Marriage is a learning process. I’ve found that no matter how long you’ve been married or how great your marriage is, there is always something new to learn. Some area that needs improvement, or things to forgive.
Hubby and I are celebrating 41 years today. And to us, it’s a celebration of God’s faithfulness. He has helped us stick together and increased our love. And through all these years of trials and blessings, he has taught us much. And we would not be here today if it were not for these lessons!
9 tips for a building strong foundation:
1. Remain united
Many forces are at work, trying to tear down marriage and unity between the couple. Work at standing with and for your spouse. Don’t let other people, outside interests, or even work come between you and that most special person in your life. Nothing and no one should ever be more important than him or her, except God.
2. Kids are temporary guests
Extremely loved and welcome additions to the family, but really only temporary guests. It’s important to love our kids and cherish them. But they’ll be moving on. Our spouse is here to stay. And now that it’s just the two of us, I see even more how important it was to work on keeping communication strong and intimate. Unity is the pivotal foundation.
3. Forgive every day
Everyday there will be things to forgive, both big and small. If unity is the foundation, forgiveness is the cement holding it in place. We’ve seen that with lack of forgiveness, the foundation begins crumbling little by little, and often over little things. A certain look, a word blurted out without thinking.
Why ruin a lifetime of happiness together over small things? And the big things? With Christ’s help, we can forgive even those, just as we want to be forgiven.
4. Don’t try to change your spouse
Stop trying to change your spouse. (Because that’s God’s job.) Our task is to love them unconditionally, while also inspiring them to do better. Encouragement and prayer transforms hearts and minds, and is far more effectual than all the nagging in the world!
And remember that you loved him enough to marry him just as he was. If you wanted someone different, you should have chosen someone else!
Marriage is for keeps. It’s worth keeping and worth the work it takes!Tweet
5. Spend time together
Happiness is (or should be) marriage to your best friend. So it’s important to take time to talk and find common interests to share. Especially while children are still in the home, when so many responsibilities eat away at time.
6. Read and pray together
Take time to pray together, and read God’s Word. As Christ followers, we have learned that prayer and the Bible are the two main things that draw us closer to Christ and make us like him. And the thankful heart this cultivates also makes us ever more grateful for gift we have in our spouse.
7. Become a giver and not a taker
Rather than falling into the temptation of thinking about what we want or don’t have, we try to become the one who gives and keeps on giving. To really care about the other’s happiness, and do everything possible to care for and build him or her up.
8. Tend finances carefully
Financial difficulties can bring much stress. So we’ve made a commitment to keeping (or getting) out of debt. And to not spending money we don’t have.
9. Find new things to love
Just as you are growing and changing, so is your spouse. Look for those new and special surprises and improvements, and let them know you’ve noticed! Go out of your way to keep noticing things about your spouse to love!
But mainly, remember that marriage is for keeps. It’s worth keeping and worth the work it takes!
For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife, and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.Mark 10:7-9