Relationships are hard and marriage can be one of the hardest. So how do we not get stuck with a Valentine's Day where love just survives rather than thrives? We collected a few interesting articles (at the bottom) as well as this powerful testimony from one person who struggled with the thrive/survive side of marriage. (Check out the whole story here.)
"It wasn’t as if every day was awful, but a general tension overshadowed our marriage, one feeling like they could never do enough or be enough, and the other frustrated with the other’s actions or lack thereof. On top of this, sin and my reaction to it began to cut seriously into our relationship. I learned quickly the temptation to make a spouse’s sin all about “me,” caring more about how it affected me than caring about my spouse at all. While sin did need to be dealt with and repented of, I was often less interested in reconciliation and more interested in justice, caring more that my spouse felt some level of the pain and grief they had caused me. This led to nights of turned backs, cold beds, and silent spaces; it was a cop-out and only produced shame, guilt, resentment, and more distance to be crossed.
And so there we were, falling apart and thinking there was no way forward, all the while looking like the happily married couple everyone expected us to be. We had strayed far from God’s intent for marriage, but with His grace there is no such thing as a dead-end marriage."
A marriage in Christ does not mean that all days will be easy, as you read. There is much more to the story than this but here are a few points that came from their experience (and you can read more on each of these here):
- Respect your spouse.
- Love your spouse now, rather than when they become what you want them to be.
- Agree on where you want to go.
- Form your own life together.
- Realize that each day you are moving your relationship in either a positive or negative direction.
- Pray with and for each other every single day.
A few other encouraging articles you might find interesting or helpful:
- Some Thoughts for Those Who Are Considering Divorce
- Fifty Shades of Caution (On the bestselling book Fifty Shades of Grey with useful thoughts on the fulfilling view of a Christian view of sex)
- Learn about how your marriage can be evangelism. (Neat stories in this one.)
- Sexual Parameters in Marriage (A not-often talked about topic in Christian circles.)
- How to Feel Close to Your Spouse Today