Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 5.8.14 – Two Quick Marriage Tips. Marriage Works When . . .

I’ve done this sort of thing before, and I’ll probably do it in the future. I think at a slow pace and it’s hard for me to get things in my mind to a point where I understand them. But, as I’ve been thinking about what works in our marriage, I’d like to share two conclusions that have taken time, effort, study, and correction to determine.

1. Marriage works when husband and wife are on the same page.

This does not mean that they share every thought, opinion, and desire. That would be impossible. But you have to know what’s important. As I think about the bedrock strengths of our marriage, it’s that we agree on the big things. We communicate regularly about the budget and how much we’re spending. We have pretty similar views on how to discipline our children. We know the schedule and where our kids are going. We work to correct inconsistencies for our benefit and especially for our children’s benefit. I know when she’s struggling and I try to fill in and affirm. She does the same. She knows what questions to ask; I know when to quit trying to fix the problem and encourage.

I don’t mean this is all perfect; we have our bad days colored by sin and selfishness. But generally, the Biblical model works. I try to lead, she does her best to support my leadership and I feel we work together really well.

2. Marriage works when you don’t need the other person’s affirmation.

Simply put: I don’t try to earn my wife’s affirmation. I don’t need it. That may sound harsh, but it’s true.

Jesus fulfills me in ways my wife never can, will, or was intended to fulfill me. My chief identity is in Christ, and my chief satisfaction comes from serving Him. So, I serve Julie. That glorifies God and affirms me.

Do I like it when Julie affirms me? Certainly, encouragement is good for all of us. But human affirmation is not the goal.

Healthy marriages don’t work like a bank where you put in good deeds and then take those things out to make up for things you mess up.  We shouldn’t feel like we have to work to earn points in our marriage to keep them going. Forgiveness and repentance should sustain our marriage way more than some balance sheet of good and bad deeds. Our relationship with God thrives on forgiveness and repentance; so should our marriages.

Think. In what specific areas does your communication suffer? Where do you feel like you’re not on the same page? Do you feel like you’re working to maintain your spouse’s affirmation?

Act. Take practical steps to improve communication, or get help if you can’t see the gaps. Be ready to forgive, love, and affirm – without condition or performance. Treat your spouse like Jesus treats you!

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