I have had marriage on my heart lately. My heart is heavy for struggling marriages. It saddens me to hear of marriages falling apart, couples who have become strangers, and marriages that just seem to be at a stand still. This is not at all what God desires for marriages. Marriages should be flourishing, thriving, and growing. (I am not saying that it will be easy, so don’t go all whacked out on me here.) But God wants the best for us, and that includes our marriages! But it does require effort on our part (*gasp*, you mean we actually have to do something?!) Yep, you heard me right. We have to WORK at keeping our marriages flourishing, thriving, and growing.
As I was driving yesterday, I popped the Def Lepard CD in the CD player and cranked it up (hang with me, I have a point to this madness). As the CD began to play “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (my Mom is probably shaking her head at this), I began thinking on marriage again. Yes, Def Lepard brought marriage to my mind. I began thinking, “What if all marriages were more like a Def Lepard jam session, rather than a grocery store/elevator music snooze?” What if marriages were rockin’ instead of dropping? When we feel that our marriage is more like an elevator music snooze fest, rather than a Def Lepard rock out session we need to put effort into cranking it up. We have to fight for our marriages, and not just give up. You may be saying, “But you don’t understand. He leaves the toilet seat up all the time.” “He/She doesn’t understand me.” “He doesn’t take time with me.” “She nags me all the time.” “We just drifted, and I am not sure of how to get back to each other.” Well, all of these things may be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and give up. Here are some things that you can do starting today to put the “rockin” back in your marriage:
1. LOVE your spouse. Even if you are not feeling “in love” with your spouse, love them anyway. Love is not just a feeling, it is a verb. Put love into action. Show love by doing something for your spouse that you know they will appreciate (let him go play golf or go fishing, buy her favorite box of chocolates for her just because, fix his cup of coffee in the morning, help her with dinner, etc.). Show love. Take action!
2. Pray. God is there. He knows how you feel. Talk to Him about it. Ask for His guidance, His strength, and His grace. Don’t work out of your own strength. Turn to God and lean on Him. Pray with your spouse too. Prayer is such an intimate tool that God has blessed us with, and it is beyond powerful!
3. Forgive. Yep, forgive your spouse. Let go of the things that nag you about your spouse. Don’t hang on to things that aren’t worth the time and energy. The toilet seat being left up is NOT a major issue. Her choice of movies is NOT a major issue. If your spouse offends you or hurts your feelings, let them know this (in a kind and gentle manner) and then forgive them. Don’t hold grudges. Offer grace to one another.
4. Celebrate. Celebrate the good in each other. Look for the good things in your spouse, and celebrate them. Give encouragement instead of always pointing out the things that you don’t you like about your spouse. Build each other up by celebrating each other. Everyone loves a celebration! Celebration and encouragement go a long way (much longer than those nagging words).
I pray that whatever stage your marriage is in right now, that your marriage will flourish, thrive, and grow. I pray that your marriage will be a Def Lepard jam session and not an elevator music snooze fest. It’s gonna be tough some days, but it is worth the hard work. So, crank it up & have a rockin marriage!
*If you are in an abusive relationship please seek professional & pastoral counseling.
Grace & Peace