As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby 1 Peter 2:2
By design, human beings desire to grow. When this is not achieved, frustration sets in because stagnation kicks against everything wired in the human psychic and marriage is no different. Your marriage starts to die not because of the issues in your marriage, but because you have lost the desire to grow. Issues don’t kill marriages, loss of desire to grow does. Regardless of whatever you are faced with in your marriage, there are couples that have faced similar issues and have grown closer. I am not trivializing what you are facing, the word of God does as expressed to Jeremiah
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27
Couples understand that the goal is not to remain the same, look for ways to grow in every area of your life and watch your marriage flourish. A great way to grow is to have growth plans and assess progress because what you measure will grow. Some areas couples should endeavor to grow include spiritual, emotional, financial, character, relational etc.
Build Together: Ever heard of the saying “team work makes the dream work”. In my opinion, one of the most frustrating thing in marriage is for couples to be heading towards different directions. It is not sustainable whichever way you assess the situation. The very nature and definition of marriage requires man and woman to come together to work towards a goal. I mean imagine trying to have a baby only to discover that your spouse is on birth control pills. Scripture puts it this way “a house divided against itself can’t stand”. One of the primary goal in marriage, is team work. One of the things God concluded before He created Eve was that Adam needs help. He expressed it this way
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Gen 2:18
You don’t need help unless you are performing a task, trying to build something, working on a project etc. Adam didn’t know he needed help, it was God that evaluated Adam’s situation in relation to the assignment He has given Adam and came to that conclusion. You need to see your spouse as the help you desperately need to be able to compete your God given assignment.
Yield Together: This is one area that many couples lose their spouse due to their inability to yield together as they navigate different bends particularly in the adjustment phase, typically the first 7 years of marriage. The operative word here is “yield”. You cannot afford to be rigid and neglect your spouse when it matters most. For example when riding a motorcycle with a passenger, both individuals have to lean towards the same side when navigating a bend, to ensure stability. If each passenger lean towards opposite sides, this creates an uneven weight on the motorcycle and as such will most likely lead to a crash. Couples need to understand the importance of yield to each other to navigate whenever bend life brings their way. The bend could be the loss of a job, the birth of a baby, starting a new life in a new city, In-law management, exploring the married life and so on. Scripture puts it this way
“Can two walk together except they agree” Amos 3:3
A great way to yield together is to seek to understand the different perspective your spouse brings to the table. Celebrate each other’s perspective and implement the perspective that best solves the task at hand. Understand that what worked for you while you were single may not necessarily work for the married life.
Marriage is a journey not a sprint, Pace yourself: I am sure you have heard the expression ‘Rome was not built in a day”. Your marriage is a journey, give your spouse some time to grow and develop. One major pitfall to avoid is thinking your marriage will go from 0 to 100 in 1 year or because you and your spouse still get irritated as each other after 3 years of marriage means you are with the wrong person. Understand that just like you have evolved from the person you were 5 years ago, your marriage needs time to evolve. Scripture with regards to time puts it this way,
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22
In other words, your harvest is tied to two things, seed and time. If you want your marriage to grow, sow the right seeds and give it time. Another pit fall with regards to pacing yourself, is to avoid comparing yourself with other people but rather challenge yourself to do better.
As always, marriage is a journey and not a destination. The bible is the blue print while the Holy Spirit is the guide you need.