Redeeming Your Marriage
When a marriage reaches a level of indifference, laziness, mustiness, and boredom, some couples are interested to know how they can redeem their marriage. How can they recover what they once had? The twinkle in each others’ eyes has gone. “We need the spark our marriage once had.”
Many couples try to “buy back” those early “honeymoon months”. They want the love they once had in the first year or two of their marriage. To do that means we have not allowed our marriage to grow. The love you had at the beginning of your marriage should look much different than what it is today. Paul said, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and discernment; so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9,10). It is true a Christian’s love should increase as he/she daily walks with God. The same is true with marriage. You “buy back” your marriage with a growing love.
Step up to loving your mate and your marriage. Gary Chapman described love in five main love languages: “words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.” Before that, God described love in 1 Corinthians 13. Gary Chapman provides you ways to illustrate 1 Corinthians 13 in your marriage. You cannot purchase a love like this in a store and spread all over the heart of your spouse. This love comes in two forms: “in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). There is only one way the words “I love you” mean anything. Show it! Some of the conflicts marriages face today can be reduced dramatically, if the two people God put together in marriage added a safety net to their relationship called unconditional love.
You also redeem your marriage by understanding the commitments of marriage. “I promise” or “I do” spoke volumes to the heart of your mate the day of your wedding. The commitment of that day should be supported with these words: “If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that” (James 4:15). You are able, by God’s grace and power, to fulfill what you know you are responsible to give to your marriage. It takes a focused commitment to your spouse where your attention is on the person you chose to have for a lifetime. It is a sacrificial commitment to your spouse, where you give what you have to the other person with joy and love, not with complaint, frustration, or hesitation. It is a oneness commitment where you think together. When your goals are the same, you think in the same direction with the same purpose.
Redeem your marriage with prayer. Prayer should always be fervent with the attitude of humility (James 5:16). What marriage does not need wisdom and direction? Give the needs for your marriage to God (1 Peter 5:5-7). Praying together brings a couple closer to God and to one another. Prayer is a way to prevent your marriage from being overwhelmed with the ways of the world. It is a way to address the fears which surround your relationship.
Prayer is the life-support system for your marriage. If God is the one who began your marriage, prayer is asking God to sustain it. Prayer is what separates the marriages which last from those that do not. I love this statistic: In his series entitled The Role of the Man in the Family, David McLaughlin says the divorce rate in America is at a minimum one out of two marriages. The reported divorce rate among couples that pray together is about one in ten thousand. That is telling!
Stop recalling is another way to redeem your marriage. Does your marriage sound more like the song “I Remember When” or “All I Want is You”? Couples need to stop opening up their ledgers of all the many failures and weaknesses of their spouse! To hold on to the past causes our hearts to go away in isolation. We grieve over our marriage and may repent of the day we ever married. We need to move on ahead of the past. Apply the words of Ephesians 4:31,32: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.” Staring at the past gives no hope for the future of your marriage. Do not remember what was or what should have been. Go forward (Philippians 3:12-14). Do not clutch the failings of your mate. Hold onto the strengths your mate brings to your marriage and anticipate what God can do and will do to make your marriage better.