How do two people stay married for life? And how do we guard ourselves in sexual temptation, despite being attracted to other people? In this conversation we discuss crisis, how to cope with those irritating things your spouse does and what it takes to live happily ever after.

Join us with Robert & Amanda Fergusson, teaching pastors at global Hillsong Church, as they share with candor and warmth, from more than forty four years of marriage, how to make it last a lifetime.

Want a review (or didn’t have time to watch the full video)? no problem! Here’s a summary of what we talked about.

After being married for over four decades, what have you observed about the way crisis impacts marriage?

  • Crisis, whatever crisis it is, is a revealer – it simply shows and amplifies what is already going on inside. This is also an opportunity. Crisis, in Chinese, has two characters – danger + opportunity.
  • Great relationships are based on real friendship.
  • In this time, and any time, we need a conflict management system prior to conflict, when you are in a good frame of mind, ‘How are we going to resolve conflict?’ Then when we are in crisis, we have already agreed on our system.
  • Communication based on mutual love and respect, willing to give space for what each person needs individually.

What, besides friendship, helps keep you together when you could be divided?

  • Friendships take time and work, and marriage, as your best friendship is no different
  • Calling
  • Jesus as central figure, not you or your partner or your kids
  • The Scripture as guiding test and high goal, not just what you think and what I think

And if the friendship is shaky, and I feel I’ve married the wrong person, now what?

  • Choosing not to live second-guessing our lives: God does not deal in might-have-beens, he only deals with what is.
  • We only have grace for the situation we are in, not for a previous time or somewhere outside of this moment.
  • God believes in marriage, he is absolutely committed to marriage – and if you are fighting for your marriage, you can be absolutely convinced that God is fighting right alongside you.
  • Looking back is very dangerous.
  • Remove the escape route, we are stuck with each other, and therefore, how do we
  • No temptation has come which is not common to everyone, God will make a way out of every problem.
  • Make the decision, we are not going to go down that path.
  • It is a lot of hard work.
  • If I start thinking about someone else… I wonder what it would be like to be with that person, then imagining, and within a few minutes, we are in mental adultery – very difficult to remove from our minds.
  • If we are draw strength from anyone, in a way that we should only draw from our partner, and within some time, we will end up committing adultery.
  • So we need to catch our thoughts right at the beginning, before it takes root, at the point of temptation, before sin.
  • We must build the bridge between one another, if we want to share vulnerable information like ‘Someone was flirting with me, and I liked it.’ Do not just share that if it could induce insecurity in your partner, you must build a trusting relationship.
  • Practically: set up a regular forum for a conversation with one another
  • A lot of life is very mundane. If you want to have a great marriage, you need to organize your day effectively.
  • Be intentional — dream and set vision for your marriage.
  • Compromise. Find common ground, we might need to abandon some things we might have done, and seek out a broad common ground that we can both flourish in.

Great encouragement – it’s not just that some people are compatible and others are not. If we keep making the hard and right decisions, our marriage will last.

  • Where two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.
  • Our uniqueness is part of the magic of it all – true of marriage and culture. We need to be diverse, and strive to be one in spirit, not the same in ethnicity or culture, same in spirit.

How do you let go of things about your spouse that are really irritating?

  • Don’t keep a record… if I have forgiven, if my spouse does it again, it’s the first time.
  • Embrace those unique parts of relationship, accept it different and that is part of the diversity in relationship.

How do you deal with budgets — who spends and who saves?

  • Let each flourish in the area they are better in, work with each other’s strengths.

What does it look like to look like to build biblical patterns with family, devotions, or pray everyday as a couple?

  • Each night, prayerful which each one, teaching children to love the Scripture
  • We’ve stayed together, and not prayed together out loud each day.
  • Take your own personal responsibility to have a solid relationship with Jesus, and commit to your relationship with him, the rest of your spirituality flows from there.
  • Children need to see an authentic relationship with Jesus, real people, loving people, someone your children look at and want to be like.

Want to dive deeper? Check out these resources:

If you’d like to talk further about any of the concepts discussed in this interview, please reach out directly to Katie.