Guard Your Marriage From The Drift

Matt Mylin   -  

Whether you’re currently married or want to be married at some point, it’s important to understand that scripture gives instructions and principles to put into practice for building a godly, healthy marriage you want to be in (watch the latest message for more on what the Bible says about families).

Marriage is one decision that influences many decisions every day.

In her book Choosing Marriage, Debra Fileta describes this reality in a helpful way. She writes, “A good marriage comes from a series of decisions over an extended period of time, with the commitment of two people choosing to love each other no matter what.”

Couples don’t drift into a healthy, godly marriage. They must choose it every day.

Unfortunately, many married couples allow their differences to cause them to drift apart. When differences are viewed with honor and respect, the marriage partners will view each other as allies. However, when differences are viewed from a feeling of discontent and discouragement, the marriage partners will view each other as incompatible.

The apostle Paul makes it simple, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

Here’s how:

1) Show honor by choosing to yield.

Submit means “to yield.” When drivers see a yield to pedestrians sign, they choose to let the pedestrian go first. The decision to yield is not just about honoring the law but honoring the person. Similarly, husbands and wives should not make it difficult for each other to yield willingly. If your focus is to win an argument with your spouse, you’ve already lost.

2) Love each other sacrificially.

Love is not just an emotion or a feeling but a decision to lay down your life in a selfless, sacrificial way. Consider how Christ loved us. He gave up his special privileges as God, lived on the earth, and died a criminal’s death on the cross. Why? Because of his selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love toward us. While we were sinners, Christ died for us. Love is not blind. Love sees all and still chooses to help, honor, and forgive.

3) Practice unconditional encouragement every day.

Annie Dillard is famously quoted as saying, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Every day is another opportunity to choose marriage but, more specifically, choose to give unconditional encouragement.

For Kelly and me, we’ve found that prompts are helpful ways to build this into our marriage and family relationships. Here are a few suggestions:

– Have each person share one thing they learned in the last twenty-four hours.

– Have each person share one thing they’re looking forward to and one they’re dreading in the coming week.

– Have each person share one specific thing they’re thankful for.

Commit to practicing honor, love, and unconditional encouragement in the small moments because the small things connected make up our lives. 

If you want to strengthen your marriage, we offer resources like re|engage, Focus Groups, and more.

If your marriage is struggling and you need to talk with a pastor, don’t hesitate to text us at 717-366-7226 so we can direct you to the help you need.