By Shari Miller, Contributing Writer
Photo by HVargas’
When a couple starts dating or courting, so much work is put into the relationship to make it grow. Once the wedding bells ring the devotion and love towards one another seems as if it will never end. But then, something happens…..years pass, babies are born, jobs to support the family take up time, and the special relationship that is cherished between the two of you can sometimes be forgotten. Often times a spouse can be left wondering, “What is going on here? This is not how it was supposed to be! Why isn’t my husband or wife treating me the way they way they used to?” That’s when you realize, without you knowing it, the out of order sign was put up on your marriage, leaving you alone and not knowing which way to turn.
We need to remember that marriage takes work, just as much work as it took when you first started out. It should be treasured as a precious gift from God. If the out of order sign has been put up in your marriage, here are eleven ways to lead you on the path of healing.
11 Ways to Lead Your Marriage on the Path to Healing
First, make sure you take the issue to the Father in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to, “pray without ceasing” (NIV). Make sure you tell God what’s on your heart, share with Him your concerns and longings about your marriage. Ask Him what steps should be taken to bring unity back into your marriage.
Confess any sins that you may have towards your spouse and seek God’s guidance for what to do. The Bible tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”(NIV) 1 John 1:9
3) Read the Bible
God’s word is our instruction manual for our marriages. It’s within the pages of the Bible that we will find direction and guidance. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so he that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I once attended a wedding where the pastor officiating at the ceremony said, “When you’re in a marriage you’re on the same team, you’re not on opposing sides working against each other. Your traveling together on this journey, helping each other and supporting each other. You’re not trying to compete to get your own way, or to see who is best, it’s a partnership in the Lord.” Remember this when you approach your spouse in a loving way about the condition of your marriage. Without accusing, seek for the root of the problem, ask your spouse what he or she may be feeling, as well as letting them know what’s on your heart. Come together in prayer with your spouse seeking the Lord’s guidance for how healing can begin in your marriage.
Photo by Ben30’s
5) Ask for Forgiveness
When speaking with your spouse ask them for forgiveness, in any area where you may have wronged them, or any area where they may feel hurt.
Also be willing to forgive your spouse for anything they may have done to you. It doesn’t accomplish anything to keep a record of the wrongs that have been done to you. Move on and lay the hurt in the Lord’s hands. Remember what God’s words states about love, “It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:5
7) Seek Counsel
Be prepared for there to be resistance to change from your spouse. Be willing to seek Christian counsel, sometimes it may take a third-party to open your eyes to things you may have been missing or areas that need work within your marriage.
Commitment – Once you and your spouse have dug deep into the issues of your marriage, resolve to make a commitment to change. Set a framework for how your can create a new relationship with each other and resolve to fervently work on it.
In moving forward with your spouse, above all else, remember to love each other. Love is not something that you will always feel, love is a choice. It’s a decision that both husband and wife need to make regardless of their circumstances. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV) John 13:34-35
9) Acts of Kindness
As you seek changes in your union don’t forget to show your spouse how important they are to you. Little acts of kindness go a long way. From holding the door open for your spouse, to making their favorite dinner, to also texting them words of love. If you want a thriving, healthy marriage take the time to create an atmosphere where one can prosper. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (NIV) 1 Corinthians 13:4
10) Words of Affirmation
Remember to encourage your spouse. Make sure that you are their biggest cheerleader! Let them know through words that you’re proud of them and what they are doing for you and your family. One thing that you never want to do is talk bad about your spouse, to anyone ever! This is not biblical, this will only tear down and weaken your marriage.
11) Don’t try to fix each other
When you’re on the daily road to reclaiming your marriage remember that it’s not your place to step in and fix your spouse. Continue to pray over your spouse and your marriage, but it’s not up to you to tell them how they need to change, only God can do that.
Don’t lose heart, if you feel as if your marriage is not working out how you planned. God is in the business of doing miracles and He can do great and wondrous things between you and your spouse, far greater and better than you could ever imagine. Are you willing to make the first step towards change and leave the outcome in His hands?