If there’s one thing a marriage should constantly do it’s grow. A stagnant marriage is just like anything else that’s stagnant- it’s either in a deep coma and will remain that way until jumpstarted or it’s dead. When God meets us in marriage, it never dies or remains dead. When Jesus takes centre stage in a marriage, we live in fullness constantly growing and maturing.
And while Jesus brings fullness into our marriage, He gives us the power and wisdom to do things in a certain way. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Yesterday was my and my wife’s fourth anniversary and in the four years we’ve been married, early on God had set up some “steps” that really put us on a good foundation that always gives us room to grow.
Here are five of the many things we have done and what Christian couples can do to make their marriage grow.
Communicate. Communication is key to any relationship. Without it there can be no openness and authenticity which is really what builds trust, and we all know how important trust is to growing in love. Many couples are good at communicating nice and flowery words while others are good at communicating harsh realities. Healthy and growing Christian couples do both in great balance.
Reminisce. More than just reminiscing the ‘good old days’ when dates were cheap and there were no kids around, it really helps to remember the good things that God has done for you as a couple to establish your faith together some more. Remember how God provided for, sustained, and blessed every season you’ve had together. Psalm 77:11 says, “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”
Affirm. Affirmation is something that the heart truly cries out for, and while our affirmation comes ultimately from Jesus Christ, spouses can be a channel of that affirmation towards each other reminding each other that because of God’s unconditional love for us, we can love, forgive and cherish each other for the rest of our lives.
Sacrifice. If you think marriage will be nice and easy, I hate to burst your bubble but it’s time to wake up. Being in a relationship calls us to make greater sacrifices for one another. Just as Christ has loved the church and sacrificed for it, God calls us to sacrifice for each other as well.
Dream. No matter how long you’ve been married and how far off in life you are as a couple, this reality remains – God’s not done with you yet. It’s always healthy and helpful to dream together as a couple of what more God can do for and through you to advance His kingdom here on earth and to be a blessing to others.