As sad as it is, today’s society has oh so commonly accepted divorce. If you find you fight too much, can’t live with each other, don’t get along (what are we in kindergarten??), or just get bored of each other, divorce it is. You can always find a new husband or wife, right?
No one views marriage as the holy matrimony that it really is. No one cares that what God joins together He says “let NO man seperate.” All people care about are themselves, and making themselves happier. If only we could refocus our views off of ourselves, and onto our hsubands/wives, we would start to see another person’s needs. We would be able to fulfill their needs and respect them before ourselves. And we would fight a lot harder to not lose the one we were meant to live forever with.
Marriage is something heavy on my heart that I feel should be encouraged in so many ways. Don’t feel like you need to wait to make a change. And don’t feel like you have to wait until your 30 with a huge career established, just to get married. Get married young! Have kids! Enjoy LIFE together with your soul mate! Who wants to go through the rough years of life alone? I get it, you need to “find yourself”. Well if I didn’t meet my husband at 17, and marry him at 19, I’d probably still be searching for who I am because he has reflected a godly life that encourages me to be a better person. He shows me what it’s like to be a faithful servant, and someone opposite of me when it comes to getting angry – he’s slow to become upset. And he’s helped me do better with that. God only knows where I’d be if I hadn’t met him when I did.
Here are a few simple ways to start reflecting on, so you can make your marriage last a lifetime…..not a simple decade…:
1. Understand each other
This is something that I believe should take place during an engagement, but since you’re reading this, you’re most likely already married (and if you’re not then high five!) so we’ll continue discussing it anyway. :) To be able to understand each other is something so vital in any marriage. How can you properly react, deal with, live with, talk to, or respect someone if you don’t understand them. What makes them happy? sad? cry? ticked? tickled? hehe, had to throw that one in there. — How are you to expect true happiness from someone, if you don’t know how to make them happy first? Ask your spouse questions. Ask them, “What do I do that really makes you annoyed?” Then avoid doing it! Ask them, “What can I do more to show you I love you?” Then by all means do it more! By understanding your husband or wife, you can better respect and love them because you know what makes their clock tick. You know how they work. I challenge you to ask your spouse 3 questions to better your relationship with them: “What do I do that annoys, upsets, or makes you mad and how can I stop? Is there anything that I do that shows you that I love you that I can do more of? And finally, “What is your love language?” – important to know! read about those HERE.
2. Never ever go to bed angry.
If bedtime is near, and you are in a tiff with your spouse, then HASH. IT. OUT! Do it before you go to bed. We don’t know when our last breath will be, folks. Truly think about the fact that you could go to bed one night and your husband/wife doesn’t wake up the next morning and the last thing you talked about (or yelled about) was mean, degrading, and selfish words that you will never get to fix. Or say “I’m sorry.” Talk to each other and fix the issue before you go to bed. You’ll sleep better, and eliminate the silent treatment and cold shoulder that can last up to days.
3. Learn about each other
This one goes hand in hand with number one. It’s not only important that we understand our spouse, but that we never stop learning about each other so long as we both shall live. One thing that will never change is the fact that men and women are wired completely differently. What makes a woman feel loved, could be swept under the rug to a guy. And what makes a guy feel respected, could totally mean nothing to a woman. Men are visual. Women are not. Men like to be respected and praised. Women like to be hugged and kissed on the forehead. Men like to go to sleep at the same time every night. Women like to stay up and chat. Women like love notes. Men just like a good lunch packed in their lunch box. Are you catching my drift? We women are sappy, hopeless romantics, that crave hugs and kisses, and time alone with our hubbys. Men, learn this about your wife. Learn what makes her feel loved. Women, learn what makes your man feel respected. Honor him. Too many times we take for granted one of the most valuable gifts God has given us – our spouse. We wouldn’t talk rudely to our friends, or make our neighbors feel like any less of a person just for leaving socks on the floor would we? So why do we do it to the one person we are to cherish? If you are struggling in your marriage, learn WHY you are struggling. Ask your spouse questions, without a selfish motive.
4. Never give up!
One of the most important keys in this post is this one. Never give up on your spouse. Fight for them. Stick up for them. Put them on a pedestal. You must love something great about them, or else you wouldn’t have married them remember? Take pride in your spouse and fight for your marriage. Don’t let this world win! Many, many trials will come your way I promise. Who are you going to let win? Are you going to let Satan destroy your holy bond? Or are you going to punch him in the face and fight tooth and nail for a marriage you’ve worked so hard for? As it says in my favorite book, James, “Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kind. For the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” You will be stronger in the end. And your marriage will be stronger than you ever dreamed. Love & marriage are so holy and important in the eyes of the Lord; it reflects his love and relationship to the church – us! He loves and protects us, nurtures us, is on-call 24/7, and blesses us beyond what we deserve even when we fail Him over and over. Women, your husband is going to fail you. Men, your wife is going to fail you. We will always let each other down. It’s up to us to let that defeat us, or make us stronger in the end!
5. Pray with each other
Every night (well almost every night), my hubby and I pray together while laying in bed just as our days are closing. It is so important to pray with each other and also to pray for each other in a world that so carelessly tears marriages apart. You need prayer on your side. You need to talk about things to pray for each other. And with each other. Ask your spouse how you can pray for them. Pray that God would -encourage them. -calm their spirit. -allow them to prosper at work. -remain faithful to one another. -devote time in the Word. -be a strong leader of the home. -have patience as a mom(of multiple kiddos too). There are so many things you can pray for your spouse. And it’s awesome to pray together as a couple before the Lord. There is nothing that makes Him happier. Your marriage will thank you!
This one can be the hardest thing to do. However, it is the most important key here. If you can’t forgive your spouse, you cannot get ahead. One thing we need to remember: forgiveness is not for the other person. It is for YOU! By staying angry at someone for doing wrong to you, is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die. They could have moved on with life and totally forgot what they did wrong. But here you are still saulking over the argument hoping karma beats them with a stick! By learning to forgive, and let go of the mistakes, you are able to free yourself of the hurt they caused you in the beginning. God commands us to forgive. After all, He forgives us time and time again, over and over. And we still fail Him the next day. When your spouse does something wrong, whether it be so little, or so deeply hurtful, you simply cannot move on and feel happy again until you forgive them. You can’t expect to feel any better because you will always bring up the past and dwell on old circumstances. Instead, learn to forgive them, and encourage them. Trust me on this one, you will feel 100% better when you forgive & forget. Promise!
I challenge you to talk to your spouse about these 6 keys to living out a lifetime of wedded bliss. You have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain! Take one key over the next 6 weeks and focus on one key per week. Find ways to serve your spouse. Do something that makes them happy or feel loved without them asking. Just how hard are you willing to fight to have the best, lovely, honorable marriage ever?