“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
Acceptance in marriage is a key to feeling relationally safe. When we learn to communicate acceptance of our spouse we create an environment where understanding can flourish.
But acceptance can be hard. Unless this is learned early in a relationship, we can allow negativity toward our spouse to accumulate. We end up consciously and subconsciously conveying a message of rejection. Criticism becomes the norm. Defensiveness flares up quickly. Tempers can be short. Misunderstandings are frequent.
“Live in harmony with one another.” Romans 12:16
It’s no secret when there’s a lack of harmony in your marriage. You know it. Your spouse knows it. And probably the people around you know as well.
You didn’t get married and come together as one in order to live in a disconnected relationship. Your heart’s desire is to join with your spouse and be in a connected, harmonious, and loving relationship.
In his letter to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul admonished them to, “Live in harmony with one another.” But how do we live this out in the context of marriage? What are some things that we can do to lay the foundation for harmony with our spouse?
“Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10b
Over the past two years we’ve had the privilege of speaking for the Christian Law Enforcement Fellowship of San Diego’s marriage retreat. We love these men and women. We are so thankful for the sacrifice that these officers and their families make for their community’s protection. Being with them has given us an even greater respect for what these officers lay on the line every day.
Whenever we are in the presence of people who are in law-enforcement—at home or when traveling—we make it a point to try and tell them that we appreciate their work and service. It is our effort to honor these men and women.
“…just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34b-35
We wish that we could report that we always feel loving toward one another. After all, we have a ministry called “Build Your Marriage.” But the truth is, sometimes sin and selfishness creep in. We can get under each other’s skin. And while we are committed to and love each other, we don’t always feel loving.
It’s at moments like that when the Holy Spirit reminds us afresh of Jesus’ words about loving each other as he has loved us. Our faith in Christ has to work at home and in our marriage first.
We want to encourage you to read this post together and talk about its implications for your marriage.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15
If you trace every marital breakdown back to its original starting point, you will invariably find some element of pride at work in one or both spouses.
“…the bed we share is like a forest glen. We enjoy a canopy of cedars enclosed by cypresses, fragrant and green.” Song of Solomon 1:16 (The Message)
The Song of Solomon well describes the joy of a bedroom that is pleasant. The right atmosphere can help your sleep, intimacy, connection, and relaxation.
A few years ago we were moving into a home and several people were helping us unload.
Have you ever played on a sports team—even a neighborhood pick-up game—where one of your teammates wasn’t giving their best effort? Perhaps they were barely trying at all.
In the meantime, you are out there giving 110% to the game. You want to win, but you need the effort of your teammate. As you see their passivity, you get increasingly frustrated and angry at them for not engaging as they should.
Men, that’s how wives can feel toward their husbands.
“Keep it up!” “You’re doing a great job!” “Way to go!”
Isn’t it nice when someone encourages you for doing a good job? In his first letter to the church in Thessalonica the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Paul encourages and lays out the two areas for Christians to focus on in their relationships.
We’re going to take these two areas that Paul focused on and apply them to marriage. Read through the following questions and let them guide you in how you help your spouse be their best.