2 Ways Your Relationship With God Can Save Your Relationship With Your Spouse

BY: - 19 Oct '17 | Home

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Let’s start out this post with a few indisputables. The divorce rate in America is between 40 and 50 percent. The divorce rate among African American couples is typically higher than other ethnic groups. Now, since African Americans make up a large percentage of church goers, it begs the question that if we’re such faithful members of the religious community, why are we failing to uphold one of its most sacred commitments?

I can’t speak for everyone or for every situation, but I’m confident that when a real relationship with God is present, it can do wonders to keep your marriage in tact and out of divorce court. Let’s take a moment and put the self help, positive thinking mantra on the shelf. Our best thinking can often get us in trouble, so I hope to encourage you to reach even higher.

When I was a college student, I made a decision to become a Christian. It sounds somewhat cavalier but at the time I made the decision, it was wholehearted and meant to be lifelong. Anyone who’s been there knows that the initial decision is just the beginning. Once life steps in, you get to make that decision over and over again.

As a follower of Christ, you must allow His teachings to permeate every decision you make. Is this the right job for me? Is this person the one God has sent for me to spend the rest of my life with? Who should I vote for? Even after seeking God’s guidance and waiting for His answer, life can still be challenging.

Now that I’m married, I can’t begin to explain how much my relationship with God has impacted my relationship with my spouse. But for the fact that we both meant it when we said “Jesus is Lord,” our marriage would have crashed and burned over some of the very high bumps in the road we’ve encountered during the course of our relationship.

So, how can a relationship with God save your relationship with your spouse? Here are two tried and true ways we hope make a difference in your marriage.

#1 Love God With All Your Heart

I really love my church. I am spiritually led and fed by some of the most amazing people I know. But when I’m not at church, it’s just God and me. If I don’t make the effort to build a real relationship with Him, then it won’t matter how much I “Amen” at church. The first step to loving your spouse unconditionally is loving God unreservedly. Take the necessary time build your spiritual muscle each day by studying your Bible for yourself. Don’t just bank on what your Pastor says once a week.

A strong healthy marriage requires solid food and living water in order to grow. Finding time to speak to God through prayer and to listen to God through Bible study is the best way to access that spiritual nourishment. As you grow in your walk with God, your love for Him will grow. As your love for God grows, so does your humility. When humility with God is present, then humility with your spouse isn’t far behind.

#2 Love Your Spouse as Much as You Love Yourself

Once you’ve made a decision to wholeheartedly devote yourself to God, then loving your spouse becomes 100 times easier. When pride shows up, humility enters the room. When selfishness rears its ugly head, self denial makes itself available. When criticism wants to have its say, grace shows up and shows out. Now, instead of looking at your spouse through your tainted lens, you see them the way God sees you. This makes you treat them the way God has already treated you, with unconditional love.

I get that this all sounds somewhat pie-in-the-sky-ish. But marriages that last a lifetime know that the “golden rule” has the magic touch. Unless you are willing to love your spouse as much as you love yourself, kiss your relationship goodbye. Also, notice I didn’t say “more” than you love yourself. You can’t really love someone else if you don’t know how to love yourself first. If you don’t neglect your heart, mind, and spirit then you will be able to truly give to someone else.

These two things may or may not be easy for you. One thing is certain, they work. Jesus says that all the commandments fall under these two principles. So, if they’re good enough for the Jesus, they’re good enough for me.

BMWK, how’s your relationship with God helping your marriage?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 151 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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The Real Secret to Greater Peace in Your Marriage

BY: - 28 Mar '18 | Home

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We’ve all seen it before – a once happy couple appears solemn and distressed. We wonder what happened to the peace in their marriage. When couples experience relationship challenges, a question asked by those tasked with helping bring greater peace in their marriage might be “What is it that you want in your marriage that you are not experiencing right now?”

The answer to this question usually goes something like this:

  • More fun and excitement, things have gone stale.
  • I want my best friend back.
  • I want to feel attractive and desired by my husband.
  • I want better communication, he doesn’t talk to me.
  • I want us to be on the same page.

There are many things one could list, and underneath each one of them is likely a desire to be at peace. So where do you find this peace when there’s conflict, tension, distance, and resentment bubbling up in your marriage?

The peace you are looking for in your marriage, and in the way you experience your husband, exists in part within yourself – in your mind, your perception, your attitude, your point of view.

However, the big secret to having greater peace in your marriage is not found in looking to your husband as the source, but in looking to God.

Now maybe you already know this on an intellectual and even spiritual level. Yes, someone else can’t MAKE you happy, you have to be happy within yourself. Yes, God is the only person that can truly meet all of your needs, and you should pray instead of worrying and allowing yourself to be upset. I hear you mumbling that to yourself right now. I’ve done that too. And I also know:

Easier said than done.

