Excitement. Passion. Giddy with laughter. Anticipation. Intimacy
These are just some of the feelings associated with the newlywed marital bliss. Those feelings we were sure would never go away; especially since ours was a Christian marriage.
Yet, often these feelings are replaced with Fatigue. Boredom. Apathy. Frustration. and Distance. Those long nights filled with endless discussion, have been replaced with falling asleep in front of the television watching what you Tivo’d two weeks ago. Leaving some to ask “Is this what marriage is supposed to be like?”
My response is a resounding “NO!” Sure, the honeymoon phase does not last forever. However, your marriage does not have to settle into complacency. Here are some things you can do to promote martial bliss:
Way before marriage counseling even was thought of, the Apostle Paul set forth the components of a healthy marriage in Colossians 3:13: “accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.”
Sounds simple enough, but forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things to do. Yet, when we consider God’s example of forgiveness for all our wrongdoings, perhaps we can be more motivated to let go of the hurts that our spouses have done to us. Every marriage struggles with petty issues that can crawl under our skin. Which ones do you need to let go of?
2. Celebrate their marriage
We have all heard that 50% of marriages will end in divorce, even Christian ones. Given these statistics, marriage is something to be celebrated, not discounted – or even berated. Social norm tends to poke fun at martial roles and even insult spousal behaviors. Watch any TV show with a married couple, and you are bound to hear jokes that are discounting to spouses or even marriage itself.
I say Boo! Celebrate your marriage, praise your spouse, and plan something special for your anniversary! If you won’t celebrate your marriage, who will?
3. Enjoy sexual passion
Sadly, sexless marriages can be a norm for a lot of couples, especially Christian marriages. This can be a result of past sexual abuse, insulting comments about performance, or even poor time management. There can also be a disparity in preferred frequency between couples. Read the Song of Solomon and it becomes very clear that God intends sex to be filled with passion. Identify and eliminate anything that steals away the sexual passion in your marriage relationship.
4. Do fun things together
Marriage isn’t just about sex, intimacy, and even household chores. It needs to be about FUN FUN FUN! If something isn’t fun, then we tend to become bored or frustrated with it. So it is with a marital relationship, fun is a necessity to a thriving marriage. Find new leisure activities to do with your spouse, and enjoy the time together. Pick a new sport to try or discover new restaurants.
5. Get away
Find the time to get away with your spouse overnight. Go on vacation just the two of you without extended family or your kids. Dating your spouse is important, but getting away on vacation is all the more enjoyable. If you cannot go away overnight, then consider spending an entire day with your spouse from 7 am until 10 pm. Try to do this every six months, or as often as you feel you need the focused couple time.
6. Pray with your spouse
There is something special about praying with your spouse, rather than just for them. Perhaps it is the encouragement to know that your mate cares enough to pray with you. Or the mere fact that prayer tends to bring people closer together. Take the challenge to pray together every day for the next 7 days.
Relationships are rarely stagnant. Marital Bliss is not a fairy tale ideal, but something that with some intention can be maintained within your Christian marriage.