Making Marriage Work is a series (challenge) to give you motivation, encouragement, and actionable steps for maintaining a relationship that works! Below is Part Four to the series.
If you didn’t catch the first two parts, go read them NOW!
When you and your spouse are connected and working together, marriage is a WONDERFUL blessing. Don’t be disillusioned, marriage will NEVER be perfect, and there will always be room for improvement and hard times to face. A crucial element for a healthy marriage is knowing (with absolute no doubt) that your spouse is your biggest fan. They are the one that no matter the circumstance, obstacle, dream, desire, or passion that you may face or have you know they are with you. You support them!
This may seem like a simple and common sense element of marriage, but I believe a deeper point should be made. There is no way that a marriage can work if there is no support. And I don’t mean a “you got this babe” mentality. I mean the kind of support you don’t even have to wonder about. You know in your core that your spouse is on your team regardless.
This may seem simple to grasp, but this is something that really gets buried or all together neglected in marriage. It’s hard to understand the magnitude of what a person means to you without considering what you would unabashedly do for them. I think it’s easy to say that you would die for your loved ones, that you would easily take a bullet for them. But do you believe in them?
Do their dreams and ambitions make you excited for them? You don’t have to like the same things or have the same forlorn desires (Although, many of them usually are in common. Hence, why you married that person.), but do you want for them what they want? Do you get excited because they are excited. Do you foster a place for them to vent about their ideas and offer wisdom and insight into what they may be thinking? Are you a sounding board for them where they can be open and honest? Or are you the nay-sayer? The one that ALWAYS “plays Devil’s Advocate”? I’m not saying to always be the “Yes Man”, but do you offer sound advice or simply poo-poo their thoughts? Or worse, not really even listen when they come to you with something on their heart/mind.
The level of support present in a marriage can be shown when learning how each person feels a marriage should operate. This includes housework, finances, and child rearing for example. From the communication, trust, and expectations that you’ve paid attention to ( ahem, ya know the first three parts of this series), support can be established, given, and shown through all those aspects and will affect the overall enjoyment your marriage can accomplish for each person.
Support can be easily taken away. Taken away by assumptions, by resentments, or by a lack of interest. When those reactions to your spouse’s excitements, actions, thoughts, or dreams begin to take hold, it’s a difficult journey ahead. The reason… your spouse will begin to feel misunderstood, unseen, and unheard. And when a person begins to feel misunderstood, they begin to feel alone.
The reason support is so imperative is because of TIME. We are only given one shot at this life, and we each have passions and dreams, thoughts and feelings, that make us who we are…therefore, we HAVE to help the most significant person in our life feel supported. It’s important to how we love them!
WAYS TO SHOW SUPPORT:
- Verbally – When talking about their “thing” make statements that are encouraging, such as ” Well, I think you’d be great at that because XYZ…” or “Your character strengths of ABC will really play well to that…” or ” I completely understand why you feel that way because…”
- Edify them in public – If a topic that is relative comes up or the question is posed on what you’ve been up to…give your spouse a boost. Share that you are excited about what they are doing or accomplishing, give them a compliment (trust me, this goes a long way).
- Offer help – if you notice they may be struggling, are frustrated, or having a hard time executing something > STEP UP! Offer your advice, help, time to figuring out the best way to accomplish their goal. Time management can really be a HUGE support. Figuring out where you can pick up slack or take on certain tasks to take the burden off of them so they have time to work at their goal, etc.
Each of these will give your spouse the confidence that you are on their side. Your words will match your actions, and the love and connection your spouse will feel towards you will be so beneficial to your marriage!
All four elements discussed in this series are fundamental pillars that work together to develop a bonding marriage that can withstand time, adversity, and the cyclical nature of the good and bad that come with living life. Communication, trust, expectations, and support are all points in relationships that must be cultivated and practiced DAILY! They are a part of our walk together, just as our walk with Christ requires daily vigilance, and our marriages require the same attention.
Let’s make marriage work and give our spouses the best effort we have to make our lives joyful, loving, and stable!!
Please comment below how you show your spouse support!