focus on his or her positive behavior as evidence of high worth. Both the positive and negative are always there. Which you focus on is your choice.”

“Choosing to notice your mate’s positive behavior is what the Apostle Paul said to do: ‘Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things’ (Philippians 4:8 NASB).” (p. 15, 17)

I promise you forever by smallyMatthew 19:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b] and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c] So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Genesis 2:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Genesis 2:21-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


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