My blog is called Intentional Today because I believe that a great marriage is something we build everyday.
As a young wife, I had many days where I grew “weary in well doing”.
I was tired of a myriad young marriage blues and longed for a break.
It takes a while to understand that you can’t really take a break from marriage.
There’s no “neutral gear”; a state of limbo where you stop putting intentional effort in a relationship.
I’ve learned – and continue to learn – that in marriage you are either moving forward: making intentional effort/working on issues.
Or moving backward; allowing yourself to drift/giving up.
You can’t solve young marriage challenges from a distance.
You have to intentionally engage.
Yes, there’s a place for ‘rest’, where you are not trying to force change.
But this kind of rest is active, not passive.
You engage in faith and belief and continue to do in action what God tells you to do.
So what can you do intentionally, today, to cheer your marriage towards lasting bliss?
Prayer does not just change things, it changes people.
Take time to pray for your marriage, your husband, yourself.
Without daily connection and communion with God, doing marriage His way will be an uphill, if not impossible, task.
Ultimately what you need most in your life is God, not necessarily answers to prayers.
Allow God to change you and form you through the power of prayer.
2. Commit to personal change
Many of us are guilty of saying or thinking “If only my husband would change, our marriage would be so much better”
Obviously there are times when there’s truth behind the words, where a husband’s action or inaction is affecting the marriage negatively.
But often as wives and when say these kinds of things, we are silently shifting the burden of responsibility.
Essentially saying “he got all the problems, I got none”.
But the truth is that for every speck you spot in your husband’s eye, there’s always a huge plank in your own. (Mathew 7:3)
In other words there’s always room for improvement.
When you refuse to examine yourself (your responses, expectations, attitudes), even when the other person is clearly to blame, you limit opportunities for progress and growth.
God is often more interested in making something good out of us, more than sorting out all our issues.
He knows that once He gets through to us, then we have the ability to handle difficult situations and still bring Him glory.
Purpose to cultivate a “how can I help/change/grow in this situation?” as a daily response in your marriage.
3. Give extravagantly
Don’t keep count of your good deeds; give without thought to yourself or how much he owes you in return.
One thought that can help you here is to understand that you are doing things unto God, not unto your husband.
Once you begin to understand that the extravagant awesome God of the Universe is your Father and that He is looking out for you and that He loves your husband as much as He loves you, your perspective will begin to change.
Take down that score board today.
4. Create a light fun atmosphere in your home
My husband and I love play.
We laugh and joke and tease and wrestle and chase each other around.
Unfortunately whenever we have serious conflict, the fun and ease is the first thing to go out of the window.
But funny thing, (and this was a surprise to me) the loss becomes one of the strong motivators for working out our issues.
Cultivating a light fun atmosphere in your home and marriage can help you get on the resolution road faster when issues crop up.
Work on your friendship while the sun still shines so that when -not if - it pours your desire for sunny days will out-beat your stubbornness and pride.
Now as a wife, your husband doesn’t even have to be in on it to begin with.
Just work on being an easy person yourself.
A person that is fun to be around, who has a light spirit about her.
(Every relationship is different, find what works for yours.)
For some people the ease and fun comes naturally, but for many of us – like yours truly – who have more serious personalities, you have to work on it.
God transforms personalities!
It will make a big difference in your marriage today.
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
5. Don’t blow up every challenge.
In marriage we go through different levels of challenges and issues.
Here I am talking about the everyday small angst and irritations that we can easily overlook, if we choose.
He’s left a mess in the kitchen after making breakfast?
You don’t need a whole sit-down about it, clean it up and enjoy the rest of the morning together.
Socks still on the floor?
Decide if that’s more important than having a relaxed evening together.
Learn to choose your battles, don’t make all things big things.
It wearies the heart.
Keep proper perspective – how much does this really matter in the big scheme of things?
Grow up and purpose out-give in every situation, every day.
Question: How do you build your marriage everyday? Would love to hear from you in Comments!
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