5 Truths To Strengthen A Marriage

Photo: Renae Bowman

Photo: Renae Bowman (My parents happy day–beginning their 61 years together)

Weddings are great. Marriages can be, too.

Before I go on, let me say in full disclosure—I failed in marriage in the past. It was brief. I was young. God was not a part of it. We, were not part of it. It was rushed and shallow. I made mistakes. I learned much.

Today, I have an imperfect marriage and it’s a blessing.

Almost two decades together, love has abounded even through turmoil. I am not writing from a tower of smugness but rather from a floor of humility. Only because of Jesus’ love and grace can I say I am still married. He has stood in the gap when there were divides and became the bridge when oceans were too wide.

Every marriage needs strengthening. Every marriage needs work. If you search, like I do, for truths that strengthen the bond, perhaps these five can help:

Perfection Is a Lie

When two sinners come together it makes for a crowded house with sin, not an empty house of perfection. Sin is deeply rooted in all of us. All of us. When we see our shared innate sin, then we can lift the heavy and unreasonable burden off our loved ones to be perfect.  No one is. Therefore, our unions are not perfect. Therefore, quite frankly, we should lower our standards of our marriages. When we do, we can shed the heaviness of living up to something that just does not exist. Perfection has no place as an expectation in marriage. (Romans 3:23)

Lighten Up

I’m really, really, good at making an issue out of just about anything. The list is long what I can turn upside down and twist around far from where it started. It’s a game both can play. Feelings get hurt. Then they get worn on sleeves. Minor becomes major; innocent becomes outraged. It leaves us twisted in a knot. But if we’re being honest, sometimes we just need to lighten up. Not everything has to be an issue. Not everything has to be adversarial. Not everything has to result in a drawn out dilemma. It’s giving the other, room to be…well…human. For remembering grace ensures us grace. (James 4:6)

Yes, Forgiveness is The Key

Oh this is a hard one for me! When I’ve been wronged, when I’ve had my toes stepped on—legitimately—I don’t like forgiving. Not one bit. It’s as bitter on my tongue as a melted aspirin. But we know…we know right?…it has to be the narrative of marriage. No one said forgiving is easy, no one said it comes naturally—in fact it is just the opposite–but, it’s a practice that takes practice. Forgiveness must take its rightful place in marriage—continuously, frequently and genuinely. (Matthew 6:14)

Put Your Spouse First

It’s been said a gazillion times—question is, have we done it a gazillion times? Being a Christ-ian, this is a marching order in our marriages. Our spouse’s best interest should always be higher than our own. This goes against everything the world tells us. It’s a constant fight against the me first desires. But, we are not of this world. We are of heaven! Therefore, we are of the One who gave up His throne to come here to be a servant. He put our needs, our lives, and our salvation far above His. He didn’t have to…yet, He did. He gave the example—we need to follow. (Mark 10:45)

Remember The Other Promises

Vows were said. Promises made. On that special day things like loyalty, and connection, and patience, and hard work were said. Yet, time has a way at wearing those promises down. Cracks and breaks appear and sometimes dark and deep divides follow. It is during those times that remembering the promises will help…the promises of God! A troubled marriage can’t keep Him away; it can draw Him closer. His promises are true. His we can rely on. His will repair when all seems lost. For He has said He will show up when we make Him the center of our lives–our marriages.   Promises said to each other are very important—remember them always—but remember, too, the promises He made. (Psalm 145:13)

Oh, our marriages can be both delicate and strong. Sometimes they need extra care and other times they effortlessly withstand great storms. It is how we build them up long before those times come—and how we hang on during the struggle. May you constantly find truths for strengthening your union. It takes work. Be aggressive. Be diligent. Be willing to make strong that which can be.

2 Replies

  1. Karen Uribe

    Amen Sister! Thanks for the reminder!

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