Too many marriages today are struggling to survive when God intended for it to thrive. Take a practical step towards building an enjoyable  marriage by incorporating these seven steps.

Examine Your Expectations: many couples go into marriage with a lot of cultural baggage and unrealistic expectations. These expectations blind us to the realities of everyday living. Traditionally, men are bread winners while women tend the children and keep the home. Expecting a working mother to do all house chores alone and still remain energetic for other marital duties is  unrealistic. A  woman’s desire to have everything she needs provided by her husband  is also unrealistic. Dissatisfaction set in when our  expectations  are not met. Always examine your thoughts and actions in the light of Galatians 5:22-23. Develop those fruits of joy, love, patience, self-control, faithfulness and gentleness. This will help you make room for your spouse’s insufficiencies.

Put God First: Every believer likes to think they are putting God first in everything, but when this is checked out, its clear we’re never giving him the prior place he deserves. How much time do you devote to God daily? An honest examination of our daily routine will show that work, family and leisure usually take a greater portion of our time. We love God, and always wish to show it, but the truth is we fall short. One thing I have discovered in my eighteen years of marriage is; I had my husband where I want him each time I placed God first. When God is my number one, my husband is second only to him and we’re happy. Matthew 6: 30-33 wants us to quit worrying about things we cannot change and focus on laying hold on God’s kingdom first.

Connect With Your Spouse intentionally: connecting with your spouse means real deep connection full of affection and intimacy. Not surface chit chats and religious dates. When you connect on a deep level, you don’t just hear him, you listen. You touch and sit close when you hang out. You look into her eyes and give the reassuring smile. You fight fair and resolve differences to show respect. Flirt with your wife and keep being the predator. Don’t let the flame of your passion die off. Men usually conquer women then go off to chase other passions. If you want an enduring marriage, you must keep chasing the woman of your youth and continuously  make her the delight of your eyes.  And, she must remain sweet and respectful. Let Ephesians 5:25-28 be your guide. 

Fight Right: marriage is designed for conflict, that sound absurd right? But yes, that’s what it is. Any marriage that has no conflict is actually dead. There’s no commitment nor connection in it, the couple are simply coexisting. Marital fights only require learning to engage instead of fighting. When you always want to have the last word in every disagreement, you end up loosing a friend. James 1:19 urges us to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. Anger gets things escalated and out of hand. You must control it if you want a thriving marriage. Explore every disagreement as an opportunity to know your spouse better and make them happier. Do not always fight to the finish, let it go, let your spouse win. Be the one who is conciliatory.

Balance Your Marriage: many of us who learnt to ride bicycles as kids knew that you kept falling till you master your balance. Unfortunately we forget that this is needed in every aspect of life especially marriage. Balancing your marriage requires clearly identifying where you’ve placed your spouse. Couples drift apart soon after their wedding ceremony. We pay attention to other things, projects, businesses etc and fail to remain the lover boy or girlfriend to our spouse. Your spouse must be your second most important project after God. If you want a thriving marriage, then make it clear that your spouse is more important to you than any other thing in the world, then watch your relationship blossom. Wherever your marriage may be at, you can still work it out. Take deliberate prayerful steps to do this today.

Use Sex Rightly: The Song of Solomon is an amazing book. Besides showing the relationship between Christ and his church, its a practical guide to the indescribable pleasure and mystery of sex in a marriage. Many couples do not enjoy sex in their marriage because it’s become a chore. The cultural perspective that sees it as a duty makes it unattractive and less passionate. When we see sex as God sees it, you’d know it’s a gift from God to enable you join physically, emotionally and  spiritually to your spouse. Sex is a mingling of souls that goes beyond the carnal joining and it’s only possible in a Christian marriage. Wherever sex is today in your marriage, do not settle for less than God’s best, commit to each other and let God renew your minds, heal the pain of the past and give yourself a great sex life.

Turn Your Marriage Over to God: this should be your daily duty. Invite God into your marriage. Make him the third part of your marital chord. A threefold chord is not easily broken. Many people view marriage as a hundred meters race, but it’s actually a marathon. You need patience, commitment and humility. Just hang in there. Do not seek any loopholes in the scriptures to end your marriage. When you’re ready to work with God, he’s ready to carry you through. Keep hope alive. Believe the best and let your trust in God conquer all. Keep Galatians 6:9 at the frontlets of your eye daily as you struggle through and let Hebrews 12:1-3 keep you challenged. 

Read also Godly Guidelines to an Enduring Marriage

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