For two months now, we’ve been in our homes with our loved ones. The idea of spending more quality time with our spouses was something we looked forward to; however, we also recognize that some of the biggest strains on a marriage can occur while being shut indoors together. If we aren’t careful, this pivotal relationship will often get the leftovers from the day. Additional layers of emotion, pressures, and grief during this unique time can stress us to the point of being physically, emotionally, and spiritually spent before we display love to our spouses. We can get so focused on our jobs, our kids, or the news that we unintentionally push the one we love the most into the background.
The importance of foundational love in a marriage is slowly fading, and it’s no wonder statistics show more and more people are breaking off their wedding engagements or getting divorced. The truth is we all need to be reminded of what makes a marriage healthy.
That’s why we want to provide you and your loved one with six habits for a healthy marriage from our Creating Healthy Families Podcast. We pray you are challenged and encouraged to move toward each other in love during this season and everyone that is to come.
- Evaluate your marriage in the family dynamic.
Marriage cannot be considered just another relationship. Outside of one’s relationship with the Lord, marriage is the most important one for the family. The health and well-being of the family flow from marriage. For those with children, the best way to love them is to set boundaries that protect time and attention for the parents to spend time with each other.
- Being physically present doesn’t guarantee being mentally engaged.
When present with your spouse, be fully engaged. Be mindful of the moments of connection as you’re together. If we’re not intentional, we can mistakenly replace being physically present with the same richness of meaningful relationships. Being mindful of the other’s company helps to direct attention to the other, even in the everyday routine of being home.
- Fully do life together as you both receive and provide together.
The opportunity of meeting the deeper needs of our spouse can be a game-changer when recognizing our roles toward each other. You have a unique and powerful voice to either encourage or wound your spouse. You are so much more together than just providers. Cultivating and nourishing the soil of each other’s hearts and minds leads toward a stronger bond, and you’re able to receive the love that the other one has to give.
- Speak words of affirmation to each other.
Our marriages provide a beautiful setting and framework of encouragement and edification for who (and Whose) we are. The world is bombarding and attacking us with lies that we aren’t enough, or we are too much. Remind your spouse of who they are in Christ, countering those deceits, and making your home a refuge.
- Share often.
Establish healthy communication with your loved one. The key to healthy communication is talking. One of the biggest obstacles to a thriving marriage is that slow drifting occurs without even noticing it. We gradually allow ourselves to be content in the simple familiarity of each other without sharing our hopes, ideas, concerns, and fears with each other. Don’t assume the other knows. Share and share often!
- Forgive generously.
Scripture is clear that the union of marriage is a picture of the gospel. The beauty between Christ and His bride (the church) is reflected in the relationship between husband and wife. When a spouse can truly release the hurt they may feel, a deeper intimacy is found.
The truth is this—there are hurts and betrayals so painful that you think you may never overcome them, but grace truly allows us to let God heal our hearts as we continue to show His love.
We want to encourage you that outside help can be a great blessing (such as counseling), but forgiveness must be the goal in moving forward. When we consider how much we’ve been forgiven in Christ, we are motivated to love by forgiving, too.
—Linc & JoEllen Taylor