In the words of Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” Sometimes marriage can feel the same exact way! Some couples may find themselves 2 months into marriage while others may be 25 years married before thinking, “What in the world did I do in marrying this man or woman?” Or, “if I had known (fill in the blank) I never would have married him or her.” If the previous few sentences apply to you I would offer a few suggestions…
Take time to make a list focusing only on all of the positive aspects of your spouse. Oftentimes our thinking will make a big difference on our feelings towards our spouse. Romans 12:2 states; 2”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When focusing on all the things wrong with our mate, negative feelings are sure to follow. However, being intentional in choosing to focus on the positive traits of our spouse should yield a fruitful investment for the marriage.
Make a point to have fun together! In order for marriages to thrive they must be taken care of. A strong friendship is vital to the health of a marriage and without any time for having fun, the quality of friendship will likely deteriorate. It can be helpful to communicate and plan ahead of time how and when the fun times will occur. During times of stress both spouses can remember and anticipate a time of fun and togetherness in the near future.
Read the Bible together, or a book on marriage. Take ten minutes each morning or evening to make this a priority and watch for the changes it makes in the relationship. If reading together every day is not an option simply start off by picking 1-2 days a week. Chances are this small activity will generate new conversations and opportunities for deeper connection.
Finally, consider marriage counseling if the relationship is struggling and one or both spouses simply feel stuck on how to move forward. God has creatively made males and females different and furthermore He has created us uniquely as individuals. There are times when having a trained counselor to assist couples in expressing their thoughts, feelings, past hurts, joys and disappointments is extremely helpful! For some people the thought of seeing a counselor may feel embarrassing, or like failure. I would offer that humility is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact God’s Word tells us, “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.” (James 4:10).