By Rebecca Hastings
Do you ever wish you could give your marriage a fresh start?
I stood looking at my closet the other day unsure of what I liked, what actually fit, and what was in style. Looking at my clothes all I could think was that I wanted a fresh start.
Were there good things in my closet? Sure. But I was just overwhelmed by all that was in there. I didn’t know what to do. So I closed the doors, vowing to take care of it another day.
Marriage can feel a little like that closet. It’s easy to look around and see all the things that are wrong, the things you wish were different, the things that could be better. It’s easy to wish for a fresh start to do it all over again.
But there is too much good to give up everything. Instead of mentally scrapping the whole thing, what if you could find some small fresh starts to breathe life into your marriage?
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (CSB)
As you are reminded of what love looks like, you can give your marriage the fresh start it needs.
Are you keeping a record of wrongs?
Listen, this one is hard. I’m starting with the hardest one because it affects all the others. If you are keeping a record of things your spouse did (or didn’t do) in the past, you are missing out on the fullness of love available in your marriage.
Give your marriage a fresh start by forgiving and working through issues. These may be small things to do on your own or they may be bigger issues to work through with a pastor or professional counselor. No matter what they are, let go of offenses to discover the love your marriage deserves.
Are you putting yourself first?
It can happen so easily. You think you’re putting your spouse first because it feels like you’re putting your family first in everything. But what about in your heart?
The things you think and feel impact the way you love. If you are feeling irritated or speak rudely to your spouse, it can be an indicator that you’re putting yourself first. Even things like envy and boastfulness can be the result of self-seeking behavior.
Of course, your feelings and thoughts matter. They need to be addressed because they are important. But consider how you are handling them. Think about how you can value your feelings and thoughts while still honoring your husband.
The best way to find a fresh start in this area is to consistently put Jesus first. And when you make a mistake (because we all will!) go back and try again.
Are you loving fully?
Life is full and busy. When you feel overwhelmed it’s easy to lose track of things that you know are important like kindness and patience. Use this as a reminder to check in and see how your heart is toward your husband.
Are you being kind?
Would he say you are patient with him?
How can you show him kindness in small ways each day?
As you consider each of these questions, use them as a refresh for your marriage. You can love your husband the way the Bible describes in 1 Corinthians. And today is a great day to start fresh!
Wife Step: Ask yourself one of these questions today and pray about how to refresh your marriage in that area.
Rebecca Hastings is a writer and speaker helping women discover faith in their real, everyday life. Married for 23 years, she is a wife and mother of three living in her hometown in Connecticut. Her books, including Worthy: Believe Who God Says You Are, are available on Amazon. Rebecca can often be found typing words, driving her kids places, or wherever there is chocolate.