Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you – Ephesians 4:31-32.
Marriage is work, this may be why some have forsaken the principals of God and live together without making the marriage vow. A vow is something that shouldn’t be broken. A marriage takes one hundred percent from both partners. When we give our all and not be selfish or self-centered, the marriage will thrive, and it will last for a lifetime. Be thankful for your spouse, the demands of life, family, and work can cloud your attitude towards the one you chose to accompany you through life. Thanking God often for your spouse is a practical way to focus on what is good and admirable about him. It’s helpful to occasionally reflect on the early days and recall what attracted you, what made you pledge your life to love each other and be thankful. Try not to focus on things about your spouse that doesn’t bring happiness.
All of us have faults, and it’s the duty of the spouse to bring out the best in their mate. Practice communicating from the heart. It’s vital to communicate authentically in both the good and the difficult times of marriage. What offends you can be communicated to your spouse, but with love and respect. As you grow together, you will learn more about the how and when of communicating well with your spouse. A prayerful wife, we ask direction from God when she needs to confront her husband about matters that may stir up emotions. When to confront him, the mannerism and behavior when she confronts him, what to say, and what not to say.
A transparent conversation where each of you risks revealing your deepest thoughts, ideas, fears, hopes, and dreams creates the strong foundation of a lasting marriage. Intimacy is very important in a marriage. From relational intimacy springs sexual intimacy. The safety of being known and still being accepted in spite of our flaws finds its expression in marriage through sex. It is a gift to married couples from God. Relational and sexual intimacy keeps a marriage from deteriorating into little more than a legally arranged partnership. Sex should be discussed between you and your husband, what you like, and what you don’t, as well as what he likes and doesn’t like. If both parties agree with what they like, then it also should be agreed between both partners not to request of each other what one partner doesn’t like.
Although marriage is ordained by God, and some scriptures don’t exactly say what or what not to do in the privacy of your home, the Spirit of God that dwells in you, will convict you, if you’re carrying out actions that will offend God. Unforgiveness plagues many marriages and has been the main cause of why many marriages have been destroyed and wind up in divorce court. Because we are broken, imperfect human beings, we will fail our spouse repeatedly. When we focus on flaws, ceases to communicate, and offend each other without trying, it will cause a bridge in the marriage when we don’t forgive. All of this demands a steady supply of forgiveness. There is great power in forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the commandments the Lord has instructed us to do towards each other, this wasn’t just for our neighbors or church body, but for our spouse as well.
(For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses – Matthew 6:14-15). Failing marriages can be revived by forgiveness, and healthy marriages are sustained by it. A kind and meek spirit is also a teachable spirit. Marriage is always a work in progress, each spouse is changing and developing, which means there are new things to learn at every age. Sometimes marriages run into problems that need the help of a third-party. If this happens, in your marriage, find someone who will work in support of your marriage, not just agree with your grievances.
Make sure this person is committed to Jesus and the two of you, marriage counselors should be god-fearing people who will pray and direct you by the principals of God. As adults, many have trouble receiving instructions, you’re never too old to learn neither are you too smart to learn from your spouse, that’s what partnership is about, teaching and learning from each other to bring out the best in each other.