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“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.”
– I Corinthians 13:13
As a young couple, my husband and I never gave too much thought to how challenging it may be at times, to engage with each other through our two very different personalities; I am very much a people person, my husband is an aeronautical engineer; he is very much a “thinker” and I am more of a feeler. We approach our preferences and our perspectives very differently.
The marriage relationship is a living entity, always changing, because we are changing.
Over the years, individually, we learn to process information differently; we develop different needs, most likely even our priorities have changed from when we first got married. Hopefully, over the years, we have learned to communicate better with each other. Life circumstances cause change, either negatively or positively, in each one of us.
Being in love with the idea of being with that special someone for the rest of our life, is often the motivator that leads us in our decision to marry, believing the honeymoon phase will last forever.
I think we all know, in reality, the honeymoon is only a small droplet in the ocean of matrimony. However, we begin to allow ourselves to set expectations of one another, as though we believed, in some way, somehow, the honeymoon phase is the norm of life together.
One of the world’s lies is that we deserve to be happy, so we look to our spouse to fulfill that desire.
We know we are not perfect human beings. Yet, we approach our marriage expecting the one we love, the flawed human being we have given our life, to fulfill all of our needs.
How unfair and unhealthy is that?
We certainly want to experience happiness in our marriage; however, to experience happiness, we must value growing a healthy relationship, based on commitment, and grace.
Marriage is hard; a successful marriage takes fortitude and intentionality. The relationship needs to be protected, cherished, and nurtured.
It is imperative for both the husband and the wife to know how to guard their love and guard the marriage relationship. Be alert; do not buy into the lies and values of the world. Know that love is a choice. Growing a healthy marriage requires both partners to make hard choices, to make sacrifices for each other.
Desire to honor one another through the tensions; purpose to listen well and to speak to each other with respect. Do not judge; choose to extend grace.
God designed the marriage relationship to be honoring, for both the husband and the wife. If we value God’s design for marriage, the only option we have is to nurture it with intentionality.
Most importantly, remember, you are not alone; God wants to empower you to have a healthy marriage, a happy marriage, where love can grow and take root. A healthy marriage IS a happy marriage.
Determine what changes you need to make to allow Him to be at the center of your marriage relationship. Purpose to join in partnership with God.
One of the most, intentional things you can do as a couple, is to pray together, every day; for each other and for your relationship.
Thank God for your spouse. Allow God to become the anchor in your marriage, go to Him for help. Surrender your desires and feelings of inadequacies to Him.
Spend time in Scripture, notice what God says about Himself, and what He says about you – personalize His Word. Ask God to help each of you to want what He wants; trust His will, even when circumstances do not make sense.
Enjoy your life together, it is God’s gift.
Did you miss Jonathan’s sermon on marriage last week? Watch it here.