If you’re married, think back to the starting point: the time when you were just at the cusp of your dating relationship.
He did special things to make you feel like you were truly on top of the world. You had time to plan fun outings that you knew he would love. His interests naturally became your own, because you just wanted to be around *him* and it seemed like everything he did was, oh, soooo cool.
Now think to your current married life. Would you consider those feelings to remain the same? Is life still in a cycle where much of your time can be planned around and with your spouse, or have the two of you found yourself living through the motions of jobs, kids, finances, pets, sports practices, and likely discovering that those hobbies you supported him in so much, way back then, really aren’t your cup of tea after all?
Welcome to long term married life, but not necessarily ideal married life.
When we get married, whether we realize it or not, we have determined in our vows that the other person is going to simply support our loves and our passions. Since it appeared that way during dating, of course it will always stay, we often subliminally believe- but more often than not, reality sets in and the phrase “the honeymoon’s over”, means more than returning home from a multi island cruise.
It might not be long until you discover he really did not enjoy spending Saturday afternoons with you shopping for shoes. While truthfully, you really don’t like his interest in social activities. Why can’t he be content just staying home on a Friday night watching a movie?
In every marriage, God joins two very different people, and even as those two become one, there will still be two separate minds, patterns, and often, interests.
If you and your spouse share similar passions and are able to unify your goals, then congratulations! But so often, the marriage years provide opportunities for couples to discover just how different they really are to each other. Without a solid central foundation, the lack of unified passions and desires may slowly cause a couple God intended to be together, to gradually drift apart.
If that is you, stop now! Don’t consider drifting to be your marriage’s fate. David and Tracy Sellers, founders of Vows To Keep Marriage Ministries say God can re-spark your connections and help you find unified passions.
Words vs Actions
There’s an old saying you may have heard: familiarly breeds contempt. Have you ever noticed how it’s easier to be kind and compassionate to a stranger or newly met friend than your spouse? It’s sad but true. The enemy has been attacking the marriage unit from the beginning; but there’s still good news. Even though the fight can be intense, there are countless stories of marriage success. God is in the business of rejoining a husband and spouse in unity.
But sometimes, getting that joint unity isn’t so easy. One person is ready, while the other has no interest. What are ways you can be supportive of your spouse’s causes, even if those causes aren’t your own? Allowing God to slowly mend and meld your heart are two first important steps. Next, your your thoughts and actions toward your spouse can naturally start to change as well.
5 things we get by serving others
Jesus instructs us to lead through servant leadership. When we obey His commands there are things that we get out of it. Learn what those are in our free guide.Download our guide here
Jesus took up your cause when you least deserved it.
Maybe you feel your spouse doesn’t deserve another chance; but don’t forget, Jesus took another chance on you…likely more than once. Aren’t you so glad He did?
As you ponder your current situation, try hard to remember the “good ole days”, those days when you happily attended every Friday night racing event with him because you simply wanted to be with him. What kind of response do you anticipate, if little by little you do something extra special that you know your spouse will enjoy? What can happen to you on the inside when you realize that little things you are doing are causing your spouse’s happiness? What will that do for you? A happy wife is a happy life, right? A happy husband is, well, probably a happy life too.
So take the giving challenge. How often can you try be giving person for your spouse? David and Tracy believe that even baby steps are pathways to impacting strides in the positive direction.
David and Tracy Sellars, of Vows to Keep Marriage Ministries, suggest the following assignment. You can start this on your own, but pray about an opportunity for you and your spouse to discuss this together:
What are the causes for which you care?
What causes are important to your spouse?
List them on paper, and then categorize them in 3 ways:
- A Godly Pursuit/A Cause for His Kingdom: this is something that the two of you can commit to together, recognizing it is an opportunity for God to use you together to impact others for Him.
- Causes that are hobbies or fun. These are not sinful pursuits, but if not watched carefully, can take up too much individual time. Which of these causes can the spouse show support to the other? Can you chose a one or two of each spouse’s interests and commit to pursuing them together?
- Causes that are potential to trigger sin. These causes may be hard to discuss together, but these are the ones that have the ability to break down a marriage. Commit to holding each other accountable in a loving, God honoring way and ask for God’s direction and guidance in avoiding these sin triggering situations.
Husband and wife team, David and Tracy Sellars, founded Vows to Keep with the belief that families are important and no matter what your current circumstance may be, or what your family history has been, God still works marriage. Vows to Keep is designed to help you transform your marriage and family with resources and events that outline God’s blueprints for marriage. Plan to attend an upcoming Vows to Keep marriage event. Learn more at: VowstoKeep.com