In marriage, it seems there are two phrases that will guide our years together as man and wife. Through my experience being married for 26 years and my study of these topics, I’ve learned that it’s possible for a marriage to be both “Life-Giving” and “Long-Lasting”. God wants us to have a marriage in which we are excited to come home to our spouse, look to them for encouragement, and hope that they will connect with us in a way that builds us up. This type of marriage is based on friendship, respect, and love.
In Ephesians, a portion of the Bible, we see that husbands are to love their wives.
LOVE = SERVE
This is an action word. Women are designed to crave love from their husbands that is expressed through tangible acts of serving.
We also see that wives are to respect their husbands.
RESPECT = FIND VALUE
Men want to know that they possess value and worth. This can best be expressed through words of affirmation. (I know guys, I gave away one of the secrets).
Sometimes in marriage, circumstances can cause us to look at what’s missing in our spouse. We begin to focus on what’s missing, instead of what is present. We focus on the aspects that we would change, and they become primary. We don’t serve them, because they don’t deserve it. We don’t affirm them, because they aren’t worth it.
I’m glad Jesus doesn’t do that with us. Jesus didn’t look at our flaws as permanent, but as potential. So much so that He gave His life for us. He continually offers grace.
We should do the same with our spouse. God wants to use us to help our spouses be everything He made them to be.
More than a pastor of a church, or a father to 4 kids, I am deeply committed to the beauty of Debby. I long to see in her the beauty that Jesus sees, the potential, the fulfillment of her life. I have been given the gift of a life to help nourish to perfection. What an honor that I have received from the Lord, and I should take that seriously!
This week, take time to serve your spouse. Do chores. Share responsibilities. Find little ways to make them smile.
This week, take some time to affirm your spouse. Find something good and compliment them. Talk about your dreams for the future. Show them their value.
Watch what happens. Just like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, you’ll find your marriage begin to flourish – “Life-Giving” AND “Long-Lasting!
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