Marriage is THE most beautiful of all human relationships that ever exists. The beauty of marriage is it’s exclusiveness. You cannot share the love you have for your spouse with anyone else in the whole world.
That, unfortunately, is also the primary reason why building a bond of unselfish, unconditional love and absolute trust (which are essential) in marriage is the hardest.
The challenge becomes even harder if there has already been a breach of trust and there has been a lack of proper understanding. It can be because of various reasons like extra marital affairs, influence from a third person (parents, family members, friends) devotion to any object or institution (including office, church or ministry) more than to your spouse, etc. The list really goes on and on.
The truth is, there are too many things out there that hurt your marriage than bless it. The culture and the world around us doesn’t help the institution of marriage one bit. Every one and every thing craves for more of that attention which is supposed to be exclusively available for the person that God has made you ONE with.
Here are a few keys that I have learnt from my personal experiences and struggles as a young man, married for a few years.
– Essentiality of communicating
The greatest rift in marriage is developed out of a prolonged periods of no conversations, in terms of quality and quantity. It really requires intentionality from both the husband and the wife to be able to develop consistent communication with each other. This requires dedicated times from each day of your week, where only your spouse has your attention.
I have been doing something that has turned out to be very helpful in my relationship with Rashmi. It has been to put my phone on DND (Do Not Disturb) once I return home from church every day. It still takes so much of hard work to be mentally and emotionally present and available at home through the week.
But it all begins with being intentional about getting rid of all the distractions to proper communication.
– The Key of Transparency
..Not Translucency. It’s hiding absolutely nothing from your spouse.
I used to keep so many things in my heart, not wanting to share it with Rashmi, assured that if I would, she would be hurt or misunderstand me. Often times, during an argument or a conversation, I would just bring out the things that I had been feeling all along, and it would always and only make things worse, since she’d been expecting me to be frank and real with her and not hide any of my real feelings.
Hiding is never an option in a model marriage. Being completely transparent about how you feel and what you are gong through is essential. You’ve got to do that at the risk of the other person feeling offended and hurt with you. It is the little things that look not-so-important that end up destroying your marriage at a later stage.
There’s no person better to be accountable about your challenges, than your spouse, especially when they are about your weaknesses, your addictions or other limitations that could be harmful to your marriage.
Song of Songs 2:15
Young Women of Jerusalem
Catch all the foxes,
those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!
– Performing the CPR
Hey! If you have realised that there are fatal challenges like trust issues in your marriage, don’t ignore it or sit on it, hoping it will get better with the passing of time. You have got to get help and go to any extent to get it. You’ve got to perform the CPR – Counselling, Prayer and Worship.
It means, that you have to personally, and with your spouse, spend more time seeking the face of God.
I don’t think there is a better counsellor than the Holy Spirit. His very presence in your marriage can bring about so much sweetness and gentleness in your behaviour towards each other that it makes it very easy for the problems to be solved. Rashmi and I have experienced that every single time we have had issues in marriage, it could be traced back to a season of prayerlessness.
Seek help, even from people outside your marriage. Go to your pastor, church elder, or marriage mentors, and seek guidance from a third person outside of your marriage. We have been so blessed to have so many positive examples of godly marriage around us. One of the regular thing we do is to hang out with people who have modelled biblical marriages and take notes or lessons to implement in our own marriage.
– Vitality of Forgiveness
If you are already going through a season where you lack trust from your spouse or vice versa, it’s going to be easy and almost a daily affair to get hurt with each other for everything under the sun.
Since I am writing this post from my personal experience of walking and loving Rashmi, I’ll tell you that there was a season when I was fighting with Rashmi every single day and for every single thing. Of course, all of it developed from a place of being insecure about each other or from a place of lack of absolute trust in our love and commitment towards each other.
It is in seasons like these, that you have to become ferocious in your forgiveness. Don’t wait for the other person to come and apologise for the mistake he/she intentionally did to hurt or harm your heart. You take the first step to go and talk to your spouse. You will realise over time that you don’t lose anything by being the first person to step up and talk. If anything, you only gain your spouse’s confidence.
– Feed your love
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can heal a broken heart than a continuous supply of love. If you are genuinely interested in seeing your marriage grow, work towards feeding, fuelling and fostering the love you have for your spouse. Sometimes it can be met with negative or cold responses, but it will never fail to break through the coldness of a numb heart. I don’t say that to seem or look naive, but because of what God’s word says about love.
1 John 4:16
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
When we selflessly and continually give each other love, what we are essentially doing is that we are allowing God more access into every area of each other’s life. The one reason I believe that love (the biblical & the God kind) will not fail, is because of the one statement : God is love.