Relinquish control to God. Depend on God's unlimited power instead of your own limited power to handle tough situations in your marriage. Know that you can overcome obstacles only with God's help. Pray with your spouse daily. Set healthy boundaries in your marriage (such as calling a time-out when an argument becomes too heated) so your heart doesn't harden toward your spouse. Keep your heart open for God to use to accomplish His purposes.

Create a marriage purpose statement. Think and pray about what principles you want to guide your marriage. Then write a statement with your spouse that expresses them and reminds you both of what's important as you interact with each other. Enjoy building the marriage of your dreams!

Adapted from The Marriage You've Always Dreamed Of by Dr. Greg Smalley, copyright 2005 by The Smalley Publishing Group, LLC. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill.,

Greg Smalley earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University in southern California. He also holds a master's degree in counseling psychology from Denver Seminary. Dr. Smalley is the president and CEO of the Smalley Relationship Center, located in Branson, Missouri. He teaches at the monthly Marriage for a Lifetime marriage seminar across the United States. Greg and his wife, Erin, are the parents of two daughters, Taylor and Maddy, and a son, Garrison. The family lives in Branson, Missouri.