With the new summer season upon us, and family time ramping up with vacations, our relationships can be under the spotlight a little bit more. I love talking about marriage because it is such a real life example / experience of God’s love that we live out daily with our spouse. The foundation of marriage takes work.
When two people decide to get married, they are committing to a lifetime together. Today, it can go without even needing to say that marriage is not as revered as it once was, and so sometimes the sincerity of working on a relationship gets lost.
Marriage (any deep relationship) takes work.
Why? Well because they consist of two imperfect people making a life together. There is going to be friction at some point, and life has a funny way of throwing things off course when you least expect.
God wants us to have a partner here physically, much like the relationship He has with us spiritually. If you think about the context of marriage as a reflection of your relationship with Christ, you may just see your spouse a little differently.
Here is a round-up of posts I’ve written in the past:
- Making Marriage Work Series > this posts links all four parts
- In Love with Kids
- Married with No Kids
- Here Babe, Let Me
- A Strong Man
Four factors that are big elements to focus on for a foundation of marriage are trust, communication, affection, and support.
These big four integrate on so many levels in a marriage. All of these elements require attention. I recently did a poll on the Bold Pearls FB page and the two areas people stated were the hardest for them in their relationships were affection and communication.
I was actually caught a little off guard by the affection vote. Affection / intimacy are HUGE factors in a healthy relationship. At times when everything else may be going wrong, this one element can be a gigantic way for connection and motivation to get back on track.
Showing affection and being intimate are absolutely key in successful long term relationships. If you are struggling in this area, it is very important to do work in this area. The biggest advice I can give is that everyday, affection should be shared in a marriage > even if its simply a kiss goodnight. Once you get in the routine of not showing affection, the slope is easy of going days without even touching one another. This is one element that Adam and I really try to foster in our marriage, and I have to say that I really feel it has been a lynch pin in times that have been more difficult in keeping us grounded.
Communication, I was not surprised by because its hard work in any relationship. Relationships are two imperfect people trying to constantly interact through daily life >>> it’s A LOT, haha!
My biggest advice I have about communication comes from my own experience >>> STOP ASSUMING, and QUIT EXPECTING! Assumptions and expectations are creations made up from our own minds, and don’t really account for the actions and thoughts of a separate person. Make it clear what you need or expect, and many conflicts can be avoided. [ALL THE PRAISE HANDS!]
Marriage is a commitment and it’s a wonderful gift. God created it perfectly, but it doesn’t mean that fallible people will execute it perfectly. It’s the one thing I believe that will change someone the most, and those changes can add up to something positive or can be highly destructive. We have to do the work to make it work together.
Drop your best marriage tips in the comments! How can people build a solid foundation of marriage?