In over 30 years serving homes as a Christian counselor, I have noticed some qualities that are found in loving and “successful” homes. Here is Part 1 of an ongoing series on the characteristics of these marriages.

The Characteristics Found in Loving Homes

Several characteristics are shared among the loving and successful homes that I’ve observed through my career as a Christian counselor. These include:

Respect – Partners value the other and express dignity towards each other.

Appreciation – Thankfulness is presented in words, gifts and acts of service to one’s spouse. This acknowledges that the other person could have made other choices, but chooses to marry, serve and share in activities together.

Dependability – When there is a commitment made or a task to do, a spouse can count on the other to carry it through without worrying about them or reminding them to complete it.

Full-Disclosure – Because each partner directly and indirectly affects the home and marriage in their thoughts and activities, that person openly shares their “private” life with the other. This is done with availability, truth, and accountability, and not secretiveness, “none-of-your-business,” or shame of secret activities.

Prioritization – Marriage and home life are the highest reference points for making time and task decisions. For example, given an opportunity to go out alone with the guys or gals, consideration is made as to what family activity might be missed upon for doing so. In incidents like these, the home is factored into the decision and considered equal to or over one’s “right” to do things alone.

Communication – For some reason, communication seems to be a mysterious concept and activity for couples. For me, it is simply the sharing of information. We do it all the time outside of the home: at work, among friends, shopping, or using all forms of media. A characteristic found in many loving homes is the interest, concern and willingness of both partners to receive and share information about their day, their hearts, and even their worries.

Coordination – A result of good communication is a discussion of the multiple of activities, needs and tasks a family faces. Effective and contented marriages understand and fairly divide up these important areas of the home. While certain chores, for example, may seem to naturally be of interest to one partner, which does not mean that he or she only does an “easy” area only. There are areas and sacrificial decisions to be made to extend one’s efforts in many other areas for the sake of the home and the marriage.

We’ll continue this discussion in the next several articles. I hope that you’ve found this information helpful.

Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789). He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis, Edina, Minnetonka and other Western Suburbs.