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Today I address the importance of establishing boundaries by which our marriage is guided. Yea, parameters by which our relationship is governed.

It was a Monday morning, two weeks ago, that my wife was ready to depart for work when something happened. She said, "Sweetheart, have you seen my keys?" Then she explained that she had an appointment and she had to leave immediately. But her car key was no where to be found.

I called out to the kids, "All hands on deck, guys. Let's find these keys". We searched everywhere without success.

Then my wife said to me, "But Sweetheart, let's retrace our steps. You were the last one that used the key". I thought for a moment, then I conceded, "You are right".

I remembered that the day before, Sunday, I had cleaned and checked her car to ensure it was ready for the week. I was at a loss for words. Then I thought, Let me check my car.

I dashed to my car, and there the key was, in the cup holder.

(I had gone to my car after working on her car).

I came back with the key. What do you think my wife said or did? She sighed, took the key from me then said, I have to go now. I took her handbag and folders, and walked her to her car.

Before long we were throwing kisses at each other again as she drove away.

She could have beaten, battered and bruised me with her words at that point. Our entire day could have been spoiled by angry, impatient expressions tailored at teaching me a lifelong lesson. Our marriage could have gone sour for days and even weeks.

But do you know what saved me? On our wedding day, fifteen (15) years ago, we made a commitment with each other, that as long as we live we would never utter a negative word to each other, not even in the form of a joke so help me God. And we were serious about it.

Admittedly, especially in the early days, we did not achieve that goal a hundred percent of the time all the time, but we tried. After a while, however, it was like second nature. Setting that parameter, alone, in our marriage is the reason we have a beautiful relationship today, so much so that every day for us is like a dating experience.

We were led to establish that boundary in our relationship, because over the years, prior to our marriage, we had learned of the power of words to either destroy or enhance a relationship.

We Learned of Proverbs 16:24: Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

We also learned of a quote by Ellen G. White. She says:

In your married life seek to elevate one another.

Show the high and elevating principles of your holy faith in your everyday conversations and in the most private walks of life.

Be ever careful and tender of the feelings of one another. Do not allow a playful, bantering, joking censuring of one another. These things are dangerous. They wound. The wound may be concealed, nevertheless the wound exists and peace is being sacrificed and happiness endangered. - In heavenly places, 204.

I think you get the idea. If you are serious about having a vital, triumphant marriage you must establish principles to live by, boundaries to guide you, and commitments to help you.

Lloyd Allen

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