Marriage is the best, hardest, most challenging, and most fulfilling life relationship. My husband is an amazing man and his love is a blessing to me every day of my life. We've been married six years, so we are still total beginners in the grand scheme of things, but we've picked up a few habits that help keep our faith in Jesus in the center of our marriage that I'll share with you today.
I'm not coming to you from a place of having anything figured out. I write this more as a fellow traveler on this journey of marriage who wants to share and encourage and protect marriages. Everyone wants their marriage to succeed, and I think that best happens when both partners are on the same page about faith, money, and family goals.
Five Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Marriage:
1. Pray with your spouse every day, no matter what
My husband and I are one in the eyes of God, so talking to Him together is a natural part of that relationship. We pray together at all family meals, when things come up during the day, and every night before we go to bed. Praying together before we go to bed has become one of my favorite parts of the day. Many nights I stay up later than Jed, so I'll go and snuggle him and pray together and then get back up to work. We love this time because it helps us to be on the same page and feel connected. It sounds simple, and it is, but it has been a game changer for us.
2. Pray for your spouse every day, no matter what
Oh, this one can be so hard when you aren't feeling particularly loving toward your spouse, but it is even more important in those moments. The biggest challenge I have with this one is to pray not that the Lord would change my husband's heart so I can get my own way, but that the Lord would help us both to be in His will. Ugh, it would be so much easier if God and my husband would just do things my way.
When your spouse is frustrating you, pray that you will see them the way Jesus does and that the Lord will help you to love them with His love. Pray for your spouse's relationship with God, with your children, and with others. Pray they would be a light in their work place and at home. Pray for God to help you love them well, and for the two of you to be of one mind in hard decisions. Lift the one you love the most up to the Lord when you wake, when you drive, when they love you well, and especially when they make you angry.
3. Read the bible with your spouse
This one is probably the biggest challenge for us, but so important. God's Word is His love letter to us and shows us how life is best lived, so being in the Word together breathes life in to our marriage and grounds us in truth. We often read the "Jesus Storybook Bible" with our kids all together as a family, but we also try to get in to scripture together as a couple. Our goal for next fall is to join a bible study small group together so we can be challenged and held accountable in this area.
4. Tell them how God feels about them
This one sounds so simple, but when your spouse is filled with self doubt or under attack you can play a vital role in reminding them who they are in Jesus. They are a beloved child of God and He created them in His own image. The Lord created them with their specific set of gifts and they are a picture of Him to others. You are their partner and team mate in this life, and you can help them to live life to the full.
5. Go to church with your spouse
This one sounds so easy, but the busyness of life just gets in the way sometimes. Baby nap schedules, kids' activities, the joys of sleeping in, not agreeing on a church home, and any number of distractions can get in the way of belonging to a church body together. If you don't have a church home yet, google a list and start visiting each Sunday.
When we were in the visiting phase after moving to Dallas we gave each church three tries before we moved on. It took about 6 months to find our church home here. When we moved to Richardson we fell in love with the first one we visited. We still don't make it every week, but every time we do we are so thankful for our church and the teaching we receive there. Going to church together shows your children it is valuable, helps unite you as a team, and brings you to community. Your pastor's teaching will hopefully stretch, strengthen, and encourage you as a couple. You will gain a group of supporters for you as a family and a couple.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Bare Feet On the Dashboard. It has been republished here with permission.