If only marital problems were as difficult as forgiving your spouse for leaving the toilet seat down or laughing off your wife’s recent shoe purchase. The truth is, marriages are on the attack, daily, and Satan seeks to destroy the blessed unions God has built.
Despite the enemy’s concentrated efforts, crises can actually lead to solutions and exponential growth. Here are 3 key pieces of advice to redirect your path, together, towards a loving, joyful marriage.
1. Uphold your end of the bargain.
Okay, so marriage is certainly not a bargain, but for the sake of utilizing that cliché, understand that before you redirect your path together, you must commit to doing the best you can at upholding your vows.
Both partners must own their words, decisions and actions, because as each spouse focuses on upholding their vows, their union will inevitably strengthen because both people are giving their very best, often resulting in increased respect, love, consideration, and grace. “… your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives” (1 Peter 1-2).
2. Nix the 50-50 rule.
Marriage is a beautiful, lifelong commitment; however, committing to the long haul means giving 100%, refusing to conform to the 50-50 rule. After all, when has 50% ever been enough?
In the classroom, 50% is failing. 50% of anything is subpar, actually, and that includes marriage, too. Nevertheless, giving 100% is not always easy, especially when your spouse may not be doing the same; however, if you want to reap results, you must invest. While 100% effort requires full attention and exertion, 100% actually simplifies life in the long run!
When you give 100% of your heart, time, effort and attention, you are redirecting your marriage to exist in a land of trust, consistency and joy, all of which makes for a loving, lasting marriage.
3. Make time.
When something or someone is important to you, you make time, right? Your favorite television show comes on, every night, at 8 pm; your favorite exercise class is every Monday and Friday at 6 pm; you have a standing hair appointment on the 1st of every month. These things are of importance to you, so you carve time out in your schedule.
Well, what about your spouse? Are you making time for your spouse in the same way you naturally make time for activities or people who are important to you, too?
Thriving, loving couples enjoy spending time together. These marriages thrive on date nights, laughter, routine and spontaneity, too! They value their time together, and their value is evident through planned dates, vacations and everyday moments in between. The enemy uses seemingly harmless things to pull you away from your partner; perhaps you prioritize your hobby over your spouse, or maybe you feel too tired to spend time together. Do not let the enemy divide your marriage. Make a conscious effort to make time.
Marriage, while beautiful, is hard work, and work requires effort. Give your best, believe in yourself, believe in your spouse and believe that no problem, distraction or challenge is too big for God. “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).