It’s hard to believe that my husband and I have been married for almost 29 years. Our children are grown, we are sensing the “empty nest” season of life approaching, and we are nervously (and excitedly) anticipating what that season is going to look like for us.
When we take the time to reflect back over 29 years of marriage, it is encouraging to see how far God has brought us. I am so thankful that we serve a gracious God who gently opens our eyes to the areas in our lives where we are in error and where we need to grow. He not only exposes those areas, but He changes our hearts, teaches the right way to live, and heals the damage that has been done because of negligence or faulty thinking.
Two years after we were married, we had our first child. Three years later, we had our second. We became so consumed with the daily life of working, supporting a family, raising and caring for our children, that we neglected to carve out much time for the two of us to be alone. We were walking through life side by side, but we were rarely taking the time to turn towards each other and look into each others eyes. We thought we were okay, but we weren’t, and eventually it began to show.
Thankfully, when the cracks were revealed and it was evident that we were beginning to fall apart, God provided a godly couple who began to help us pick up the pieces. They also took the time to help us reflect back over the years, and identify what it was that caused the cracks to begin in the first place. We were able to see where we had neglected some very important areas in our relationship. Then we began the rebuilding and strengthening process.
Even though I do not buy into all that our culture promotes as “romance“, I do believe that romance and a deep love is vital in a marriage relationship. A marriage where two people merely co-exist because they have to is not what God intended. But a healthy relationship doesn’t just happen. It takes work. It takes commitment. Like any other relationship, the marriage relationship needs to be nurtured.
After members of the body of Christ helped us to get back on our feet, we were able to move forward. With their encouragement and continued prayer that God would knit our hearts together, God began to do a work in our marriage. He is continuing that work today, and we will have to depend on Him to do that work until we die.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to grow old and stale in ANY area of my life, and especially in my marriage. Soon my kids will be out on their own. God willing, the one person I will have is my husband. I am not content to coast into that season of life, and then find myself in the middle of the next season living with a man I don’t know very well, and with whom love has not been nurtured. I am so very thankful that God showed us the cracks in our marriage before it was too late.
Working hard to keep love alive in a marriage does have it’s benefits for me. I am much happier with the way things are now. But you know what? It’s not all about me…
3 Reasons To Nurture Your Marriage Relationship
- God wants to use your marriage to point others to Himself. It is one of the ways others can see God.
- You nurture your marriage relationship so that God is pleased and so that He is glorified. The enemy would love to see cracks form so that he can get in there and create division and steal glory from God.
- God has set the standard for marriage. It is to be a life long covenant in the same way that He is committed to us, His people. When we strive to nurture our marriage relationship, and glorify Him in that way, it is a picture of God’s relationship to us.
Friend, let me encourage you to fight hard to nurture your marriage relationship, and then watch God turn it into something He uses for His glory!