You know you would like to have a marriage you have always dreamed of having but somewhere along the way the challenges of life has got into your marriage. And now you find yourself not knowing how to improve your difficult marriage.
On our previous post, Why Do You Settle For a Difficult Marriage, I gave a challenge for anyone who felt stuck with no intention of doing anything about the condition of their marriage. I talked about how marriage was designed by God to be place of “One Flesh” unity and that God esteems marriage in such high regard that He even chose marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church.
And as I mentioned in my challenge, “if marriage has been given the responsibility from God to represent what Christ relationship with us the Church should look like, shouldn’t we hold marriage to the same standard of honor and glory that God has already placed on it.”
But maybe you’re someone from my last post who answered yes to the question, “Are you in a marriage that could be better, but you just don’t know how to get there?” And so if this is you, I know you’re not looking for something that simply inspires you to do better. You are looking for some practical advise of what you can do.
What should you do?
Pray, pray, pray!!!
Don’t wait until you or your spouse has had enough before you start praying. Start praying now and never stop praying until the day you die. Prayer is not what you do when all else has failed. Prayer is what you start with to hopefully keep all else from failing.
- Pray for yourself, not as a victim, but simply as someone who needs all the help you can get.
- Pray that your heart would be tender toward your spouse.
- Pray that your heart would be open to whatever the Lord needs to teach you.
- Pray for God to help you guard the words you speak, so that you stop doing damage to your marriage and you start repairing any damage that has been done.
- Pray for forgiveness and pray for help so that you are able to forgive.
- Pray for wisdom and creativity to make good investments into your marriage.
- Pray for your spouse, not as an adversary, but as someone you want to receive all that God has for him/her.
- Pray for the condition of his/her heart, that it would be pure before the Lord.
- Pray that his/her mind would be clear from confusion or distractions.
- Pray for his/her health, his/her needs, his/her desires and dreams.
- Pray that he/she will receive God’s help to overcome every challenge he/she faces.
- Pray over every circumstance and issue you know of that needs to be dealt with and resolved.
- Pray for wisdom to handle issues in the way the Lord would have you to.
- Pray that your marriage would become more important to both you and your spouse than either of your own personal views or selfishness.
- Pray for other people who have an effect on your marriage.
- Pray for your children, your parents and siblings, your in-laws, your friends, your spouses friends, yours and your spouses employers, and anyone else that can influence your marriage for the good or the bad.
- Pray that negative influences would be stop and positive influence would be strengthened.
Invest, invest, invest!!!
Don’t ever think you have done all you need to do to invest into your marriage. “For as long as you both shall live” you will need to make regular investments into your marriage. This is something where you must never think you have done enough. You must never think you have done your part and now you should just wait on your spouse to do his/her part. No, you must accept your role and your own responsibility to continually invest into the health of your marriage.
- Invest with love by regularly speaking your spouse’s love language. Knowing how to speak your spouse’s love language and doing enough to keep his/her love tank full is an absolute necessity for keeping a marriage strong.
- Invest by giving love to the extreme amount that is always surpassing even your own expectations, and not according to the amount you are receiving love.
- Invest by giving time. Give the most quality time you can give. Be intentional with how you give your time. And be attentive and in the moment knowing you are not promised tomorrow so you want to make every moment count. Make the moments you have together memorable and special.
- Invest by giving the most quantity of time you can give. Make every effort to be together as much as you can be. No one ever lies on their deathbed regretting the time they gave to their spouse.
- Invest with your money. You may not have much or you may have plenty, but how you choose to use the money you have says a lot about your priorities. Your spouse should never feel neglected because you choose to use your money for selfish and materialistic reasons. Your money speaks for where your heart is. So if you say your heart is in your marriage, then your money should be going there as well.
- Invest with help from outside sources, such as counselors, classes, retreats, seminars, conferences, support groups, and reading material from books and internet sites. Absorb yourself into ways you can gain greater knowledge and understanding for how a marriage should work, for how you and your spouse are different, and for emotional unmet needs either of you may be suffering from.
- Invest with your commitment. Commit to love! Commit to make peace! Commit to give forgiveness! And commit to remaining hopeful!
Next to a relationship with the Lord a marriage can be the most satisfying and rewarding relationship a person can have. [Tweet]
This rewarding relationship may take more work than you ever thought you had to give. It may take believing in the possible even when it looks impossible.
But in the end you have to give your marriage the best chance you can give by making the right choices. And by following through your good intentions with the actual work that will give you and your spouse the best chance you can give.
Next time we will talk to those who answered yes, “Are you in a difficult marriage and all you can think about is running away from it?”
Do you see the possibility of a great marriage simply by being more intentional with your prayer life and more purposeful with your investments?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net