Marriage….The official union of two people who are in love, the celebration filled with laughter and many hopes of a bright and perfect future together. The excitement, fun and pleasures of the honeymoon and the feeling of being carefree, lost in a moment in time where life is perfect. This is often called the honeymoon period, and is quickly followed by “real married life” where the responsibilities of life, and the hardships of marriage begin.
Unless you are married to a perfect spouse marriage is far from a cake walk, in fact marriage is an incredible amount of work, it takes time, dedication and much sacrifice in order to build the strength and quality of your marriage. Unfortunately based on the divorce rates, many are not willing to put this kind of effort into their marriage. The truth of the matter is that even though marriage is hard, and it does take a lot of effort and dedication, anybody can have a great marriage, full of life and happiness if they know how and are willing to work at it.
Today I would like to give you 7 tips that will help you improve the quality of your marriage, and get you on the road to building the strong and happy marriage you desire.
1. Don’t be quick to take Offense
Let’s be honest, one of the hardest parts of marriage is learning to live with our spouses, and learning how to deal with all of their bad habits and quirks that annoy the heck out of us. Often these habits and quirks will cause us to become offended and will usually end up in an argument, or a fight.
Offenses are one of the number one causes for arguments and fights in a marriage, whether it is because of the habits or quirks stated above or whether its because of words, feelings or thoughts expressed by your spouse that came across as rude or insensitive or whatever the cause may be. The problem is that at those times we tend to have the mindset that our spouse is against us, instead of remembering that our spouse loves us and may just see things differently or maybe doesn’t realize what they did or said has hurt us.
The Word of God tells us in Colossians 3:13 “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” When we become offended by something our spouse has done or said, despite how hard it may be, it is better and more beneficial to your marriage and overall relationship to let it slide off your back, forgive them and forget about it if it is just something small and insignificant. If it is something big or serious, go somewhere pray and cool off a bit and then talk to your spouse calmly and in love about their actions and how they hurt you.
2. Learn your Spouse’s Love Language
A love language is basically a way in which a person understands and communicates love. Getting to know your spouse’s love language will be a tremendous help finding out how you can better communicate love to them in a way that they can understand and receive it . There are 5 love languages:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Everybody will fall into one of these 5 languages, and will usually have a strong primary and secondary love language. If you want more information about the 5 love languages or want to take the test with your spouse I would encourage you to go to 5lovelanguages.com. This website will explain everything you need to know about the 5 love languages.
3. Remember It’s Not About You!
There are many reasons why people get married. Aside from the obvious reason of being in love, and wanting to spend the rest of your life with somebody there are many selfish reasons why marriage occurs as well. The biggest thing about marriage is that it is not intended for you. If you marry somebody with the thought of “What Can I get out of this Marriage” then you have already started sabotaging your marriage relationship before you ever say the “I DO’s”
Marriage is all about the other person. If you make your marriage life mission to do everything you can to please your spouse, respect them, honor them and bring them happiness, and they do the same, then you will live an incredibly happy and fulfilling married life. Sure there will be bumps, obstacles, and hard roads that you have to travel but it will make these times much easier to get through.
Marriage has never and will never work with selfish motives behind it. Marriage is about honesty, safety, love, friendship and working together to enrich each others lives as you learn from each other.
4. Pray Together, and for Each Other
Prayer is key, a key that is absolutely crucial to a successful marriage. You see marriage is a Gift from God and when husband and wife come together in Jesus Christ they are much more powerful together than alone. Because of this satan is out to destroy every marriage he possibly can. This is evident in not only how high the divorce rate between unsaved people are, but also how high it is between believers.
I would also like to further note in order to solidify my point that before marriage satan goes to incredible lengths to tempt you to indulge your fleshly desires, however after getting married, he tries everything he can to keep the two of you apart(emotionally, sexually). I have seen this countless times, and I assure you that many who has been married for a few years can relate to this statement.
Pray together and pray for each other, we need this prayer in order to claim victory over our household, and to help uplift us and keep us from falling into the traps that the enemy is putting in our paths. Prayer is very powerful, especially when it is done and agreed upon together. I would recommend taking time each day together to pray for your family, your marriage, and your short comings.
5. Spend time together
I know this sounds cliche, but to stop you right there, I am not talking about spending time together by going out to a movie or dinner or things like that. I’m talking about time together where you are completely and utterly focused on each other, and having intimate conversation with each other.
Every marriage needs this kind of quality time where you share your inner most desires, concerns, dreams, hopes with each other. This will help you to connect on a deeper emotional level that deepen the trust and feelings of safety you have with each other.
This most often is a lot easier to do for women than it is for men, so men I would strongly encourage you to make the effort to do this each and every day (~30-45min). Remember this isn’t one of those spending time with your spouse moments where you have the radio or TV on in the background, or have any other distractions. This time is distractions free, and focused solely on each other.
6. Don’t give up the Chase
This one applies to the men, but this bit of advice will greatly help to improve your marriage and your relationship with your wife. When you first meet your wife and you begin to date you begin the great “chase”. You’re affectionate, caring and devote much of your time to her. You romance her and make her feel like the most important woman on the face of this earth. You become engaged, and married and then for I would say 95+% of guys the chase ends as does everything else. There is little to no romance left, much of our time is redirected to something else like sports, friends or hobbies, and when your wife wants to talk you dread it.
The truth of the matter is that women love that chase because it makes them feel wanted, loved and cherished. It makes them feel like, and shows them that they are the most important woman in your life and that you desire them more than any other woman. They feel special and beautiful but when you take that chase away and you no longer treat your wife like a gift from God but rather a female roommate she will undoubtedly feel less loved, less important to you, more rejected and used and will be less likely to reciprocate her love back on to you in an intimate way.
I would encourage you men to continue the chase, don’t stop showing your wife the same affection, romance and love you did before you got married. And this is not just so you can get some sexual intimacy in return, I’m talking about showing her these things out of sincerity and because you actually still feel about her this way. I assure you that when your wife feels loved, cherished and desired it will help you to build a much stronger relationship and marriage.
7. Honesty builds Trust
Honesty is crucial to a successful and happy marriage, without honesty there are lies and deception all which work to destroy a marriage through the destruction of trust. A strong marriage has to have its foundation set in God, and a relationship built on trust. Without trust you cannot and will not ever have a strong relationship and successful marriage.
Marriage is hard, especially when things become difficult and there are times where you may try to hide things from your spouse whether it be financial, sexual, business or whatever it may be. The truth of the matter is that there really should never be any secrets between you and your spouse(other than a gift). Everything should be wide open available to be seen or talked about by either spouse at anytime.
The whole purpose of a marriage is to help each other and build a life and family together. There should be no reason why your spouse should be left out of parts of your life. Obviously there may be some things that your spouse may not care about but that is up to them to decide. Whenever there is a lack of honesty or the presence of trickery or deception the marriage will always fail.
Marriage is hard, and it takes a lot of work in order to get to a place where things begin to smooth out, but I assure you that if you are willing to put your all into it and you are willing to sacrifice where needed and place God as your number one in your life and in your marriage I can guarantee you that you will have a strong, healthy and happy marriage that will be a blessing you both of you until the end of your lives.