When you’re discouraged in your marriage, you might be tempted to think that you need to:
a) Make dating a priority
b) Jazz up your sex life
c) Improve communication
d) Go to a counselor . . .
. . . in order to get you and your spouse encouraged and your marriage back on track.
I agree that those are all good and necessary elements needed to get to a healthy and thriving marriage, but they are not what will have a lasting and profound impact on you in your discouraged marriage.
One of the most important ways to “persevere in marriage” and rediscover your joy in a discouraging season is to . . .
“Work out your salvation.”
<insert sound of a record player’s needle scratching vinyl> Say what?
If you’re too young to know what that sounds like click here. 😉
If you know anything about working out with a regular exercise regimen, you know how much it benefits your body. You feel stronger, gain greater stamina, stay closer to your optimum weight, and feel better overall, all because of that “workout” that you’re committed to daily/weekly.
It’s the same way with our hearts and spiritual lives, but with the added bonus of giving us the joy and hope we need in desperate and discouraging situations like messy marriages.
Consider Paul’s words . . .
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” ~Philippians 2:12-13
God has a good purpose for you and your marriage and you canNOT fulfill that or feel fulfilled in your marriage without this commitment to “working out your salvation.”
What does that involve?
1. A priority to meeting with God daily.
That can be anything from a brief time of daily prayer and as often as possible reading the Scriptures, to spending a good chunk of time in prayer and Bible study on a daily or regular basis. Most of you are extremely busy with young families that crowd out that sacred space. But just as you find time for eating, showering, attending to your kids desires and needs, you also need to make time for your God. You desperately need God’s love to fill up your heart every single day or your attitude in marriage will sour—and I mean fast!
2. Connecting with other believers.
If you are a believer, you really, REALLY need other believers to help support, encourage, pray for and guide you. The Christian faith is never a solo venture. Here are just a few Bible verses that make this need very, VERY clear: 1 Thes. 5:11, Acts 2:42, Heb. 10:24-25, Col. 3:16.
3. Living out what you learn from God’s word.
Oh my! This is really where the rubber meets the road and will drastically impact the way you feel in your marriage situation. I’ll be sharing more about what this looks like in some of the follow up posts for this series—including next week’s post on “the one unique thing gratitude can do for your marriage,” so I hope you’ll stay tuned!
If you’d like to read the previous posts in this “Persevere in the Lord” (so that you can persevere in your marriage) series, click here.
How has your attitude in marriage been improved by “working out your salvation”?
What is one specific way to “work out your salvation” that you’ve found especially valuable?
One clarification, we do not work out our salvation in an effort to gain salvation. See Eph. 2:8-9
Linking up with these fine blogs – Making Your Home Sing, Moments of Hope, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak, Spiritual Sundays, Sitting Among Friends, Grace and Truth, Family, Friendship and Faith, and DanceWithJesusFriday