In order for you to truly internalize this message though, you have to be aware of a few realities that we have a tendency to skip over in our quest for fast results and quick improvements during challenging times in our marriage.

If you can really hear the following points, you will find that the path to greater peace in your marriage will be a lot smoother and more direct. So take a breath, commit yourself to soaking up the following words instead of quickly scanning them so you can get on with your day. Open your mind to the possibility that what you will read next could dramatically alter the way you’ve been approaching gaining peace in your marriage.

Okay? Here goes.

#1. Human love will fail you.

You are an imperfect person. You don’t always do the things you should; you don’t always say the things you are supposed to say, and you make mistakes – sometimes huge ones. One of the big lies most of us go into marriage believing is that our spouse won’t disappoint us. You might think:

  • the love you have for each other will be enough to keep those good vibes going.
  • their goal should be to meet my needs and do the right things to make me happy.
  • they will know all of my expectations, and be willing to fulfill them with masterful precision.

When these things don’t happen, you look at your spouse as if they are in the wrong when you should be looking within to see how you can fill in the gaps with a stronger connection to God and greater care and love for yourself. You want our spouse to do that work for you instead of rolling up your sleeves and getting on your knees before God.

#2. No one knows you better than God.

The way you come to understand yourself is a function of your conscious thought. The things you can see, feel, and know about yourself based on your experiences is how you form a concept of who you are and how you feel. So, if you are after greater peace in your marriage, you seek it based on your conscious thoughts and perceptions – what you see and feel on a regular basis.

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But there is another part of you hidden deep within your spirit, that unconscious part of you that you are not even fully aware of, but that God is. As your creator, He knows exactly what your deepest needs are and he has the perfect way to fulfill them and make you feel complete. You may think that when your husband is more romantic or is communicating in the ways you desire, that those things will bring you peace, only to find that if you’re really honest with yourself, they don’t actually bring you the fulfillment and wholeness you are seeking. That’s because your husband is never going to get it 100% right for you 100% of the time. When he falls short, that’s a signal for you to turn to the ONLY person who can, which is God. He’s the one that created you with that specific need in the first place, and only He can truly satisfy that void.

#3. You can’t receive what you have not yet cultivated within yourself.

Think of a time when someone gave you a compliment you had a hard time accepting. Think about how their kind words didn’t really get deep within your heart because you didn’t actually feel that way about yourself. Then think of a time where you were glad to receive a compliment because you just knew you were deserving of it. Feel the difference? When you have a feeling on the inside, someone else’s validation is so easy to receive.

Be honest with yourself here. Are you fully at peace within yourself? Do you love and accept yourself, do you speak to yourself with kindness and compassion, do you honor your own skills and abilities? Or do you judge yourself, critique yourself, and focus on all the things you’ve not yet accomplished? Being able to experience peace in relation to another is a function of first being able to experience peace within yourself. Disharmony in your marriage is a reflection of disharmony within. What do you need to do to be more at peace with yourself? What are some healthy ways you can create fulfillment that don’t require your husband to do anything different from what he’s doing now? How can you begin to embrace this moment in time as a great teacher that will help you to become a stronger, better version of yourself?

#4. Peace comes from gratitude.

Sometimes, conflict exists more in your mind than it actually does in your marriage. Even if you and your husband argue often, or you find yourselves regularly frustrated with each other, those are just isolated moments in time.

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Peace comes from stepping into the present moment and from taking stock of all the things you have to be grateful for right then and there. You feel disappointed when you look at the past. You feel worried or anxious when you consider the future. You find peace when you appreciate the present. So right now as you read these words, write down 5 things you have to be grateful for in your marriage this very minute. Don’t consider what happened even 2 minutes ago, or what might happen in 2 hours. Just consider this minute. Right now. Ask God to show it to you. What’s going okay? What’s going right? Get in the habit of bringing yourself to this place often. And often you’ll find peace.

Experiencing peace in your marriage is often a conscious choice. It’s so important to release unnecessary expectations, to let go of past hurts, and to tap into the complete joy and love that can be found with a closer relationship with God.

As you read these four realities, which one sticks out the most for you? Which one do you feel that you need to start applying to your life in a more intentional way?

Make a commitment to become your own peacemaker. Choose to forgive on a daily basis. Turn to the One who knows you best. Create a more fulfilling relationship with yourself. And always, always find something to be grateful for. It is there you will find an abundance of peace that your heart and soul desires.

By: Chavonne Perotte

Dr. Chavonne Perotte is a speaker, transformational workshop leader and marriage coach who helps women create happier more loving marriages without having to make over their husband. She is the author of Voices in Your Ear: New Conversations to Transform Your Mind and Renew Your Marriage, which is a devotional for wives to encourage and equip them to maintain a positive mindset. You can find out more about her and her work at at BeRelateAble.com, or find her on Facebook at FB/RelateAble.

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BMWK Staff wrote 1250 articles on this blog.

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