Growth For The Long Haul
In the everyday moments of marriage, there are many opportunities to speak different languages, feel like you’re on different pages, and get annoyed with one another.
At a human level, if we don’t keep the bigger picture front and center, discontentment easily creeps in and unhealthy communication can become the norm.
So when days fly by and it’s hard to connect, how can we ensure our marriage stays strong?
According to God’s word, the foundation upon which everything is built is love, trust, commitment, and faith, which are effective tools to ensure we continue to grow together.
These are the building blocks that allow us to continue to flourish in marriage.
- Love. On my own, in my own strength, I cannot love all the time; however, when I think about God’s love for me, I begin to see love differently.
If you’re not a Christ-follower, you may be inclined to do what feels right to you, especially as the world teaches you it is your own happiness that matters most. But when you look at your relationship through the lens of God’s love, your love will grow stronger. Read 1 Corinthians 13:5-7 to understand God’s love for you and how He can help us love others.
- Trust. My husband can say of me, “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” -Proverbs 31:12 NIV
Trust is a gift we should handle with care and try not to take for granted. Even when I’m irritated with my husband, I can trust we have each other’s best interests at heart. But ultimately, trust within marriage is rooted in an unshakeable trust in God.
- Commitment. Unfortunately, the marriage commitment is becoming less valued in our society, and more and more couples are finding it acceptable to give up on the commitment made before God. Our commitment to each other ought not to be oppressive, but liberating. It’s not a ball and chain as some would have you think but an intimacy enhancer and a blossom that allows a friendship to grow.
Commitment reminds me to stay the course, to keep going, to believe the best about my spouse (even when he shows me his worst or I do the same), and to forgive. Although it was a marriage vow on our wedding day, when I continually commit my marriage to God, I know that He’s directing the course of my marriage (Proverbs 3:5-6). In essence, this commitment is an expression of love. The same qualities that love exhibits, commitment reinforces.
- Faith. Faith is evident in the three cord strand in marriage; the unseen guest that provides hope – Jesus Christ himself within a marriage. Faith in God allows you to know that God sees it all – the good, the bad and the ugly of your relationship and He’s still there for you. Faith provides boldness to approach His throne with grace and find grace to help in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). This practice of approaching God with what you need softens your heart and gives you new eyes to view your partnership and your marriage. Simply put, firm faith in God strengthens your love in your marriage.
When I started writing this article, I was irritated with my husband. In the grand scheme of things, it was something trivial, but it had been lingering for a while. But discontent does not mean dissolution. Consistently prioritizing our relationship with God makes longevity in marriage possible, because it grows the love, trust, commitment, and faith in not only our own hearts but within our marriages.
Wife Step: Take the next few minutes to ask God which of the above you need God’s help to strengthen in your heart and marriage.
Nylse Esahc is a Christian wife and a mother of four who loves life and inspiring others. She recently published her first book – My Best Marriage Advice. She likes to have fun but is very clear on who she is and Whose she is. A prolific thinker, she blogs to encourage others from a Christian perspective at www.lifenotesencouragement.com. She can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.