Four Key Ingredients For A Solid Relationship
If you’re in a relationship, you know it isn’t easy. Sometimes it feels like everything is working against the success of a healthy relationship. Watching movies and TV shows will show you how much culture loves the drama of a relationship in upheaval, as will even a casual glance at a grocery store magazine rack.
If God hates divorce, you have to think that the Enemy loves it, and will work hard to make it happen. So, what can be done? And not just for today, but for a lifetime? That list is potentially very long. But here are a few key ingredients:
Stormie Omartian wrote many books on prayer, and a point she makes that you won’t see in many other places is that often in relationships we pray selfishly without knowing it. We pray that our spouse is kinder, more responsible, gets a better job, makes more money, gives us more time, attention, grace. And in the end, though it feels like we are praying for them, we are praying for the things we want changed about them. We are praying for our own good. It is a hard discipline to pray for our spouse’s good, regardless of whether or not we benefit from it. It will feel really uncomfortable for a while. You will have to confront your selfishness in place you didn’t know it was hiding. But God will richly bless your relationship, and will teach you to see your spouse as He does.
Often, when we hear service when it comes to relationships, we think of serving each other exclusively. But in truth this dynamic can become somewhat dysfunctional. The imbalance of one serving the other with greater commitment can cause resentment and set unspoken expectations. But it isn’t just “me serving you and you serving me.” Is it? That leaves out a key member of the relationship: God. It is me serving Him, you serving Him, and us drawing closer together as we draw closer to Him. It’s how He designed it, and how it works best.
When we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses—really know them—it’s kind of amazing how it puts actions and words into proper perspective. This means talking to each other about ourselves, and working to understand how our backgrounds, manner of speech, and thought processes impact how we show up on the outside. Counseling helps with this. Reading a book or doing a study together can, too. Something as simple as knowing and discussing each other’s personality types can even make a huge difference! If I know I’m empathetic and intuitive and my spouse is logical and straightforward by nature, then I’ll be less likely to always take things personally because I know our respective hardwiring.
Couples need time to laugh together, and go on adventures together, and share new experiences together. There is a bonding that happens, and it reinforces that they actually like being with each other, and shows you another side of your spouse. And truly, it makes the rest of it easier to weather.
Which of these four are you going to try first? Which do you think will yield results first? Which addresses your current needs?
If you’re feeling resistant, why? What fears do you have? In this case, try prayer for a little while first. The effects permeate the rest of the relationship, and will lay a better foundation for your next steps.
Victory Starts Here!
Founder and CEO
City Gate Ministries
Schedule your complimentary strategy session at info@CityGateMinistries.org