It feels like there are ebbs and flows of this but recently I have found myself praying for a lot of marriages. Marriage is difficult and during the seasons in which our intentional investments grow lax, we often see heightened struggles and tension. However, when things are ‘firing on all cylinders’ marriage is one of the greatest joys we can experience in life.
I would like to share one very specific word of encouragement with you regarding your marriage. However, to get to that single piece of encouragement I want to make sure we affirm two foundational ideas. First, not only your marriage but everything in and around your life needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. Placing your faith in him is simply believing in A Simple Story That Will Change Your Life. Second, and intimately wrapped up in the first, we need to be actively engaged in gospel transformation. Without a doubt, these two things will have the greatest impact on your marriage right now and for the rest of your life. These create the foundation on which we can build a healthy, joyous, and intimate marriage relationship.
As these serve as the foundation of our marriage relationships, the most important building block I can offer upon that is intentional time. If you remember your dating or engagement season you probably remember the great joys of just spending time together. You didn’t have to be doing anything monumental, you just wanted to spend time together. My wife and I spent some of our dating time in different cities and I remember just sitting on the phone with her… no one was talking…. we just sat on the phone together. Sounds pretty ridiculous as I think back on it BUT it was birthed from an overwhelming desire to spend time together.
I know, our lives have changed. If your marriage looks anything like mine then you have thrown 3 kids into the equation, all of their activities and ailments, a demanding profession, and many other responsibilities that you never knew existed when you were just sitting in silence on the phone with your significant other. No one will tell you it is easy. If anyone tells you it is easy then you need to find someone else to listen to because they are lying. It is extremely difficult. However, it is most definitely worth the struggle to experience the great blessings of a strong and joyous marriage relationship.
Let me also remind us that the health of our marriages, for those of us who are parents, now impact the generations. So, this is not just about you anymore. One of the biggest lies I hear about divorce is that a couple agreed it was best and thus everything will be just fine. Aside from all of the biblical issues with that, any child of divorce will tell you that it has effects that carry for generations. But, that is not our motivation here…. just a quick dose of reality.
God created marriage to bring greater worship and joy into your life. Therefore, the promises of that joy will always be a reality if we are approaching it the way He intended. Love Jesus and know him deeply and walk in the gospel transformation He will bring into our lives. Then, make it a priority to spend intentional relational time with your spouse. If this is not normal for your marriage you may have to learn how to do it again. That is AWESOME! Just get started today. After the kids go to bed, one date night each week, morning coffee, evening workout, or anything else that you can do to make it happen. I promise you that this investment will over time pay dividends that effect every single aspect of your life… for the remainder of your life.
If you have a specific obstacle and just can’t figure out how to pull this off… would you share that with us and allow others to offer some words of encouragement from their experience? Have you found a strategy that works really well for you marriage? Share that so other couples can read, learn, and grow from what you have found.