Recently I have had such a heavy heart for so many couples facing marital issues. So many on the verge of divorce, so many hurting hearts...so much sadness. It made me so very thankful for my man - I am blessed by his love and faithfulness - not only to me and our boys but to God. So very blessed to have a man who protects our marriage at all costs, who works hard to show our boys what a Godly husband should be and works just as hard for the cause of Christ. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but with each passing year I fall more in love with him – thankful we work as a team to keep our marriage protected!
I was driving home yesterday from dropping our youngest at school and listening to Pathway to Victory - it was Part 2 of a marriage series of living without regrets. It was talking about one of the main issues that cause marital strife - SELFISHNESS. This is so true! If we boil down all the arguments we have as couples it is typically selfishness - we want it our way, all the time. I think a lot of couples forget in the heat of an argument that they are on the same team - that they love each other and should be working together not being selfish.
Made me start thinking of why so many marriages are hurting and failing.
Couples forget why they got married in the first place, they forget they chose to be with this person for the rest of their lives - they made a covenant before God, family and friends. Today's society makes us think that divorce is easy and no big deal...but it is a HUGE deal! There are very few times where divorce should even be considered biblically.
So what are many couples missing? Priorities are a key - a lot of families have them out of order. God, spouse, children should be the top 3 priorities IN THAT ORDER! God must be at the center of everything and then our spouse, then our children.
So what gets messed up usually? Parents cater to the wants and needs of their kids more than their soul mate. They spend their time running from one sport or activity to the next, never having time for the spouse (or even dinner as a family at home). Now, I am not saying our kids shouldn't be a priority, but I am saying that our children grow up and leave home and you are left with a spouse that you may not even know by then! Kids are not equipped to make decisions on how many activities they should be doing - that is why parents must help them! Our family has a rule of 1 activity per year, doesn't always make our kids happy but we eat dinner together almost every night of the week and that is so much more important than anything else they could be doing - that is when true communication happens! We must care for and love our children BUT here is something that most people miss - the best thing you can give your child as they are growing up is to witness a strong, healthy marriage! That gives them security! When they grow up I can guarantee that they aren't going to say 'I am just so thankful that my parents allowed me to be involved in 6 different activities a year even though we were never home and never had quality family time but I really enjoyed all those activities and stress!' They will however be forever thankful for a strong family - strong marriage and values that they can apply to their own lives!
So here is another area that couples tend to get wrong - they think if they give 50%/50% their marriage will work, this is a LIE! Each person should be giving 100%! We must always be on guard and always be working hard to make our marriages succeed. We must each be working to fulfill the other's needs - filling their love tank daily! Is it always easy? No but anything you love is worth fighting for!
Guarding your marriage is so important NO ONE is affair proof! Why? Because we are human and we live in a fallen world. Protect your marriage! Always be on guard - have clear boundaries that both of you set. You must be honest with each other - accountability is very important.
Carve out time for your spouse! This can be with date nights or just time in the evening when everything is quiet and all are in bed. When you are in the midst of the infant/toddler years this can seem impossible but you must make time for your spouse - arrange to swap childcare, take a nap during the day, whatever it takes to be ready to spend quality time with your spouse. Intimacy is so important - whether physical or emotional. Having trouble with physical intimacy? Try reading Intimate Issues by Dillow/Pintus! Do a Bible study together or with another couple, just be together - often!
I know you have heard of the quote "Don't sweat the small stuff", this is so applicable to marriage - typically we take 'small stuff' and let it become big stuff - why? Again, probably selfishness! We want it our way, because our way is best right? Wrong - God's way is best! Go to His word - there is a perfect plan for marriage in the Bible!
Don't be afraid to go to counseling if you need help - or find another couple who emulates what you want your marriage to be - get the help you need!
Protect and fight for your marriage - don't become another statistic! Someone once said "A beautiful life does not just happen, it is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and love. May that beautiful life be yours always."