This is not an exhaustive list; however, I feel these aspects of a marriage relationship are top priority items that my wife and I have found very foundational to our relationship. Not only are these things healthy for your marriage, but these principles can be transferred to other relationships and dealings with people in general.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word healthy as: being in a sound state; enjoying health; sound; as a healthy body or constitution. God desires our marriages to be sound, that is, entire, unbroken, not shaky, and complete. Marriages are supposed to be enjoyable, that is, happy, pleasurable, and satisfying to both husband and wife. God’s purpose for the marriage from the beginning in the Garden of Eden was for the marriage relationship between man and woman to emulate the spiritual relationship between God and man. God intended for the marriage to be productive and to make a positive contribution to society. God knows we cannot achieve this productive and delightful state on our own, so for this reason he has set forth several Connection Points in His Word for us to learn from and develop our marriage by. Consider these connection elements and put them into practice today and I am confident you will be on your way to developing a more healthy and enjoyable Christ-honoring marriage.
1. The Christ Connection
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
This deals with your personal connection with Jesus Christ. It is clear from these verses that we need to build up our faith, walk to please God and continue doing so more and more. It is impossible to be a good spouse without first having a good relationship with our God. It is the word of Christ that dwells in us richly that teaches us to be the spouse we need to be, and it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to carry out all Christ teaches us. When we read the Bible and spend time in prayer, we see how Christ tenderly deals with his bride, the church; it is here we learn how to treat our spouse. Build your personal faith and you strengthen your marriage.
2. The Spiritual Connection
While most people focus and think about the physical connection of the marriage, it is the spiritual connection that provides the needed strength to press through the difficult days. Here are some proven ways to connect spiritually with your spouse.
a. Pray together
What a precious thing to hear your spouse talk to the Heavenly Father on your behalf. It is an empowering and securing feeling to know your mate has care enough for you to call your name before the Throne of Grace. It is also difficult to harbor resentment when you enter Christ’s presence through prayer. Prayer will “clear the air” between you and your spouse.
b. Share scripture
Scripture is a powerful tool of encouragement. By sharing a passage of scripture, you pass the blessing to the one you love. It may be a verse of scripture they need to press through the day. Try using post-it notes to plaster uplifting Bible verses where your spouse is sure to find them. This works with note, emails and text messages too.
*Note: avoid using scripture to “prove a point” to your spouse. If they are wrong, let the Holy Spirit deal with them. Use scripture to encourage and uplift.
c. Exchange prayer requests & praises
It is important for you to discuss what you are praying. This shows a level of compassion and concern for those things your spouse carries around in their heart. There is enough negative news, try spreading some positive praises. Talk about positive things that God is doing. Encourage your spouse to focus heavenward.
d. Set spiritual goals for yourself, your home and family.
It is important to set goals and visions for your home. This keeps the family focused on the important issues. It also motivates success. People feel more eager to follow when there is a plan laid before them. This also keeps us from drifting into uncharted waters that have the ability to destroy our home life. Set goals that reflect God’s holiness, reading the Bible more as a family, inviting friends & neighbors to church or coming up with ways to help others. Setting positive goals will keep us on the right track.
3. The Communication Connection
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Timothy 6:18 “…willing to communicate”
*Communication here means, a partnership, participation, to connect and interact. It means to communicate and fellowship with others. The Bible also calls this a sacrifice.
There is no business or relationship that can grow or even function properly without good communication. Communication involves three things; a sender, a message to send and a receiver of the message. Often times talking turns into shouting and this is not communication. There are two senders of two different messages and no one is receiving or listening. Once the yelling starts, each person is on the defensive, thinking only of what they will say next.
The Bible gives us some thoughts on good communication:
- Heb. 13:16 connects doing good with communication. Communication is good.
- Heb. 13:16 also says communication is a sacrificial act. It takes restraint and godly character to listen and control your tongue.
- Heb. 13:16 says this behavior is well pleasing to God.
- 1Tim. 6:18 says we must be willing to communicate. Be willing to do the right thing, to make the relationship work.
Communication is not only necessary to solve problems, but consistent communication will also prevent problems. By talking to your spouse, you open certain lines that would otherwise be closed. You may start talking about one topic, but wonder into another topic, where you end up dealing with an issue or problem before it starts. Talk often, talk clear and talk nice. This will strengthen your marriage more than you expect.
*Look for part two of this devotion coming soon