The 5 Steps That Will Transform Your Marriage
Wanting a better marriage is universal I don’t know of anyone that does not desire a closer relationship with their spouse. In my last posts, I have been focusing on the first two years of marriage in Honeymoon or Battlefield the realities of life after marriage. But what are some steps that we can take to reach the optimal growth in our marriages?
Lucky for you have compiled a list of what I believe are the five essential concepts to help strengthen, grow and even repair our marriages. They have tremendously improved my marriage, and I think it can help others as well.
Steps to fulfillment
The first step is to submit yourself and your marriage to God. Handing over all control over our marriage and our self. Becoming a believer of the sacrifice Jesus made to free us from sin.
But what if one of you is a non-believer? Or the other chooses not to submit? No worries, scripture tells us;
“For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband…” 1 Corinthians 7:14
What is Sanctified? Webster’s Dictionary defines sanctified as … to set apart as holy; consecrate, 2) to make free from sin (569).
If either the wife or the husband is a believer, then the other spouse shall be sanctified. That does not mean he/she does not need to submit to God eventually. It says that we can be sure that God can still work in our marriage. By changing our hearts and doing His will upon our marriage.
When I took that first step, it was on a night that my husband and I had gotten into a terrible argument. I can still recall sitting on the floor of our bedroom crying and asking myself why? How did I get here? How can I go back out there? When all of a sudden, a thought popped into my head “calm down and surrender.”
So, I said “Lord I surrender my life and my marriage to you. I know that you brought my husband into my life and he is for me. Please give me your eyes so that I may see him as you do. Be my tongue giving me the words to speak. I pray that you come into my marriage and show me how to be the wife you need me to be.”
The truth has been given to us in the Bible; it is the living Word. As such, here is where we will find the wisdom that will lead us to sanctify our spouses. By providing us with the word to speak that reflect God in us and hopefully lead our spouse to The Cross to be redeemed.
Again what if our spouse are non-believers?
We get creative! I did that by placing Living The Love Dare calendar on my bathroom counter. As you recall from last weeks post, I had set it there in hopes that my husband would want to read it one day.
It wasn’t until many months later that I noticed he was becoming softer. He was speaking to me differently. He seemed lighter almost like he was relaxing. Then he said to me ” I like that calendar in our bathroom I read it every day.” WHAT?!
I can only say that I screamed in my heart THANK YOU JESUS!
Never Say Divorce
My marriage was getting so bad that I had given my husband divorce papers. Handed them to him with tabs on where he needed to sign. Looking back I don’t know what I would have done if my husband had signed those papers only by Gods grace is the reason he did not. (Thank You Jesus)
That night when I submitted to God, I also vowed never to use the word Divorce ever again in our marriage. We both came from a home where our fathers chose not to be part of our live’s. The use of the word divorce just amplified the insecurities we already carried in our hearts. At some point, one of us was going to say “well if you want to leave then I’ll leave first” making divorce a real possibility. I knew that I had to stop using that as a way to keep the marriage. Think about it; we are threatening to break up the marriage so that we can stay in the marriage.( Not Smart)!
Every time we use the word divorce we strip away a piece of our marriage. Taking away that safe zone that we vowed to keep when we made our vows.
Forgiveness sets us free to apologize more often, even when we don’t feel we should. To give love fiercely and freely at times when others might not deserve it. Forgiveness is the ultimate picture of God in us, the joy that we have been seeking will come from forgiving. Eventually, forgiveness will change our marriage and take it to the next level.
Initially, after my surrender to God, my marriage started to change as my relationship with God grew. I saw the actual hurt my husband had carried all of his life. The worst part was the realization that I was contributing to that pain. I no longer cared about my pain or the times I was wronged by my husband. God’s grace allowed me to see past all of my hurt and focus only on granting forgiveness.
Soon I became more forgiving towards my husband. Giving forgiveness freely and openly for past, current, future hurts and forgiving him for the times he could not forgive me. Most importantly I forgave myself for my actions that I may have taken against him.
Stop Comparison Shopping
Finally, we need to stop shopping around for a better marriage. We must stop looking at other marriages and be comparing them to ours. Let us stop shopping for a marriage to model or mold ours too. As God made us all individuals, He made every marriage unique.
We should be proud of our marriages for all the good and the bad. The struggles and victories each of our marriages have endured made it beautifully unique. The way we love has no comparison, and neither does our marriage.
The only thing that should modify our marriage is God’s word. The mold we should be following is God’s truth about marriage. The one marriage we should be focusing on is our own. Fight, believe, and trust that God will make our marriage the fairy tale we always dreamed of and above all, it will belong to God!
In the End
Well, we are now in our 9th year of marriage with a house full of people. We are better as individuals and as a couple. I love that man more today than I have ever. I know him, I see him! Everything about him the good the bad, the hurt, the love, I mean everything. He is my best friend my lover, my partner, my everything.
Do we still have arguments? Yes, after all, we are humans that are not perfect. But even with our moment of fighting or if it gets ugly, I know God has a purpose for marriage.
When we put God first in our lives and our marriage, He helps us in the dark moments. He reveals our fault with grace so we can rectify our behavior. Showing us the way to resolve the issue and move past the hurt.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and that means we will have a lifetime to implement these steps and probably use them over and over. Don’t expect perfection after we have asked God for our marriage. Expect guidance, love, understanding, and transformation. Give it time to be restored while we keep practicing and walking with God.
Check out these resources that helped my marriage
The Bible, The Love Dare and Living the Love Dare
How about you?
- Do you have any suggestions for improving a marriage?
- How has the bible and God renewed your marriage?
- What was most useful to you out of the five steps?