In American society, staying married is quite an accomplishment, considering that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Regardless of whether you met in church, have been friends for years, or met on a site like Dating Throne, working on your marriage is crucial.
Those in Christian marriages may have it a little bit tougher. The level of scrutiny from family, friends, and church can be exasperating. People expect a level of piety that may not necessarily be possible because you are human. Yet, the truth is you face the typical challenges that even those in non-christian marriages face. You deal with resentment, pride, financial issues, and infidelity, among others.
However, with God’s help and input on your end, it will be possible for you to grow closer to your spouse every day. Read these helpful tips to keep your Christian marriage going strong.
Keep communication lines open
You have probably heard the mantra ‘communication is key’ thousands of times. However, this could not hold truer for marriage. Talk to each other about your feelings, essential decisions, and the challenges that you are going through. Talk from the point of wanting to understand what your partner has to say. Many people are guilty of listening with the intention to respond, instead of the intention to understand.
Avoid surprises, outbursts, and attempting to interpret what your significant other is thinking. Instead, have simple conversations devoid of accusations and fighting words. It is also critical that you learn when to communicate. Sometimes the best thing is to take a step back and let each other ‘stew’ for a moment.
You may say things in anger that you will not be able to take back. Take the time to learn each other well so that you can read each other’s signals. Learn to talk to each other when less angry, so that emotions do not cloud your judgment.
Disagree with love and respect
Being in a Christian marriage does not mean that you will always agree. It may happen that you will disagree with your partner once in a while about things ranging from simple and inconsequential, all the way to serious decisions. The strategy here is to listen to your partner’s point of view, instead of figuring out who is right and who is wrong. Each person’s argument is valid. Avoid zoning out and thinking of rebuttals while the other person speaks. You may be surprised that they do have valid points.
If you find that you are still not able to come to a point of agreement, try and reach a consensus. You will both have to be willing to compromise and bend a little. It does not mean that you are past the argument; it only means that for the sake of peace, you are willing to let it go. You have probably heard the phrase ‘agree to disagree.’ Once you reach that point, you should both agree never to revive the conversation. Constantly bringing up the argument can result in perpetual quarrels.
Encourage your spouse to be their best versions
When you get together as a couple, you may have often had conversations about the direction you would want your lives to take. When you get married, sometimes you find that you push your dreams to the back burner as you start to raise a family. However, remember that you remain individuals who have unique aspirations and goals.
It can be exceedingly hurtful for your partner to tell you, “I gave up my dreams for you, and I am so unhappy, I feel like I have wasted my life.” You must support each other so that you can both be a better version of yourselves. Often, helping your spouse achieve their dreams means more financial implications, spending time away from each other, and some significant adjustments. However, do not let them give up on their dreams, as this often leads to stress and resentment. Talk and find ways to divide time, energy, and resources towards both your goals.
Keep dating each other
When you let the romance go out of your marriage, you are in trouble. When you start to let the kids and work take over, you will quickly grow apart. Take time to go out for fun and relaxation. Remind yourself of what it was like when you were just the two of you.
Get a sitter and enjoy the time out as a couple. Remember the simple things that made you fall in love in the beginning. You should not have to spend a fortune; an evening walk, dinner at the restaurant down the block, or a weekend away at a cabin will work just fine.
Make it a habit to pray together with your spouse for your family and for wisdom and direction in facing any challenges you may be facing. You can pray over the phone if you are far from home, or in a secluded place while holding hands. By praying together, you will relieve yourselves of all the anxieties and issues plaguing your family and receive peace from God.
It also helps when you have sessions with other married Christian couples. You can share your experiences and get solutions to some challenges you may be facing. It is important to remember that your marriage is sacred, and you do not need to give other people open access to it. Choose what you would want to share and what should remain between the two of you.
Remember that your spouse is not perfect
For a Christian marriage to be successful, you need to choose your battles and remember that your spouse, just like you, has shortcomings. Avoid minor irritations, as these are often foddered for massive fights and irreconcilable differences. Talk about significant issues only with your spouse and treat each other with grace.
Growing a Christian marriage is all about learning and adjusting to living together as you follow God’s lead towards new adventures and happiness that comes from companionship.