Five action steps to see a stronger connection in your marriage.
When we got married, we were in our early twenties. To say the least, we were young and naïve. In fact, we had no idea what we were doing or what we were getting into. What we did know is that we loved each other, enjoyed the same things and had similar life dreams and goals. Now, after being together for over 35 years, we recognize that sharing common interests, dreams and goals (as good and as important as they are) are not enough to build a great marriage.
The great news today is this: you can build the marriage you want! But to do so, you are going to need a plan and a pathway for greatness. You see, a great marriage doesn’t happen by chance, a great marriage happens by choice. To build the marriage you want is going to take a personal lifelong commitment to growing, changing, learning, loving, caring and nurturing your marriage so that it becomes all that God designed and you desire.
The Bible is full of verses offering ways to build the marriage you want. You might choose the qualities and characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. Colossians 3: 12-14 is rich with descriptions of how we should clothe ourselves as we relate to one another. But if you are looking for one verse that offers 5 ways to build the marriage you want, then look no further than 2 Corinthians 13: 11.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor. 13:11 NIV)
First, REJOICE. Rejoice means to “show great delight”. If you want to build the marriage you want, show one another how much you delight in them.
Second, RESTORE. When the Bible uses the word restoration it is tied to improvement. When something is restored, it is improved and better than it was to begin with. Great marriages choose to improve and make their marriages better on a daily basis.
Third ENCOURAGE. The simple application of encouragement is to “give one another courage”. When you encourage your spouse, you give them confidence, hope and support. Make the conscious decision to be an encourager to your husband or wife by offering them daily encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrew 3:13).
Fourth, be of ONE MIND. This building block for your marriage is all about unity and partnership. You may have different opinions and viewpoints, but you can still be of one mind because you choose to be united on the foundation of scripture.
Fifth, live in PEACE. This is the foundation for all the others. You may ask why? It’s because peace is a person: Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). 2 Thessalonians 3:16 states “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.” If you are going to build the marriage you want (and you can) then Jesus has to be the center of it. When Jesus is the center of a marriage, that couple has all the power they need to rejoice, restore, encourage and be of one mind.
Today, go build the marriage you want by applying these five ways “and the God of love and peace will be with you.” What a sweet reward!
Dale & Jena Forehand
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships. To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com . You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as @daleandjena