Good Marriages Require This One Thing! And Linkup!

Full filling GodIt’s easy for me to sit here and give you tools and insights on how to communicate better with your spouse or have healthier expectations in marriage, but not really lay a solid foundation for you at all!

There was this one thing that I did years ago and, continually do even now, that has made the biggest difference in my marriage and life. It trumps all the tasks and attitudes that bring health and healing to our marriages!

What IS that one thing?

Actually it’s not a “thing.”

It’s my God—pursuing Him with my whole-heart for who He is—instead of looking to God to fix my marriage or my spouse.

It’s a subtle difference, but so very crucial!

What does pursuing God with my whole heart look like?

  • It begins with dying to my own desires and agenda. That means in those crucial moments when I know the right thing to do, but I resist (Like I did yesterday! Yes, I’m still a work-in-progress!), that I don’t delay in my resistance! That I lay it down as soon as possible!
  • It continues with the constant recognition of my sins—asking God to reveal them in my prayer times and all throughout my day.
  • As God reveals more sins, then I immediately confess them to Him—committing to turn from them, and then (this is crucial too), admitting them to my mate! Uh-huh! You heard that right! 😉
  • As I daily commit to turn from my sin, I don’t do it in my own strength but allow God to strengthen what is weak in me. And any good that I do, I recognize is His ability in and through me!
  • And most of all, I look to God to be my Lover, my Comforter, my Rescuer, my Healer. I don’t passively know these truths about Him, but I actively meditate on them. I constantly turn to Him to whisper into my ear that He loves me and then I whisper that I love Him back. I imagine—because I know it is true—that He is holding me and surrounding me. I remind myself that He sings over me and delights in me.*

When I commit to these continual, daily, minute-by-minute acts of faith, I am encouraged and filled up by His love and grace. In fact, that kind of love and grace can’t be contained. It overflows onto my husband and then it meets a need in him that is only true and healing for him because it is from Christ.

I’m not saying that this is simple, easy or will change your marriage and outlook overnight. It is a lifetime commitment that is built with the blocks of faith in the harsh, human-being moments of life.

Thankfully, God doesn’t need us to be perfect at this. He redeems the mess when we blow it. And the amazing thing is . . . we grow and stretch in those pesky messes, if we return to trusting Him. And when we don’t blow it—when we truly trust and follow hard after Him—we have the added blessing of His strength and love shining through us and our weaknesses. How encouraging is that?!!

Bottom line –


In what ways have you looked to God to be your Marriage or Problem Fixer rather than the Lover of your soul?

 

What hinders you from turning to God and receiving His comfort and love in the midst of your painful circumstances or messy marriage?

 

*Click here for a list of some Bible verses that you can meditate on to remind you of these realities about God’s love for you.

Also, if you don’t know God personally or wonder if you do, then read my Know God page or check out another site here. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to correspond with me!

P.S. I’ll be sharing a specific tool for identifying the sins and faulty thinking that often takes over in marriage in two weeks, after next week’s guest post by Lori Hatcher, where we’ll be giving away her new book, Hungry for God, Starving for Time. I hope you’ll come back to check out both!

 


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday . . .

Find our other WW buttons and guidelines here.

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find me, the more traffic I can send your way!

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  • The only reason our marriage has survived and thrived is because we submit and commit ourselves to God all the time. Beth, there is no other WAY to a lasting and successful marriage, we MUST give our totality to God all the time.
    Thanks for sharing this ONE most important “thing”, have a super blessed day!
    Love

    • Yes, that’s the only reason my marriage survived those many messes we made early in our marriage. Even if a couple doesn’t have a “messy marriage” putting anyone else before God, can turn your not-so-messy marriage into a marriage mess or worse! I’m so glad you get the importance of this truth, Ugochi! You have a blessed day as well, sweet friend!

  • Mary

    You have shown me over and over through your posts the importance of allowing God to be our center of everything. I have admitted that this was not always the case in my marriage. In my own personal life and relationships that I have now I know this to be true. God is Our Redeemer, Hope and Strength and when I let Him in, I am filled beyond all I can imagine.

    I love reading your real life examples because you show that you are going through life just as we are. Love you friend and love coming here each week!

    • Oh yes, Mary! I was going to share an actual tension filled moment between my husband and I but didn’t have time to talk to him about doing that, so I shared this instead. I’ll probably post that intimate peek at some point. Marriage is an ongoing challenge as is following hard after our Lord! Hugs to you!

  • I have been totally amazed at how pursuing God with intentionality has affected every part of my life. So much wisdom in this post. It is always good to be here. Thank you!

    • Me too, Joanne! I don’t know if someone can get that if they haven’t experienced at least a bit of this “following hard” after Christ. But it’s truly the one thing–this pursuit–that I see has been my hope in life and marriage. Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

  • Amen, Beth! God first, marriage second. Thank you for your ministry to us!

    • Yep, that’s a great way to put it, Becky. You’re welcome, sweet friend!

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  • Laurie Collett

    Excellent Godly advice! May we seek His heart in prayer, experiencing the Giver and not the gifts, rather than bring Him a shopping list of what we think we want. Thanks for the great post & for hosting & God bless!

    • Yes, it’s a subtle motivation that we may not even recognize unless we take the time to and courage to peek inside our heart, Laurie. Thanks so much for your kind words, my friend. I appreciate it!

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  • It’s HIS love for me…as if I am His one and only…that helps me be a better Daughter, wife and person. Love…the greatest of these! Thank you, Jesus. And thanks, Beth. 🙂

    • Oh yes, God’s love makes me that better daughter, wife and person! Great way to say it, Sheila! I love the verses in Isaiah 54:5-6 that remind us that God is our Spouse. Sure, we have human spouses, but we cannot truly love those human spouses without first loving and being loved by our Husband, the Lord! Thanks for stopping in, my friend! 🙂

  • This is a great advice even for singles like me. So many things to learn before getting to that road. 🙂

    • You’re so right, Lux! I’m glad you didn’t let the title “Messy Marriage” stop you from reading, commenting and feeling encouraged by the message. I think there’s so much that we learn in marriage that’s simply good for any relationship we face. Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me!

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