Marriage is hard work! And I am not going to say it doesn’t have to be…because, really – we all have to work at it. When we first get married, things are rather blissful. The last thing on our mind is the path that lies ahead of us and realizing that one day we are going to wonder how to have a healthy marriage. What does that look like and how do I make it happen?
Have you been there too, friend? Have you moved past “newly wed” and right into “what are we even doing here?” You are in good company! Let us start at the very beginning and build a solid foundation of understanding on creating a healthy marriage.
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YOU SHOULD KNOW – LOVE ISN’T ENOUGH
That’s right – love is not enough to create a healthy marriage, sister. If love is the only thing you base your marriage on you are going to be in for a bumpy road. Love is an action – but it is also a feeling. And feelings are fleeting. The human definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection”.
What happens when you just don’t “feel” like being loving? Do you just stop loving your spouse for that time being until you “feel” like being loving again? When wondering how to have a healthy marriage – don’t count love OUT but don’t count ON it either!
WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT MARRIAGE
Did you know the very conception of marriage is actually biblical? If you want to know how to have a healthy marriage – I would point you directly to the one who created it! In the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, we see that God created everything. First he created heaven and earth, then light and sky, then land and plants, seasons, moon, sun, animals, and finally us. In Chapter 2 we get to dig a little deeper into the creation of man and woman.
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” – Genesis 2:18
It goes on to state that women were created from the rib of man.
We women were created to be our husband’s helper. God knew it was not of benefit for man to be alone in this world. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
How To Have A Healthy Marriage – One Flesh –
“This is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”. – Genesis 2:24.
Starting out in life we are united to father and mother. They are the ones we are listening to for godly guidance and they are the ones we are to honor and respect. They take care of us and our needs. Our parents are given the role of raising us up in the ways of the Lord. But when we get married, roles change.
Even when we get married it can be easy to operate as two. You and your spouse have different ideas of what things should look like. But God is clear here. No longer two. You are one unit under God. You are operating as a team and considering one another in your actions. If you haven’t been operating as one flesh, recommit to doing so from today forward.
How To Have A Healthy Marriage – Biblical Love –
Remember above how we stated love wasn’t enough? Let us take a look at how God defines love according to…well….Him.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
If you want to know how to have a healthy marriage – love like this! Practice it. Put it in a place you will never forget. Try and try again!
The love we know isn’t the same love that God is talking about here. Our human knowledge of love is a feeling but the love God describes is really a commitment or covenant. When you get married it’s not only a promise to your spouse but to God to love one another no matter what happens in life. That type of love is hard to do! Am I alone here? That is why we need God in and throughout our marriage!
1 John 4:7 states “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE
I always say “if I never succeed at anything else in life, I want to be a great mom” – but really, I want to be a great wife too! I want to honor and respect my spouse because that is what God says we are to do. And ultimately, I answer to HIM.
Characteristics of a Successful Marriage – God Centered –
One of the greatest biblical keys to a successful marriage is to remember who is to be at the center. Not you, not your spouse, but GOD. When you get down by some circumstances in life and the first thing you think is “I do not have the energy to be kind right now” – defer to God. Let him be kind through you. We don’t always “feel” like doing the right thing but when we are living to please God, we will do it no matter what.
Characteristics of a Successful Marriage – We All Have Sinned –
Another biblical key to a successful marriage is to remember we are all human.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
We must expect that our spouse will let us down. They are not perfect and neither are you. If we look at them through the eyes of Christ we know that this is the reason God sent his one and only son – to save sinners like us.
Characteristics of a Successful Marriage – Helpmate –
My favorite biblical key to successful marriage is remembering that we are one another’s teammate. We are there to help, serve, and encourage. To be a friend. Refer to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 above. Coming home for both spouses should be comforting. We should be a “safe place” for our spouse to share what is on their hearts. We are to be the first person praying for our spouse and lifting them up to God in all things.
HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY MARRIAGE – GET GRATEFUL
Focusing on things that you are grateful for builds up joy in your heart. It helps you to realize all the good in your life when you would typically not take notice. Having a heart of gratitude is good for your emotional, mental, and physical health. Showing gratitude also encourages deeper relationships – perfect for marriage!
A little exercise you can do: create a list of all the very first things you noticed and loved about your spouse. From there add on to new things you are learning and loving about your spouse. Finally, write down some ideas on how you can show your spouse gratitude for the next 7 days. Looking for other ways to incorporate gratitude? I’ve got you covered! And, if you are looking for a short bible study to learn how to be more grateful each day, look no further friend!
Remember, when we look at our spouses and think of all the things they are doing wrong it will be easy to keep our focus there. But what about when we focus on all they are doing right? Remembering who your husband truly is and his heart for you will shift that focus from bitterness to thankfulness.
SIMPLE TIPS FOR A HEALTHY MARRIAGE
So, beyond showing more gratitude, what else can we do to increase the health of our marriage relationship? Let’s take a look at a few verses to find the best marriage tips for a wife (since that’s who I write for).
1 Peter 3:1-2 –
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
I get it. Some women get tripped up by the whole “submit” piece of having a biblical marriage. Let us set the story straight. Submission does not mean inferior or being a door-mat. It means being a helper to your husband. Letting him be the “head” of the house but still having a respectful opinion on matters. Check out this article to better understand the meaning of submission.
Ephesians 5:33 –
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
That’s right, sister. As wives looking to connect with our husbands, we are to respect them. When we respect our husbands it shows we trust him and his leadership. Respect is encouraging to a man and proves he can do hard things. What are some ways you can show respect to your husband?
HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY MARRIAGE – THE WRAP UP
The first thing to start with in creating the healthy marriage you’ve always wanted is to get into the word of God! Having a solid biblical understanding of what marriage was created for and what God says about it is the most important thing you can do for your marriage. Challenge yourself to show gratitude to your husband and learn and implement new ways to respect him.
I would love to know how these different challenges make a difference in your marriage! What changes have you seen? What have you learned? Let me know!
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To help encourage you on your healthy marriage journey – Check out the HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE IN 5 EASY STEPS – and my personal story THE GIFT OF MY HUSBAND – just a few ideas to get your year started off in the right direction.