Marriages are being attacked today, so when I saw this blog post a while back I had to share it with you all. I hope it will be an encouragement to your and your spouse. :-) Thanks to http://apparentstuff.com
This time of year, gyms are packed and millions of dollars are shelled out as everyone resolves to work off that holiday poundage from eating one too many sausage balls. It’s estimated that gyms are 30 to 40 percent more crowded in January. Unfortunately, that New Year’s gusto typically wears off in a couple of months. I can’t wait to read the updates from the gym rats on Facebook complaining about these newbies.
Don’t get me wrong, physical health is important, and in fact, I hope I can make exercising and a healthier diet objectives in the new year. But, where does our marital health rank on the list of To-Do’s? Instead of our bodies and physical appearance being the top priorities in 2014, what if we put that focus on our marriages instead?
The hardest part of parenting, that no one seems to want to warn you about, is the strain children have on your marriage. Children can come between you and your spouse. For us, it’s quite literal. I can’t seem to hug my wife without my 4-year-old butting in between us to make a “sandwich.”
As the years go by, the children naturally become our focus, making it easy to lose sight of each other. We don’t take the time or energy necessary to stay connected.
But, this trend can be stopped. I believe there are seven words that, if applied to our marriages, have the power to make this year the best year we have ever experienced as a couple.
1.Initiate. Remember the courtship? Make an effort to woo your spouse all over again. So many marriages fall apart because people just stop trying.
Prov 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
2. Prioritize. What is your top priority? It’s where you devote the majority of your time or energy. Turn off the television and put down your iPhone. Your email and updating your Facebook status can wait. Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves
3. Communicate. In a successful marriage, you have to fight the urge to sweep things under the rug. Don’t allow things to fester. Instead, keep an open line of communication. When we have “sounding boards” who aren’t our spouses, sure, we might feel a little better, but we are doing nothing to actually resolve situations or improve our relationship.
Prov 16:23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
4. Listen. The most important part of communicating doesn’t involve speaking; it’s listening. Your spouse wants to be heard. How can you know what he or she is feeling if you don’t take the time to listen. All too often, many of us are too quick to interject before the person is even finished speaking.
“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19
5. Forgive. Don’t hold onto things. You only harm yourself. When your spouse does something, refer to #3 and #4. Then, let it go. Forgive them and move on.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye Colossians 3:12-13
6.Love. Without love, there is no marriage. And, that’s why we must keep the spark alive. This year, set aside more time to date your spouse. And, when you are out, try your best to make sure the kids or grandkids aren’t the primary topic of conversation.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
7. Pray. It has been said that a successful marriage consists of three people: husband, wife and God. Involve Him more, even in the so-called “little things.”
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” I Chronicles 16:11