6 Ways to Grow Your Marriage
Whether your spouse is a follower of Jesus or not, you can worship God with your marriage. God calls us to do all things in a way that honors Him and tells us that our lives are a living act of worship. When we seek to worship God in how we live as a husband or wife it has a profound impact on your relationship. Here are some ways how any follower of Jesus can worship God with their marriage:
1. Pray: Pray together out loud regularly. If this is not comfortable for both of you, pray with your spouse and don’t pressure them to do anything but listen. If none of this is possible, pray for your spouse every day, sound advice for everyone. Thank God for them and be specific; ask God to reveal Himself to them, to bless them. Ask God to show you how you can serve your spouse in meaningful ways.
2. Talk: Make intentional time to be together to talk and listen. Pay attention to how much you are saying compared to them. Ask questions. It does not always have to be heavy or deep; casual conversation, laughter, life dreams, even hearing life frustrations are things to talk about. Most important, make it your goal to understand your spouse better as every year passes. Read the Word together and discuss it. If this is not possible, read it and share what you learned with your spouse, “Hey, I read this or heard this today, thought you might like it.”
3. Serve: Serve your spouse, even if they don’t serve you back. We all have our usual life roles of what we usually do and what is expected of us, but think of and try different ways to serve and encourage your spouse. Doing the dishes or cooking a favorite meal is great. There are also many more ways, as well. Serving is the sacrifice of time, comfort, resources, for the benefit of another without expecting or receiving anything in return. Find a way to serve God together. If your spouse is a believer, this will be easier. If your spouse is not interested in “church stuff,” find someplace to volunteer in your community together.
4. Give Grace: Give yourself some grace. You are a flawed human with limited abilities who is trusting in Jesus and his unlimited ability. All by his grace and not by your doing, God gives you grace, you need to give yourself some. Give grace to your spouse, provide them with room to grow, love them for who they are right now. Have some grace for your marriage. You may not be where you want to be or where others are, but you are not anyone else. You are you and no one else is living out your marriage, you are! Keep pursuing Jesus in your life and marriage every day, and leave the results and progress up to Him.
5. Forgive: This one is hard to do sometimes, especially when it is a big offense. For heavier issues get the help of a licensed counselor. For the everyday offenses, be quick to apologize on your side and quick to forgive. Whether it is mutual doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is a high level of unconditional love and we worship God when we give true forgiveness. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Forgiveness frees us of the root of bitterness and blesses our spouse in return. Ultimately it is one of the best living examples of the Gospel in practice.
6. Enjoy: Have fun! It cost zero dollars to find ways to have fun. Find ways to enjoy each others company. Have a weekly date within your budget. Make plans together for your dream vacation (even if you never go on it). Fall in love with them again every day. Find some common interests and enjoy them together. Spend time with other couples once in a while who are healthy and like-minded. HAVE SEX, often! Hey, listen, God wants you to enjoy sex with each other. It’s in the Bible, Proverbs 5:18-19, Song of Songs. Explore new things and make it adventurous, be creative, as long as it is consensual and only involves the two of you go for it! Be sure that it is mutually fulfilling, serve each other in this area as well. If there are reasons sex is not possible, spend time in close physical contact as much as you can.
Praying for you and your marriage, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
Pastor Matt Thornton
Christ Community Church
I have been married to my wife Wendi for 21 years. We have had our share of ups and downs in our relationship. The downs are almost always caused by me. Through the mistakes and the victories, God continues to show us his way to love each other. We hope that our story of how Jesus is changing our lives and our marriage helps you to do the same. There are lots of resources available to enrich your marriage we have shared some below.
Blogs, Websites, and Podcasts: