“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther
- Read Romans 12:10. Meditate on that verse for a minute or two.
- Now, take a few minutes to pray for your husband. Thank God for him. Ask God to show you how to love him better as we enter our devotion time
today. Jot down anything that God brings to mind.
Three Tips for a Joy-filled Marriage
I have been married to my husband for almost 13 years. One of the aspects of marriage I never thought would be an issue is our love for each other. Now, we have never stopped loving each other; however, we have had difficulty knowing what it looks like at times to practically love each other. While most of us may be romantics at heart, I think we quickly realize that isn’t always reality! Even still, there are lots of surprises along the way that make the “reality” feel even better than we could have imagined!
Here are three tips I have come up with that have worked wonders in my marriage, and hopefully they will do the same for you. A joy-filled marriage steeped in lots of grace and intentional intimacy, where the best is always assumed in one another is a happy one!
- Accept your husband’s limitations.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Friends, this is a huge one. Like I mentioned above, your husband will not, and cannot, be perfect, and neither can you. That spot is reserved for Jesus! Your man has his own set of strengths and weaknesses that make him who he is. Over time, I have grown to laugh and even enjoy my husband’s imperfections. In a way, it is an honor for someone (especially the one you love most) to show you his weaknesses. His vulnerability is a window into his heart. Don’t take that
for granted! Pray for him and love him through his struggles, even if these struggles affect your relationship. Before you try to “fix” anything about your husband, go to God in devoted prayer; not just a quick two-minute, disgruntled prayer, but pour your heart out before the Lord. Then wait patiently. Because he knows your husband deeply, you can rest easy that Jesus can do more than you expect or hope. We tell our kids, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” and we heed our own advice in regards to our men. When you inevitably fall short and sin, your heart yearns for grace. Extend that same kind of grace to the one you love most.
2. Be intimate.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… (1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV)
I know this topic can scare some away. The fear of being known—body, soul, and spirit—is the greatest barrier to the success and enjoyment of your marriage. But God created us for this very purpose; to experience the joy of intimacy like that within the Trinity. Imagine the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternally communing so closely and lovingly that they are always in agreement, yet supporting the Other’s distinctiveness. Isn’t that what you yearn for with your husband? Start with intimacy of the soul. You can experience that through friendship with your man; being interested in his day, asking him how you can help him, anticipating his needs, and being a good listener. Intimacy of the body—the giving of our bodies to one another—flows from, and enhances, the emotional connection of soul and spirit. It is God’s design for your pleasure and to strengthen your bond. Sexual unity between the two of you is so powerful! Satan would love nothing more than to hinder your marital intimacy through a lack of sex. Friends, remember that God created sex for unity between the two of you. If you find yourself in a season where you are not coming together, pray and ask God to help you! He will! Finally, intimacy of the spirit is that deep desire that God created in you to spend time in communion with Him together. This could look like prayer together, reading Scripture together, worshiping at church together, or serving in ministry together. Be creative, but make sure that you are loving Jesus, side by side. Your marriage will be blessed when you do!
3. Always assume the best.
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2 ESV)
When you decide to assume the best in your spouse, the whole tone of your relationship will change! It creates trust when you feel like you are on the same team instead of against one another. Conversations become a lot more graceful, and protective walls come down. Assume your husband loves you and cares for you when he is bringing up something that’s not fun to talk about. Decide ahead of time that you will work together instead of pleading your individual case in an argument. Bend your ear to understanding instead of winning. When you decide to trust each other with your hearts and not assume the worst in your spouse, conversations that could possibly have turned into arguments become opportunities to grow. It’s a beautiful thing!
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Which limitations of your husband’s do you have a hard time getting past? List a couple here and decide today to start praying for him and for you to have grace and patience!
- As we thought about all the areas of intimacy, which one stood out to you? What area can you be more intentional about in your marriage? Write it down to work on this week.
- Do you tend to assume the best or assume the worst in your spouse? Write down Proverbs 18:2 (ESV) on an index card and stick it somewhere you will see in your home. Remember to seek understanding and a team mentality when disagreements come your way!
Around our house, we know that when one of us wins an argument, we both lose. So, we focus on making sure that Team Porter (our last name) wins every disagreement. Together we come to a solution that allows us to both “win” and draws us closer because of it. Conflict is normal in marriage, and we are presented so many opportunities to either show love or defensiveness. So, what team are you on? Pray about being on “Team _______” with your man. When a disagreement arises, quietly pray “God help me to be on Team _______, and to not only plead my case.” This simple prayer could be a game-changer for you! Just to note, God may place this on just your heart to do in your marriage. Listen if He does! Jesus changes hearts and your husband can be changed when you are being faithful.