Marriage is one of the most rewarding and challenging relationships there is. In fact, it can be downright confusing and heartwarming all in the same conversation.
You know, you’ve had this experience when you’re sharing from your heart with your spouse and “BAM” a harsh comment is said (intentional or not) or an insinuation is made (indirectly or bluntly). You feel misunderstood, hurt, angry and defensive. Before you know it, you’re wondering what the heck just happened!
I’ve had similar interactions in my own marriage and I hear them all the time in the counseling room. They are confusing at best and alarming at their worst.
I wish I had the magic formula or perfect to-do list that could make all marriages and relationships loving, caring, fruitful and…….anything else you wish.
What makes the best marriage?
There are a few foundational attitudes, perspectives, awareness’s and actions that lead to a loving, honoring and respectful marriage or relationship.
Start with your marriage first or closet relationship and consider the following tips.
- Listen without interrupting– It is a sign of respect when we fully listen to our partners. To openly listen for the heartfelt message they are trying to share. (Proverbs 18 )
- Speak without accusing – In tough conversations is it wise to be slow to offer opinions and input without first seeking Gods perspective. (James 1:19)
- Give without sparing– Giving without expectations is the first act of love. (Proverbs 21:26)
- Pray without ceasing- You can never go wrong in praying continually! Our ways are not always the best. Why not go to the One who knows all and knows what’s best. (1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Answer without arguing– Check your goal in the conversation: Do you need to be correct or do you want to connect? (Proverbs 17:1)
- Share without pretending- Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Be lovingly honest, humble, admit mistakes and seek forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:15)
- Enjoy without complaint-Life is full; enjoy it. Be cheerful and ready to help. (Philippians 2:14)
- Trust without wavering-Doing what is right is not always acknowledged or even appreciated. Yet, God notices and is pleased. (2 Corinthians 13:7)
- Forgive without punishing-Wear love, it’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Forgive without holding a grudge. (Colossians 3:13)
- Promise without forgetting-Be true to your word. Follow through on what you promise. Often times your actions speak louder than your words. (Proverbs 13:12)
The 10 Day Challenge
What if you focused on one of these intentionally, each day? It could be a way to simply show up in your marriage and extend love in your relationships.
Take the challenge with me. Starting February 19th and watch for 1 tip in your mailbox (you need to follow this blog….upper right hand corner of site) or a tip will post on our social media sites.
Pray and seek God’s guidance on how you can extend love by focusing on 1 tip per day. It can simplify your intention to love your spouse, kids and friends.
Please share your challenges and victories here on the blog or social media sites so we can encourage one another on to have meaningful and Christ-filled relationships.