Everything God has created is a good thing; including marriage. Everything going wrong in marriage is a result of disobedience and carelessness. We ought to have bliss in marriage, but it hardly ever comes easy. Growth or progress in marriage must be worked for and worked at.
We must constantly evaluate our marriages in order to know how well we are doing on our vows to our spouses and marriage. We must measure our progress based on God’s word with the intent on knowing how to work towards enjoying that bliss that is possible in our marriages.
Marriage like every other institution has its standard of evaluation. God’s word is a tried and tested tool and yardstick with which we can determine if we are moving forward towards that bliss God has ordained for us from the beginning. I want to share a few ways we can know if our marriages are growing.
This is the beginning of progress in any marriage. When a couple has made up their minds that they are not going anywhere from each other. When they have resolved that they are in the marriage to win it, when separation and divorce no longer come up in their thoughts, discussions and arguments, progress stands a very huge chance.
When we resolve to make it work, God always backs us up. Daniel made up his mind to do the right thing…
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank… Daniel 1:8 ESV
And boy, did God back him up!
One sure way to know how well a marriage is growing is their discussion patterns. In the beginning of many marriages arguments are the order of the day. This is usually excused because of so many things; different backgrounds, temperaments, orientations, perceptions and more.
However, like my husband often tells me…
It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights. Proverbs 20:3 MSG
When a marriage is making progress, arguments grow less and less, because misunderstandings hardly occur and when they do, the couple will seek to understand each other instead of arguing with each other.
Again, my husband says, the best way to understand each other is by seeking to understand God and His word.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 ESV
Laughter heals, especially laughter that comes from joy deep down within, not just as a result of an incident. When a couple can laugh over issues and put them aside, they are making remarkable progress.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
Some couples hardly find any reason to laugh, they take this life so seriously that they forget to stop and laugh. Worse is, some couples pick and nag on themselves over every tiny weeny bit of thing. They dwell on offences and hurts for so long that they harden up towards each other and lose joy and laughter in marriage.
How is your laughterometer? Do you laugh with and at each other in a healthy manner? Do you shelve things that don’t really matter so you can focus on important issues like how to pursue bliss in your marriage?
A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength. Proverbs 17:22 GW
Forgiveness is one of the most important things in any relationship. The measure of forgiveness in a marriage goes to show the degree of health in the marriage. Do you easily forgive each other and work towards peace and harmony?
Do you ensure that you never intentionally set out to hurt your spouse whether or not he/she has hurt you?
But when we think of all that God forgave us of how He still forgives us, we will find the strength to forgive when we are hurt.
When you check how easily or not easily offence and hurt thrive in your marriage, you would realize whether or not you are growing in your marriage.
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13 ESV
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offences. Proverbs 10:12 ESV
Growth in marriage can be checked on how a couple treat each other. This matters more in private than public. How couples treat their spouses when no one is there or looking goes to show the progress they are making in their relationship.
Self must die in order for this to happen because self is the enemy of service. No man or woman can serve his/her spouse when self is in control.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10
Nothing mentioned here can be achieved outside God and His word, so the beginning is to ensure that God is enthroned in the marriage and every other thing will gradually fall into place as the couple work at them.
I know there are some more yardsticks of measuring progress in marriage, but for time and space I would stop here. Besides I believe these are very fundamental.
Are you making progress in your marriage?
Will you share with us some yardsticks for measurement?
Copyright© Teshuva 2016
Sharing With: Wedded Wednesday