When you take your vows to love your spouse for better or worse, many people only focus upon the joy and love they feel for their partner. Many do not realize how difficult marriage can be and how many sacrifices each individual makes to ensure the success of their marriage. Anything in life that is worth having will not come easy, which means there are times you will have to work on improving your relationship. There are so many different types of problems that arise between couples that it is impossible to be prepared for them all. It requires an immense amount of patience and effort from each person to make a marriage last. The most important thing to ensure a long, happy life together is making God a priority within your relationship. In addition, wisdom is called for when it comes to “setting the stage” for the growth of love and respect within the marital relationship. This article is intended to provide a few tips to help enrich and improve your marriage.
When we are pulled in so many directions, we tend to spread ourselves too thin and our families are often the ones who suffer. It becomes easy to compartmentalize your work, home, and faith life. No matter what your demanding schedule requires, you need to include your spouse in all your major decisions and share details about the other areas of your life. In a marriage, each partner brings their own gifts and strengths to the relationship to support the other. Your spouse should help you realize your God given gifts and build you up, but this is not possible if you are unwilling to share your faith with the other person. You need to realize that you are part of a team. Your faith in Jesus Christ and how that is shared is the center of your strength and support. Faith provides the common foundation you both can build upon.
Spiritual intimacy in marriage concerns core beliefs about God and faith. Developing spiritual intimacy is the process by which a couple helps each other grow into a deeper maturing relationship with Christ. Couples must make a commitment to spiritual growth and act on that commitment if they are to develop a marriage that will last. This commitment can be expressed in doing spiritual activities togethersuch as regular church involvement, worshiping, praying, Bible study, and ministering to others. When a couple works on a common commitment to God, they discover their shared goals. When a couple discovers their shared goals, they experience a growing commitment and passion in their life together.
Spelling life together also means spending quality time together. Here are some other tips that are wise ways for couples to stay together.
Set a Date Night
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NIV
To love each other, we must learn to share time together emotionally, spiritually, physically, and sexually. Married couples often neglect sharing this kind of time together, especially after the birth of children. It is important that you keep the romance alive and remind your spouse and why you fell in love. Setting aside a special night or a regularly scheduled time may not seem spontaneous, but it will ensure that you make time for your partner no matter what other commitments you may have. It is important that you maintain a dating life even if it does require some strategic planning. Dating is vital in the maintenance of an intimate and secure relationship. If you can keep the romantic love alive, it will be a testimony of your faith and commitment to each other.
You should be able to share your most intimate thoughts and concerns with your partner. It is important that you are in tune with your own feelings so that you can be receptive to the needs of your spouse. You severely limit your capacity to express love when you ignore your feelings and pretend they don’t exist. Each individual should explore their emotions and clearly express their love for one another in how they verbally appreciate one another.
Spiritual intimacy, time together, and loving communication are three important aspects of building love and commitment. Unfortunately, “setting the stage” for a wise and loving marriage can be difficult. Sometimes our plans can be frustrated by past hurts, habits, or issues.
During these times, it is important to find a Christian faith based counselor who can provide marriage counseling, since they can objectively evaluate the problems that are keeping your marriage from growing. They have the professional expertise to help you work through your problems and create the best solution to address the issues. Sometimes all it takes is a caring counselor to help you work through your issues. Due to their deep rooted faith, they can assist you in establishing the best means to communicate with your partner and become closer to each other as well as to God as a couple.
Written by Richard Hoffman. Richard is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a member of The American Association of Christian Counselors and a Board Certified Christian Counselor.