By Jolene Engle, Contributing Writer
I’m not too fond of making them, but what I am fond of is looking at a New Year with a fresh start. And sometimes that’s exactly what a marriage needs…
I believe every couple should take a step back and look at their marriage and really be intentional about improving it. Being that we are ‘one’ with our spouse, doesn’t it make sense if we re-evaluate our marriage from time to time?
The longer you’ve been married, I’m sure the more likely you’ve wrestled with any of the following…
- Bad choices made?
- Grudges held?
- Bitterness taking root?
- Walls that have been built?
- A marriage devoid of marital intimacy?
Life, in general, is hard. Add a spouse (and kids!) to that mix and it can be increasingly difficult….or a marriage can be a blessing.
But let’s be real, shall we?
A great marriage takes work. Intentionality and dying to self is what will make your marriage blossom. Continue on that path and add an abundance of Grace, and then you’ve got yourself a marriage made in Heaven!
God meant for the union of marriage to be a good thing but some times we don’t know how to handle the strains and pressures of life. When the disappointments, storms, and even the mundane sweep through our homes, sometimes we just don’t know what to do. Our human nature is to place blame…on anyone but ourselves!
But if we want to better our marriage this year, let’s start over, shall we? Hit the reset button and re-boot your marriage. It’s really a simple concept.
Let’s look at the Gospel message as our example. The central theme of it is Grace.
Grace for the screw-up, the sinner, the one who falls short. That would be every single soul on planet earth! Now don’t you feel comforted in knowing that you’re not alone? I know I do. Grace gives me permission to not be perfect, and from a recovering perfectionist, that’s very refreshing to my soul!
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect, He asks us to follow Him. There’s a difference. And THAT MAN just so happens to pour out an abundance of GRACE on His kids!
But the pain… The years of being let down and disappointed by your spouse or the circumstances that have surrounded your life just makes you want to cry. And perhaps you’ve even lost hope in thinking that things will get any better.
He is the God of Hope!
“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9
I love that verse!
I love it because I understand pain and the good that can be found in it. However, I must say that it comes at a high price. And the price is death; death to the flesh.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:23,24
Let God birth something new in your marriage this year. Let Him have access to your heart. To purge the sin. To cover the fears. And to embrace the hurts.
Then do your part.
5 Tips for a Marriage ‘Do-Over’
1. Talk to your spouse about turning over this new leaf. It’s doesn’t have to be anything major because change is hard! Just acknowledge your past mistakes/sins/failures, etc. and apologize for them. Hopefully your spouse will desire to do the same. And then make the decision to start over with a clean slate; the same kind of slate that Jesus gives us.
2. Be intentional about extending one another grace throughout this year.
3. Run to the Grace-Giver to get your strength (Since the Enemy hates grace, he’ll do everything he can to make sure you don’t extend it to your spouse!)
4. Walk in the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 5:8
5. Look at your spouse as a new creation! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Are you ready for a ‘do-over’ in your marriage? Let me know in the comments if you’re willing to embrace this marital challenge!